Hong Kong Red Cross - Psychological Support Service


Psychological Support Service



  • Aviation Disasters:
    When an aviation disaster or in-flight accident occurs, HKRC will mobilize our Psychological Support Team to provide psychological support service to surviving passengers and their families. Every year, HKRC actively participates in the Aircraft Crash Exercise organized by the Airport Authority so as to ensure smooth collaboration with different departments and parties under the emergency response plan.

  • Local Disasters and Emergencies:
    Natural disasters and emergency incidents such as landslide, flood and fire happen in Hong Kong from time to time. When there are needs, HKRC will mobilize psychological support service team to alleviate the initial stress of the affected people and reduce the impact of trauma.

  • Overseas Disasters and Emergencies affecting Hong Kong communities:
    Natural disasters and emergency incidents in overseas happen from time to time. When the incidents affect Hong Kong communities to a great extent, we will provide psychological support through hotline service to the affected individuals and their families, as well as general public.

  • Crises affecting local communities, schools and organizations:
    Crises such as family tragedies, suicides and fatal accidents happen in the community from time to time. We will provide timely psychological support service to the affected people, their families and the neighbourhood.

*The above service is 24-hour emergency; members will be mobilized at request to provide service on a shift basis.


Service goal:
To provide timely psychological support service to reduce the emotional distress and sufferings of vulnerable people and carers, who are affected by disasters or emergencies, and to foster their adaptive functioning and coping


Target groups:
Hong Kong Communities affected by local and overseas disasters, emergencies or community crises


Service Modes:
Depending on the nature of crises and the situations of the affected, the psychological support service provided for the above can be in the form of:

  • Individual or group Psychological First-Aid (PFA)
  • Psycho-education sessions
  • Hotline psychological support
  • Others (such as outreaching support)


What is Psychological First Aid?

 Emergencies usually come all of a sudden and physical injuries may happen unexpectedly. Some of the affected people’s basic assumptions towards self and the world (e.g. the world is safe, life is meaningful etc.) may be shattered after trauma. They may have feelings of losing sense of control, losing sense of security, and helplessness. It is evidenced that inappropriate psychological interventions can do harm on the affected people.


Psychological First Aid is an evidence-informed modular approach designed to reduce the initial distress caused by traumatic events and to foster adaptive functioning and coping. Psychological First Aid intervention strategies are intended for use with children, adolescents, parents/caretakers, families, and adults exposed to emergencies. It can also be provided to first responders and other disaster relief workers.


PFA is not a kind of counseling but aims at establishing a human connection by active listening and providing practical assistance in a non-intrusive and compassionate manner. It enhances immediate and ongoing safety, and provides physical and emotional comfort. It also provides information that helps survivors cope effectively with the psychological impact of emergencies. Furthermore, it would refer the emotionally disturbed individuals to other community organizations when appropriate to ensure the affected people are linked to future service providers.

The five guiding principles of PFA are: Safety, Calming, Self and Community Efficacy, Connectedness, and Hope.
Hobfoll, S.E.,Watson, P.E., Ruzek, J.I., Bryant, R.A., Brymer, M.J., Pynoos, R.S., et al. (2007). Five essential elements of immediate and mid-term mass trauma intervention: Empirical evidence. Psychiatry, 70, 283-314.


Core Actions of Psychological First Aid include: Look, Listen and Link.

Look for:

  • information on what has happened and is happening
  • who needs help
  • safety and security risks
  • physical injuries
  • immediate basic and practical needs
  • emotional reactions.

Listen refers to how the helper:

  • approaches someone
  • introduces oneself
  • pays attention and listens actively
  • accepts others’ feelings
  • calms the person in distress
  • asks about needs and concerns
  • helps the person(s) in distress find solutions to their immediate needs and problems.

Link is helping people:

  • access information
  • connect with loved ones and social support
  • tackle practical problems
  • access services and other help


For matters relating to Psychological Support Service, please contact us at
Community Care Service Department (Psychological Support Service), Hong Kong Red Cross Head Office
Tel: (852) 2514 2280
Fax: (852) 3103 4010
Address: 19 Hoi Ting Road, West Kowloon, Hong Kong
Email: psp@redcross.org.hk



For matters relating to Psychological Support Service, please contact us at
Community Care Service Department (Psychological Support Service), Hong Kong Red Cross Head Office
Tel: (852) 2514 2280 [Service Application] / (852) 2507 7114 [Volunteering]
Fax: (852) 3103 4010
Address: 19 Hoi Ting Road, West Kowloon, Hong Kong
Email: psp@redcross.org.hk