About Us

PsyCare UK is a charity (UK No. 1167203) who work to provide welfare services at festivals. We focus on support for people having difficult drug related experiences and work alongside traditional first aid providers to relieve strain by providing specialised care.

Patients presenting with severe “bad trips” may be misdiagnosed or medicated by traditional providers when a calming atmosphere and empathetic caregivers is often all that is required to allow them to make a full recovery. In this way we regularly succeed in turning difficult experiences into learning experiences without the need for conventional medical treatment.

We do not encourage the use of any illegal substances. We are non-judgemental, not pro or against any personal choices. We are just here to care.

Who we are

After a successful, challenging, and rewarding time as a volunteer with KosmiCare at the Boom Festival in 2008, Karin Silenzi de Stagni recognised the need for similar services at festivals in the United Kingdom. With support from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies( MAPS), Karin formed Kosmicare UK, using the framework for psychedelic emergency services that MAPS had developed with Diogo Ruivo, chief organiser of the Boom Festival.

Kosmicare UK was independent from the original KosmiCare project set up by Boom Festival, but owed much of its philosophy and ethos to that pioneering project. Recognising the hard work and innovation of those involved with the original project, Kosmicare UK gratefully utilised their resources, building upon them to meet the challenges of working at festivals in the United Kingdom.

In 2017 it became necessary to move away from the Kosmicare name. After a brief stint as KosmicAid the name PsyCare UK was settled upon. PsyCare UK join a number of organisations around the world delivering psychedelic first aid services under the PsyCare name. With it comes an exciting opportunity to build a global alliance of organisations with a similar ethos and way of working.

We have the support of a range of volunteers including youth/community workers, psychiatric nurses, psychologists, drug workers, nurses, Reiki masters, healers, art and dance therapists and practitioners of many other alternative care services. All are chosen for their personal festival experience, professional training, life experience and their friendly approachable manner and dedication, with knowledge of event goers needs.

We also have the on-going support of a diverse group of professionals and we link and learn from other groups who provide similar services around the world.  Some of the people involved with Kosmicare UK project are well known in the field. To name just a few:

  • Tracy Dunne, Community worker, BSc ECON, Co-founder of Kosmicare UK
  • Guy Jones MChem, NPS & Drug Checking specialist, core team member
  • Amanda Guzinska, core team member
  • Ben Holden, Graduate Diploma Addiction Studies, drug worker, core team member
  • Toby Lyons, core team member
  • Dr Ben Sessa, MBBS (MD) BSc MRC Psychiatry, researcher into psychedelic drugs at Bristol University
  • Jon Atkinson, MA in Psychiatry, Philosophy and Society; main organiser of the Exploring Consciousness conference
  • Dr David Luke, consciousness researcher. Speaker and co-organiser of biennial psychedelic conference Breaking Convention
  • Alice Kent, BSc Neuroscience, Graduate diploma in Psychology, MSc Substance Misuse
  • Marios Kittenis, PhD Psychologist/Neuroscience researcher
  • Jack Coffin, Sociologist BSc.

… And many more extraordinary people.

What we stand for

Entheogens catalyse a rapid connection with the deepest parts of our psyche. They have played a pivotal role in the spiritual practices of ancient cultures for millennia, and historically were taken in a tribal context with the support of the tribe and a shaman… These days we are left alone with our unpredictable emotions and the sometimes terrifying visions of the collective unconscious. An important step to take is to acknowledge that in gatherings and festivals people are pushing boundaries, and it is here that we need to give support.

We do not encourage the use of any illegal substances. We are non-judgemental, not pro or against any personal choices. We are just here to care.

We think that if someone is having a “bad trip” it is because he/she is really in need of it.  They may be confronting their own fears, and there is potential to benefit from it. Therefore, we do not work with denial or try to make people come back to “normal” but, embracing the moment, we provide support for the individual to come through the ordeal more wholesome and wise.

“If properly handled, a psychedelic crisis has great positive potential and can result in a profound personality transformation. Conversely, an insensitive and ignorant approach can cause psychological damage and lead to chronic psychotic states and years of psychiatric treatment and struggles.”

– Stanislav Grof

“No one should ever have to go through a bad experience without knowing that support can be found if needed. Addressing and reducing the potential harm associated with the use of drugs is our responsibility as a community. Those of us who work with Kosmicare believe that the world is a shared responsibility wherein we must look out for and take care of each member, just like in a tribal setting.  We believe the well-being of each individual is vital to the well-being of the whole, as a true tribe and a living organism, breathing as one.

It would be of great value if every music festival and event promoter/organisational team were to take this safe space model into consideration in their future planned events.”

– Sandra Karpetas, Harm Reduction Activist

What we do

  • Provide a safe welcoming space dedicated to people undergoing drug related difficulties.
  • Offer empathic non-judgemental support.
  • Help the distressed person move on from a place of difficulty to a more grounded, calm and positive perspective.

We are only here to care.