Emotional First Aid (EFA)


Emotional First Aid (EFA) is an evidence-based innovative training course built on a foundation of Systemic Thinking and Humanistic Principles, written by Stuart Gemmell, Dave Smith and Jacquie Kelly as part of the Solent NHS Trust Southampton CAMHS team in 2008 (see www.emotionalfirstaid.co.uk).

EFA is the initial support given to a child or young person experiencing emotional distress, offering responsive and focused support without the need for specific professional help.

Three EFA programmes have been designed for delivery:

  1. Primary EFA (for practitioners working with children aged 5 – 11)
  2. Young Person’s EFA (for practitioners working with young people aged 11 – 25)
  3. Parents’ EFA Click here for more information

Primary and Young Person’s EFA

This six week/six session course (3.5 hours per session) focuses on areas including:

  • Promote Positive Emotional Health
  • Provide Support & Reassurance
  • Assist, with the appropriate adult(s) in the child’s life, the accessing of appropriate services
  • Undertake risk assessment to help prevent harm to self or to/from others
  • Create a healthy emotional environment with the child to help find strategies that help dissipate emotional distress
  • Look for early signs of emotional distress & intervene where appropriate to reduce risks of child developing mental health problems
  • Increase knowledge, reduce stigma and increase skill base
  • Develop a network with other Emotional First Aiders to share skills and be part of a support network

The length of the programme allows for practical application and reflection between sessions to ensure participants are able to bring thoughts, feelings, reflections and new ideas back to their next session.

On completion of a course, participants will be able to effectively support children and young people experiencing emotional distress through improved well-being, understanding, capability and confidence.

For more information about any of these courses please contact us.


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