I want to share with you my reflection on the the PFA training just conducted yesterday. For a start it seems very alien to me, but as it goes along the away; wait I already done it before... my training's way back my college days as I became an student assistant at guidance counseling center of the PUP as well as to the externship program at Sunrise Hills Therapeutic Community. Its application way back 1997 up to the present when I was assigned as Psychologist at Manila Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for the Drug and Substance Abuse Individuals. During the time were conducting rescue operations on the typhoon strucked areas in Manila, fire victims, Payatas tragedy and many others, since I am a member of the Manila Disaster Risk reduction Management Council. Only that today it is already labelled and classified as Psychological First Aid. Nonetheless, what I had learned more is the other concepts behind the PFA, and I am looking forward for the Level II and III of the training and of course I'm willing to undergo Trainer's Training Course.
It's nice to be a part of this training program in which I met people from other institutions where we had shared different experiences in handling the victims of the disaster. and as I said looking forward to be part of other trainings. Kudoos to the UST Psychotrauma Clinic for the wonderful and interesting training.
The training was very informative and very useful in communities. With the typhoons and other calamaties that is happening here in the Philippines, Psychological First Aid is a really big help. Thru simple supportive and empowering words, we can make the distressed survivors feel safe and secure; that we are here to support and help them.
Though we always have this urge to help, it is our responsibility to be ready and prepared for the things that we will face on the "ground zero." We need to be physically, emotionally and psychologically prepared before going to the affected area. I can recall one of the participants said during the training(non-vebatim): "Kailangan maging handa ka sa kakaharapin mo. Kailangan handa ka sa mga bagay na maaaring mawala sa'yo. Parang pag-ibig lang 'yan eh." And I believe it's true.
During the training, nai-imagine ko ang itsura ng magulong paligid, yung mga taong nag-iiyakan sa mga ari-arian nila at mahal sa buhay na nawala sa kanila, mga taong agitated dahil walang rasyon ng pagkain, at mga taong nasa evacuation area. It's like I'm imagining an area in a state of anarchy kaya kailangan talagang buo ang loob mo bago ka pumunta doon. Aside from being equipped, you must be organized with other people. "Hindi ka puwedeng pumunta doon ng ikaw lang mag-isa at baka maka-dagdag ka pa sa tutulungan himbes na ikaw ang makatulong." Marami namang agencies or groups na pwede kang makipag-coordinate para maka-tulong at maging systematized din ang magiging approach niyo.
Natutuwa din ako during the simulation of PFA. At first, all of my groupmates (even me) find it hard to execute a PFA (Maybe because medyo nagkaka-ilangan pa with each other or dahil first try lang namin iyon) pero during the last simulation, unti-unti na naming naa-apply yung mga naituro (ofcourse hindi pa rin perfect but our facilitator told us that there was an improvement. Yehey! We really learn from our mistakes. Hahaha!) Binigyan na kasi kami by pair ng situation, a PFA provider and a survivor.
Thank you so much to the UST-Psychotrauma Clinic Team especially to Sir Renz Argao, Ma'am Amor Arandia and to other people who made this training possible. Sobrang natutuwa ako dahil nagkaroon ako ng opportunity to learn something na alam kong makakatulong and a chance to meet other professionals and young professionals like me. I'm really looking forward for the level 2 and level 3 training of PFA. Thank you so much and see you soon, guys! :)