Project Lead(s): Ananda Galappatti
The negative effect of traumatic events on mental health are well documented.
Psychological First Aid (PFA) is the key, evidence-informed, non-specialist, first-line intervention to address psychological distress and promote mental health after humanitarian crises.
The cost and time taken by conventional training approaches preclude delivery of PFA at scale to the general public, resulting in a massive gap in providing support to those who would benefit.
Implemented in Sri Lanka, the project aimed to adapt the content of the World Health Organization (WHO) Psychological first aid: Guide for field workers for alternative methods of delivery, such as text (SMS) messaging and audio, and then testing the efficacy of these alternative methods, compared to face-to-face training.
Text messaging and short audio message versions of the PFA field guide were developed, as well as a study methodology for assessing the effectiveness of this approach.
Expressions of interest were elicited from a major mobile network in Sri Lanka to consider deployment of the SMS-based PFA content, following establishment of project proof of concept.
The departure of key collaborators led to failure in executing the project.
The team remains committed to the project and alternative funds will be sought to test the concept, in line with the methodology designed under the partially fulfilled grant.