PsyCare Ireland put out our call for volunteers in February last year, we launched a press release which was picked up by multiple outlets including RTE News. Through the open period, over 350 people expressed interest in training with us. In the end, 107 people were accepted onto our training panel. We set up an online portal and recorded over 16 hours of lectures and content on areas including Harm Reduction, Drug trends in Ireland, the history of PsyCare internationally, how to sit with people in distress, how to manage medical emergencies, and self-care. This was the first part of the training for our new volunteers.
In May and June we ran three in-person training days at the Teachers' Club in Dublin city centre where volunteers completed the second part of the training. This in-person section focused on practical skills, managing boundaries, using de-escalation techniques, and working with case studies, role-plays and and live demonstrations. This chunk of the training also went deeper on how to manage medical emergencies and gave information on when to liaise with on-site medical teams at festivals.
At the end of the training, we added 90 more volunteers to our 2022 cohort - giving us a solid base of new and experienced volunteers to tackle the festival season ahead!