Episode 2:  Stress First Aid

Dr. Patricia Watson has been supporting people in stressful jobs (i.e. military, first responders, healthcare providers) with her work at the National Center for PTSD for many years.  She discusses the stress continuum, along with the five key elements for supporting a person who is experiencing stress, burnout and fatigue. In addition, she discusses the importance of psychological safety, and ways to help build a sense of psychological safety within organizations.

Patricia Watson, Ph.D.

Patricia Watson, Ph.D. is a senior educational specialist for the National Center for PTSD and assistant professor at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, in the Department of Psychiatry.

She is co-author of the Psychological First Aid (PFA) Field Guide and the Skills for Psychological Recovery (SPR) Manual, produced by the National Center for PTSD and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

She is also a co-author of the Stress First Aid (SFA) self-care and peer support model, originally named Combat Operational Stress First Aid (COSFA)—produced by the Department of Defense and the Defense Centers for Excellence—and since then adapted for fire and rescue personnel, rail workers, public safety personnel, health care personnel, and pre-trial and probation personnel.

Dr. Watson has additionally co-edited three books on disaster behavioral health interventions, numerous articles on resilience and early intervention, SAMHSA guidance documents, and articles and chapters on disaster mental health, public mental health, resilience, combat and operational stress, and pandemic flu.

Key terms: psychological safety, resilience, meaning and purpose, stress continuum, burnout, fatigue, social connectedness, self-efficacy.

This episode features the song “My Tribe” by Ketsa, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.

Disclaimer: This podcast is for educational purposes only. Any advice offered on the podcast is an educational context and is not intended as direct medical advice, nor as a replacement for it. If you are experiencing a medical or life emergency, please call 911. If you are experiencing a crisis, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273 – 8255.  If you are experiencing stress, and would like professional help please contact your insurance company to identify a therapist in your area or contact the organization you work for and ask about an employee assistance program.

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