SRC launches nation’s first Psychological First Aid public training to build community resilience

Singapore, 10 September 2016 - To mark World First Aid Day, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC Masagos Zulkifli today launched the nation’s first Psychological First Aid public training by the Singapore Red Cross Academy. The is the latest in the Society’s efforts to present innovative ways for people to play an active role in helping their family and community in times of crisis.

Shared Minister Masagos in his speech, “The Singapore Red Cross has been at the forefront of national efforts to have “one first aider in every home”; having ramped up its offering of new-to-market courses customised for special groups. Psychological first aid, which empowers residents to look out for and stand alongside one another in solidarity, bodes well for community resilience.”

The one day course trains participants to offer basic support, practical help and information, while showing empathy, concern, respect to and restoring confidence in the affected person. Psychological First Aid addresses the emotional states of a person, and aims to increase their ability to be resilient and overcome challenges and difficulty.

Benjamin William, Secretary-General and CEO for the Singapore Red Cross said,“ In a crisis situation, there is normally both physical and mental trauma. Psychological First Aid is therefore an important enhancement to providing physical first aid. It is the starting point for providing other forms of support, and can help victims cope with the situation and speed up the recovery process. It also serves as an additional line of defense to help Singapore respond to and bounce back from crisis. We believe that in the current global security environment, it is now more relevant than ever before. It supports SG Secure and can be a key component in helping build a resilient Singapore that is strong and prepared for adversity.”

The significance of psychological first aid extends beyond large-scale crisis situations. It is also important in ongoing day-to-day situations within families and the community. Psychological First Aid empowers people to care for and understand each other better and forges stronger and closer communal bonds, making Singapore a more cohesive and resilient community.

To demonstrate the importance of first aid in building community resilience, the Singapore Red Cross themed its annual World First Aid Day outreach “First Aid Is For Everyone, Everywhere” at Our Tampines Hub this morning. In line with the theme, some 500 Singapore Red Cross volunteers and Singapore Red Cross Youth attempted to set the record for Singapore’s largest simultaneous first aid demonstration - breaking the last held record of 226 pax.

At the event, Guest-of-Honour Minister Masagos Zulkifli and Mr William recognised the contribution of community volunteers who deliver first aid and befriend the needy and vulnerable in our community.

These include the Singapore Red Cross’ Community-Led Action for Resilience (C.L.A.R.E) volunteers, who are trained in first aid, eldercare, cardiopulmonary Resuscitation(CPR) and the use of automated external defibrillator(AED). There are currently over 100 C.L.A.R.E volunteers, who will be trained in psychological first aid.

Mr Masagos also presented the inaugural class of 32 Psychological First Aid trained volunteers from C.L.A.R.E and community, with their certificates. With Psychological First Aid skills, community volunteers will be better equipped to engage residents who are needy and vulnerable to cope better and move forward. It also instills self-confidence in volunteers as they help others to come to terms with their challenges, and to rebuild their lives.

For more information on courses for Psychological First Aid, Standard First Aid, CPR & AED, and customised courses such as Occupational First Aid, Child First Aid, and Caregivers Basic First Aid for the Elderly, please visit this link.

Speech by Minister Masagos, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC

Speech by Mr Benjamin William, Secretary General, Singapore Red Cross