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Wilderness Psychological First Aid


What is WPFA?

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Psychological First Aid courses have been a critical component of post-disaster recovery in urban and suburban environments. Designed to provide immediate, community led support, PFA techniques reduce the likelihood that someone will develop long lasting mental health troubles after a disaster or emergency. ​Wilderness Psychological First Aid builds on PFA best practices, while taking context into account - emergencies and accidents in the back country are different. ​What do you do if...

  • Your group comes across another party during or after an emergency?

  • Your party experiences a disaster in the back country?

  • A member of your party expresses distress or changes their behaviors?


WPFA Content...


In an emergency in the back country, where do you start? This course:

  • Clearly outlines the order of operations from when you meet someone in distress to when you say goodbye.

  • Incorporates the outdoor environment and physical safety considerations.

  • Encourages clear lines of accountability among team members and individuals.

  • Creates a process for guides and educational programs to evaluate and refer to higher levels of care.


How do you even begin talking to someone who has gone through a traumatic event, or whose mental health is struggling?

  • Practice active listening skills with feedback from mental health therapists (who are your instructors too!)

  • Learn simple techniques to quickly create a helpful alliance.

  • Learn what to listen for - what language and behaviors mean someone might need more support.

  • Practice real, useful stress management and de-escalation exercises.

Mental Health:

Not a mental health professional? That's just fine. This course provides an overview of...

  • Stress and how it manifests in the body and in behaviors. 

  • Common mental health concerns and their primary indicators.

  • A holistic and compassionate perspective on the source of the most common mental health troubles.

  • Mindset and what survivors have in common.

  • What you and your team can do ahead of time to improve odds of survival and positive mental health outcomes. 

About us:

WPFA was created by therapists at Wild and Wonderful Life, a counseling and adventure therapy practice in Golden, CO. We serve adventurers across Colorado, and are passionate about play and exploration in the great outdoors. We work with the American Alpine Club Climbing Grief Fund, and the Colorado Mountain Club, to support outdoor enthusiasts in staying healthy inside and out. 

Course Dates

Course Dates


In-Person, Golden CO

Sunday May 21st, 2023

9am - 4pm

American Mountaineering Center

710 10th St 

Golden, CO 80401


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AMC Staff or Building Tenant?

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Virtual Course 1

Zoom based course! If you are unable to make it in person, this might be a good option for you! 

Sunday June 11th, 2023

9am - 2pm



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In-Person, Golden CO


9am - 4pm

American Mountaineering Center

710 10th St 

Golden, CO 80401


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