· Fireside Project’s Affinity Program launched on June 23, with volunteers trained to provide psychedelic peer support based on shared identity and life experience
· Live webinar and Q&A: July 14, 4:00-5:30 PM PT
To speak with an Affinity Peer Volunteer who identifies as veteran, BIPOC, and/or transgender, callers may request an “affinity peer” or an “affinity peer volunteer” when calling or texting 62-FIRESIDE. The pilot of the service will be available every day from 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM PT.
“Since our inception, Fireside Project has had the intention to offer meaningful support to members of marginalized communities seeking psychedelic peer support,” says Fireside Project’s co-founder and director of strategy, Hanifa Nayo Washington. “As the psychedelic renaissance accelerates, safety and harm reduction practices must expand to meet the needs of all people. By being the first to provide access to Affinity Peer Volunteers, Fireside Project has the potential to interrupt the growth of the gaps in care in the psychedelic space.”
In February 2022, Fireside Project began accepting volunteer applications from members of Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC); military veteran; and transgender communities, with the aim of providing more inclusive services to callers seeking assistance with psychedelic experiences on Fireside Project’s Psychedelic Peer Support Line, available by text, phone, and through the Fireside Project app.
After receiving over 120 applications for these positions, Fireside Project has selected an initial Affinity Program cohort of 44 volunteers to assist callers processing and integrating any past psychedelic experience. Following a rigorous screening process, orientation and online training sessions for the Affinity Program cohort took place throughout the month of May.
30 members of the volunteer cohort identify as BIPOC; seven identify as transgender; and seven are military veterans, with some overlap between the respective groups. Fireside’s Affinity Program coordinators plan to expand volunteer recruitment and services into other groups as funding allows in an effort to address a recognized lack of diversity and community representation in the therapy, research, peer support, and harm reduction community.
Fireside Project’s Affinity Program opened to callers seeking psychedelic support and integration assistance beginning June 23. The launch of the Affinity Program will be accompanied by a live webinar and Q&A on July 14 from 4 PM - 5:30 PM PT about why affinity-based peer support matters and its significance in the field of psychedelic peer support. Register here for the webinar.
FIRESIDE PROJECT VOLUNTEERS TO RECEIVE CAREER EQUITY OPTIONS
The Affinity Program will also allow interested volunteers to pursue careers in the burgeoning psychedelic sector through the Fireside Fellows program, with applicant grants being assessed and supported by Fireside Project’s Equity Fund following a period of one year of participation as volunteers.
Fluence, a leading training program in psychedelic therapy and psychedelic therapy integration, will offer three free registrations to Fireside Fellows to its Psychedelic Integration: Premise and Promise online workshop. Psychedelic education provider Psychedelic.Support will donate five course registrations to Fireside Fellows. Plus, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation is donating five full $5,000 tuition scholarships to its MDMA Therapy Training Program, as well as an internship for an Affinity Cohort volunteer.
About Fireside Project
Fireside Project is a non-profit organization that operates the Psychedelic Peer Support Line, providing free, confidential support by mobile app, phone, and text message to people who are in the midst of psychedelic experiences or processing past psychedelic experiences, whether those experiences occurred yesterday or 25 years ago. Fireside Project has received national media attention in such publications as Rolling Stone, Forbes, Esquire, Mashable, and more. Fireside Project can be reached by phone and text at 62-FIRESIDE (623-473-7433) and through its mobile app, which is now available on iPhone and Android.