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COVID-19: Psychological First Aid in Africa

This course shows how Psychological First Aid can aid those affected by COVID-19 in African countries.

4,354 enrolled on this course

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  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Digital upgrade


Version française ici.

Recognise the signs of psychological problems caused by the pandemic

This course will show front-line responders how to recognise when people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are in distress, and how to provide them with Psychological First Aid (PFA).

It is specifically designed for first responders in Africa and reflects the different healthcare situations of African countries.

Learn Psychological First Aid for first responders

PFA is the globally recommended training for supporting people during emergencies. On this course, you’ll discover PFA and how it can be used as a form of psychological care.

You’ll receive training in how to use PFA to offer practical and emotional support to others.

Identify how to treat the psychological effects of COVID-19

You’ll explore the mental fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, and learn to recognise those who might be at increased risk of distress.

Pinpointing ways to care for yourself and other first responders, you’ll train in how to work in an emergency, and read further into how to provide psychosocial support in crisis situations.

Help to mitigate the mental effects of coronavirus in Africa

Public Health England are experts in providing health protection and emergency response. This course has been written and reviewed by experts in the field and specially adapted for use by first responders in African countries.

It draws on guidance from the World Health Organisation and the United Nations, and has been adapted for the context by the UK-Public Health Rapid Support Team (PHE/LSHTM) with input by experts from WHO AFRO, WHO EMRO, Africa CDC, the West African Health Organization, and the Eas, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC).

What topics will you cover?

  • Being a good listener.
  • Understanding the importance of accurate information during the pandemic and where to access it.
  • Having the ability to encourage active coping by, for instance, helping people make plans.
  • Encouraging and helping people to connect to others (in line with current regulations).
  • Being aware of people’s cultural preferences and needs.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Demonstrate an understanding of what Psychological First Aid is.
  • Identify for whom it is suited and how to help them.
  • Identify how to better support yourself and peers in such crises.
  • Engage with further reading into psychosocial support during emergencies.

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at frontline or essential workers and volunteers dealing with the public during the COVID-19 pandemic in African countries.

No previous qualifications are necessary. The PFA approach is suited to low-income settings and community healthcare delivery models.

This content of this course has been adapted from Public Health England’s COVID-19: Psychological First Aid course.

Who will you learn with?

Who developed the course?

UK Health Security Agency

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is responsible for planning, preventing and responding to external health threats by providing intellectual, scientific and operational leadership at national and local level, as well as on the global stage. UKHSA is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Care.

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is a world leader in research and postgraduate education in public and global health. Its mission is to improve health and health equity worldwide.

What's included?

UK Health Security Agency are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible
  • Learning on FutureLearn

    Your learning, your rules

    • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
    • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
    • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

    Join a global classroom

    • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
    • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
    • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

    Map your progress

    • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
    • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
    • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

    Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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