Core Actions: The Seven Cs

Stress First Aid is based on a set of five evidence-based elements that have been linked to better functioning after stress and adversity across a number of settings.

These elements are: (1) regaining a sense of safety, or cover, (2) restoring calm, to reduce intense physiological arousal and negative emotions, (3) feeling connected to sources of social support, (4) increasing the sense of self-efficacy, which means feeling competent to handle the situations that create stress, or ones own reactions to the stress, and (5) experiencing hope, or confidence, in ones self and the world.

The SFA model includes two additional actions, Check and Coordinate, which are considered continuous actions because they should be performed in an ongoing way to monitor and recruit assistance any time a person is showing persistent Orange zone reactions. In contrast, the other five SFA actions are used only as needed.