Thanks to a $500 grant from UTown@UBC, I was able to offer a free Psychological First Aid program, to 50 members of the UBC Community, with support from UBC Recreation. The program included an online training module, followed by a group zoom discussion, which was facilitated by a certified Red Cross Psychological First Aid instructor. Participants then sent in their own personal goal, showing how they would care for others in their community.

This program was promoted primarily using @ubcrec instagram, and the website, and we ended up having more interest than spots available!

This program was able to bring together many different groups within the UBC community, including: faculty, staff, students, student staff, and alumni. Participants were interested in the program for various reasons, with the main themes being: improve how they do their jobs, learn about resources available, learn more about psychological first aid, and a general desire to help others.

The zoom discussions were an opportunity for participants to share their experiences and ideas, while the facilitator related them back to the learnings from the online module. Overall, the discussions were productive, and a lot of great ideas were shared.

There were few challenges, with the only notable ones being technology based. As the online module is provided by the Canadian Red Cross, there were a few participants who were unable to access the module. This was easily solved by the facilitator contacting the Red Cross. Other challenges were Zoom based – poor connections, etc., which were managed by turning off video if necessary.

I learned a lot by making this project happen. First and foremost, I learned that there is a great deal of interest in Psychological First Aid in the UBC Community – people want to learn how to better connect with members of the community. I also learned that having people register by emailing you is not very efficient! Next time, I would set up a better system for registration. If I was to run this program again, I would also provide some discussion questions ahead of time, to make the zoom discussion more productive.

Overall, I am very pleased with the outcome of this program, and hope to be able to run similar programs in the future.
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