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Imagine that there is a serious car accident on the freeway. The paramedics arrive a few minutes later and use first aid techniques to stabilize the victims before they are transported to the hospital for additional care. First aid techniques may include verifying that the person’s airway is clear and that they are breathing, administering CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) to keep blood flowing to vital organs in the event of cardiac arrest, and applying pressure to a wound to slow bleeding. Just as a paramedic uses first aid to stabilize a patient during a physical crisis, an HSPP uses psychological first aid to stabilize a service user during a mental health crisis. Psychological first aid is an eight-step crisis intervention strategy that is designed to address the immediate needs of service users during a crisis.
For this Assignment, you participate in a role-play exercise with an assigned classmate in which you each have the opportunity to apply the first two steps of psychological first aid: contact and engagement and safety and comfort.
Write a scrip that includes the following:
A 4- to 6-minute role-play exercise (2–3 minutes for each role-play). Take turns role-playing one of the service users from the case studies and an HSPP. You and your partner must select different service users to role-play. When it is your turn to play the role of an HSPP, be sure to demonstrate the first two steps of psychological first aid as described below.
Contact and Engagement: Respond to persons experiencing crisis in a nonintrusive, compassionate, and helpful manner.
Safety and Comfort: Enhance immediate and ongoing safety and provide physical and emotional comfort.
A debrief with your partner in which you each address the following questions:
What aspects of the psychological first aid steps you demonstrated were most comfortable? Least comfortable?
What feedback would you give your partner? ( Timothy) For instance, what did your partner do well? How could your partner improve?
Role Play Character 1: Me
Xavier is an 8-year-old child who frequently witnesses domestic abuse and arguments between his parents. His childhood experiences have contributed to him developing intermittent explosive disorder. You are assigned to provide in-home family intervention services to assist the family with problem-solving and conflict management. As you drive up to the house to facilitate the weekly session, you see Xavier and his mother on the front porch. He is punching his mother on the arm and kicking her on the leg. Frightened and panicked, his mother asks you for assistance in calming Xavier.
Role Play Character 2: Patner
Timothy is a 16-year-old adolescent who is homeless. His family frequents the soup kitchen where you volunteer. After dinner service, Timothy shares that he has not been feeling like himself since his family has become homeless. He explains that he has periods when he feels really sad and cries uncontrollably. He expresses feeling hopeless that his family will ever have a stable home again. Although he values his family, he is having trouble finding self-worth. Placing his hands over his face, he begins to cry audibly. You believe that Timothy may be experiencing depression, although he has not been formally diagnosed.
After the role play , write a 1-paragraph reflection that addresses the following:
What is one takeaway that you learned from your role-play and/or debrief this week?
Given your role-play experience this week, what is one thing you will keep in mind as you prepare for next week’s role-play?