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Emotional CPR (eCPR)

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With all that is happening in our nation and throughout the world, we find the need for connection and support is more important than ever. Experiential virtual eCPR classes are reaching out to people wherever they are. The demand for emotional CPR trainings has increased exponentially. We are seeking additional support to be able to continue to meet the need of offering eCPR trainings to those who wish to participate. Your organizational or individual support could allow us to expand our reach. Click here to Donate


The Los Angeles Times published an article in March 2023 spotlighting eCPR as one of the most popular approaches to training an everyday person to support people in distress. The article is attached (PDF, 10 pages, 477KB)

This story was originally published in Group Therapy, a weekly newsletter answering questions sent by readers about what’s been weighing on their hearts and minds.

Combining Peer Support, Emotional CPR, and Open Dialogue Facilitates Recovery from Schizophrenia

In this study, we illustrate how a combination of of peer support, Emotional CPR, and Open Dialogue have enabled a young man to recover from schizophrenia. The client had 15 psychiatric hospitalizations from 2011 through 2017. During that period, traditional clinical practice and medication did not reach him. However, in 2016 during his 13th hospitalization, a peer (Mateusz, the lead author), began a series of meetings with the client. The peer used his lived experience and Emotional CPR to meet the client at a nonverbal level. He developed trust and the client started to talk and engage in Open Dialogue meetings with his family and started to consistently take his medication. He has not been hospitalized for the last six years and he now works. Click here for the article.

Does mental health training for an everyday person exist?

MARCH 28, 2023 11:53 AM PT

A fact of life is that at some point, at many points, we all suffer. Every single one of us knows what it’s like to be completely overwhelmed by a situation, a feeling, the state of our minds or the messiness of our lives.

What we’ve come to name as mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression and even psychosis, are part of this vast spectrum of distress. These conditions are as human as living, loving and dying, especially in our present-day world where 10 things might stress our sweet little nervous systems at any given moment.

Yet even though we may be well-acquainted with such distress and have an innate desire to help others, we’re taught to fear strong emotions — which sets us up to also fear people in crisis. Our cultural default then is to turn away instead of toward.

But what if we were given the skills and confidence to turn toward those in crisis? A 35-year-old Group Therapy reader had this question: “Does mental health training for an everyday person exist?”

In this newsletter, we’ll explore the two most popular approaches to training laymen to support people in distress: Mental Health First Aid and Emotional CPR. I spoke with Betty Kitchener and Anthony Jorm, the creators of Mental Health First Aid, and Braunwynn Franklin, president of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery and an Emotional CPR trainer. Read more... (PDF, 10 pages, 477KB)

A Good Intro to Emotional CPR

How Emotional CPR Can Help Persons "Be The Person They Were Born To Be"

NEC's former CEO, Dan Fisher, MD, PhD recently authored an article illustrating how the practice of Emotional CPR helped a distressed person become aware of their feelings and feel for the first time that she could "be the person she was born to be." Click here for the article.

New research publication on emotional CPR

Research findings of an eCPR study published in June 2022 found eCPR benefits individuals from multiple, diverse demographics. It can enhance their ability to connect with others, to understand what it means to be with someone who is experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis, to accept their own emotions, and to be confident in being their most authentic self in both their work and personal lives. Participants found eCPR training to be a valuable resource for learning new skills when engaging with an individual who may be in distress or experiencing a mental health crisis.

To access the full-text publication, visit:

For a one-page summary of the article, click here.

A research study published in April 2021 indicates that eCPR may increase feelings of belonging while increasing supportive behaviors toward individuals with mental health problems and improving clinical outcomes related to positive and negative affect and feelings of loneliness

To access the full-text publication, visit:

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a global mental health crisis, highlighting the need for a focus on community-wide mental health. Emotional CPR (eCPR) is a program and practice developed by persons with a lived experience of recovery from trauma or mental health challenges to train community members from diverse backgrounds to support others through mental health crises. eCPR trainers have found that eCPR may promote feelings of belonging by increasing supportive behaviors toward individuals with mental health problems. Thus, clinical outcomes related to positive and negative affect would improve along with feelings of loneliness.

The study, published in the Journal of Participatory Medicine examined the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of eCPR. The findings indicate that it is feasible for people with a lived experience of a mental health condition to develop a program and train people to deliver eCPR with fidelity. Statistically significant pre-post changes were found related to one’s ability to identify emotions, support others in distress, communicate nonverbally, share emotions, and take care of oneself, as well as to one’s feelings of social connectedness, self-perceived flourishing, and positive affect (P≤.05). Findings indicated promising evidence of pre-post improvements (not statistically significant) related to loneliness, empowerment, active-empathetic listening, mindfulness awareness, and hope. Nonprofit leaders and workers demonstrated the greatest improvements related to loneliness, social connectedness, empathic listening, and flourishing. Peer support specialists demonstrated the greatest improvements related to positive affect, and clinicians demonstrated the greatest improvements related to mindfulness awareness.

Conclusions: Promising evidence indicates that eCPR, a peer-developed and peer-delivered program, may increase feelings of belonging while increasing supportive behaviors toward individuals with mental health problems and improving clinical outcomes related to positive and negative affect and feelings of loneliness.

Click for one-page summary of article

Promising Evidence of the Role of Emotional CPR: Co-Immunity Through Community CPR

Daniel B. Fisher, MD, PhD, published in the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry - 4/1/21

As this silent, invisible virus ravages our earth many of us—young and old—feel alone, powerless, and numb. We are urged to keep a physical distance, wear a mask and wash our hands while we wait for enough people to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.

Alienation, frustration, and despair seep in and crush our spirits in their frightening coils. When mental health professionals see these challenges and screen for anxiety and depression, their usual response is to affix a diagnostic label, and then prescribe medications. Yet, in times of other disasters or public health crisis, medication and traditional psychotherapy may not be enough—more than ever we need each other.

... In times such as the current crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than ever we need each other. We are learning that through the heart-to-heart practice of eCPR people can Connect, emPower, and Revitalize each other in ways they never imagined and we can create co-immunity. Read full article (PDF, 347KB, 3 pages)

Emotional CPR Coordinator Kimberly Ewing Featured on Indy Now TV on Fox 59

NEC's emotional CPR coordinator, Kimberly Ewing, was featured on Indy TV Now on Fox 59 on March 25th. She spoke about how emotional CPR training equips individuals to help those going through an emotional crisis or trauma. Click here to view her interview.

Emotional CPR has now been adapted for youth!

Youth Emotional CPR, developed by and for youth, is now available for young adults ages 16 - 25. This webinar is presented by three Youth Emotional CPR trainers and describes the process of creating Youth Emotional CPR and how it relates to youth leadership in general.

PowerPoint Slides (3.3 MB, 24 pages)

Emotional CPR Shows Promising Evidence of Community-based Support

Presented by Amanda Myers, MPH, Research Associate, Schneider Institutes for Health Policy, Heller School, Brandeis University, and Shira Collings, BA, Youth Coordinator for the National Empowerment Center, Youth Emotional CPR trainer.

In May 2020, the UN called for wide-scale community psychoeducation, yet few programs currently exist. In wake of COVID-19 and associated shutdowns, increased loneliness, grief, trauma, anxiety, depression, and substance use, the need for community-based support is ever-present. This presentation discusses the implementation of the Peer and Academic Partnership to study the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness of Emotional CPR (eCPR). The qualitative and quantitative studies were set to examine eCPR: a psychoeducation program developed by persons with lived experience of mental health challenges designed to be delivered by anyone for anyone in the community.

Emotional CPR Response to COVID-19

In these times of fear, uncertainty and increased isolation, NEC believes our society needs more than ever to connect and feel empowered. Social distancing has been recommended as an important way to slow the spread of COVID-19. We need to distinguish between physical distancing of at least 6 feet and social distancing. Physical distancing is recommended now, but social distancing can be damaging and retraumatizing, especially to vulnerable individuals. However, even when we are physically distant we can socially connect online. Those of us with lived experience of severe emotional distress are well prepared for this disaster because we have long known that our healing and resilience are enhanced by our connecting at a heart-to-heart level. So we need not turn physical distancing into social isolation. We have developed Emotional CPR (eCPR) as a way to enhance everyone’s capacity to Connect, emPower, and Revitalize each other through mutual support. To adapt to present life, we have developed an online version of eCPR which we are rolling out now. We are now offering online eCPR certification trainings, support groups, and communities of practice. These efforts are helping to alleviate the trauma of social isolation through physical distancing and lay the foundation for healing.

Check our offerings at, and please send us a message if you want to participate.

Webinar: Emotional CPR Brings Hope, Life and Community to a Sad World

British Columbia Psychosocial Rehabilitation | Advanced Practice is very pleased to announce a webinar with Dr. Daniel Fisher CEO of The National Empowerment Center, and Shontelle Prokipcak from Mental Health and Addiction Services of Ottawa! Click here for the webinar overview

Veterinarians Find Emotional CPR Helpful

The University of Tennessee Veterinary Social Work program is now training students in Emotional CPR. The program sees Emotional CPR as helpful in many ways, both to the veterinarians and their clients. Veterinarians have a high stress and emotionally difficult job as detailed in this recent article that highlights the elevated suicide rates among veterinarians. The bond between pets and owners is like family, and veterinarians have to support not only the pet, but also their owners. Animal lovers themselves, veterinarians see a lot of sickness and death and often end up in the role of grief counselor when pets die. Emotional CPR is not only helping veterinarians connect with their clients' emotions, but it is also helping them to connect with their own emotions and support each other around this difficult work.


Dan Fisher's keynote address, "Heartbeats of Hope" to the Asia Pacific Conference, Brisbane, Australia, October 25, 2016

The radio interview of Dan Fisher and Jenny Speed on topic of Emotional CPR, by Australia Broadcasting Corporation, Dec. 4, 2016

Psychiatrist Daniel Fisher would like to shift the paradigm of mental health services and empower people to play a strong role in their own recovery—so he’s teaching emotional CPR. Click to listen

MH Weekly quotes Daniel Fisher pointing out the value of eCPR in avoiding hospitalization

It’s a decades-old debate — what is the best form of treatment for people with mental illness who are incarcerated or homeless? A number of contributors to the New York Times opinion page, “Room for Debate,” on May 9 tackled that question by commenting on what works and whether asylums should be reopened. Click to view/download (PDF, 234KB, 8 pages)

New Introduction to Emotional CPR Training Video is now availableNew Introduction to Emotional CPR Training Video is now available

A Public Health Education Program

This DVD uses a combination of discussion and scenarios taken from real life to illustrate the values and practice of Emotional CPR (eCPR), an exciting and innovative public health education program designed to teach people how to support others through emotional crisis/distress and into recovery.

Click here to preview this training video.
Click here to purchase the video

Emotional CPR: Saving Lives, Healing Communities - Webinar Archive Now Available!

Click here for the archived webinar recording.


CARF International cites Emotional CPR

CARF International cites eCPR as “a holistic, empowering approach to assisting persons served to cope with emotional crisis” in their Behavioral Health Standards Manual. eCPR is included as an example of staff training in the use of alternative interventions. CARF accredits health and human services, including behavioral health, on five continents.

Emotional CPR (eCPR) is a public health education program designed to teach people to assist others through an emotional crisis by three simple steps: C = Connecting, P = emPowering, and R = Revitalizing. People who have been through the training consistently report that the skills they learned have helped them communicate better in all their relationships. They tell us that eCPR is a way of life. Presenters used real life stories to explore how eCPR is healing communities, including:

Click here for a flyer with presenter information (PDF, 306KB, 2 pages)
PDF version of PowerPoint for webinar (PDF, 1.48MB, 29 pages)
Click here to watch this informative webinar from 2012 which describes the fundamental concepts of Emotional CPR.


New! Emotional CPR (eCPR) Participant Workbook

eCPR Participant WorkbookThis workbook was developed for the eCPR certification training and provides a thoughtful discussion of the values of eCPR, the features of dialogue, and the primary components of eCPR: C = Connection, P = emPowering, and R = Revitalizing. Other sections include how to prepare oneself to provide eCPR as well as tips for self-care. The workbook is filled with inspiring quotes, real-life examples of embodying the practice of eCPR, sample instructions for role plays, and other exercises. The workbook is designed for anyone who may encounter a person in emotional crisis - law enforcement, mental health peers, mental health providers, family members, and others.

Click here to purchase the workbook

What is eCPR?

Emotional CPR (eCPR) is an educational program designed to teach people to assist others through an emotional crisis by three simple steps:

C = Connecting
P = emPowering, and
R = Revitalizing.

The Connecting process of eCPR involves deepening listening skills, practicing presence, and creating a sense of safety for the person experiencing a crisis. The emPowering process helps people better understand how to feel empowered themselves as well as to assist others to feel more hopeful and engaged in life. In the Revitalizating process, people re-engage in relationships with their loved ones or their support system, and they resume or begin routines that support health and wellness which reinforces the person’s sense of mastery and accomplishment, further energizing the healing process.

eCPR is based on the principles found to be shared by a number of support approaches: trauma-informed care, counseling after disasters, peer support to avoid continuing emotional despair, emotional intelligence, suicide prevention, and cultural attunement. It was developed with input from a diverse cadre of recognized leaders from across the U.S., who themselves have learned how to recover and grow from emotional crises. They have wisdom by the grace of first- hand experience.

For more information, to schedule an introductory workshop or a certification training in eCPR, or If you would like to be an eCPR Ambassador and help spread the word about this exciting program, send us an email via the contact form, or call 877-246-9058.

What is emotional crisis?

Party2Crisis as Universal Experience

Emotional crisis is a universal experience. It can happen to anyone, at any time. When we are exposed to this extraordinary situation, we develop amazing and creative ways to protect ourselves, To onlookers, these protective mechanisms may look very odd, even "crazy". To us, they have meaning. Through using eCPR we can better understand and overcome our fear of seemingly unusual behavior brought on by an emotional crisis. Through eCPR we learn how to form supportive connections that empower the person in emotional crisis so they are able to feel revitalized and quickly resume meaningful roles in the community.

Un folleto de eCPR en Español 

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