Learn first aid for someone who is distressed
1. Show you are listening. Calmly ask them how you can help.
Try to establish trust by listening to them respectfully.
2. Be considerate of what is going on around them and what they need.
Remember that they may have difficulty letting you know what they need. For example, they may not speak English very well or be able to hear you.
Watch how to help someone who is distressed (1 minute 52 seconds)
Common questions about first aid for someone who is distressed
Will I be traumatised if I help people who have been in an accident or are distressed?
The majority of people are not traumatised by helping others. Usually, people are pleased they were trying to help.
If you feel upset after the experience, talk to people you trust. See your GP if you are worried about your experience and think it is significantly affecting your health.
What if they don’t know or can’t tell me what they want?
Offer to listen. Try to contact others on their behalf.
It can help to simply be a calming influence and reassure the person that you can help.
What should I do if they seem to be over-reacting?
Everyone has different needs and experiences of life and they might react differently from you. Always show them respect and listen to what they are saying.
During life-threatening emergencies, call 999, or for non-emergency medical help, call 111.
Test your knowledge with our First aid app quiz