The charity organisation Mind Medicine Australia has released a new book sharing the psychedelic healing stories of 53 Australians, in their own words. Launched during Mental Health Month, the publication further reinforces the life-changing and life-saving impact of psychedelic-assisted therapies for a range of mental illnesses and addictions.
Executive Director of Mind Medicine Australia, Tania de Jong AM said, ‘So much has been said about the scientific and clinical potential of these medicines recently. However, the true impact of Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy is a deeply transformative human experience, best understood through story. And this book really seeks to destigmatise psychedelics.’
With the help of their extensive chapter network in over 30 metropolitan and regional centres around Australia, MMA compiled the stories of 53 Australians, asking them:
- What led you to seek healing through psychedelic medicine?
- What was your psychedelic experience like?
- How have you been able to integrate this experience?
- How has it contributed to your healing process?
TGA jury still out
The new book release follows Mind Medicine Australia’s application to Australia’s Medicines Authority, the TGA, to allow medicinal psilocybin and MDMA to be used for medical purposes by rescheduling them from Schedule 9 (Prohibited) to Schedule 8(Controlled Medicine).
The TGA’s Independent Review findings reinforce the safety in using both MDMA and psilocybin for strictly medicinal purposes as part of psychotherapy in medically controlled environments.
It found from the studies reviewed that MDMA had a ‘strong effect size’ in relation to treating people with PTSD, and psilocybin led to statistically positive results in the treatment of depression.
The TGA Medicines Scheduling Committee will meet in early November with a final decision about rescheduling these medicines to be announced in December.
National mental health crisis
Peter Hunt AM, Chair of MMA, said, ‘Mental illness levels continue to rise in Australia with some Health Experts suggesting that as many as one in three Australians now have a chronic mental illness compared to 1 in 5 (an already terrible number) before the current pandemic.
‘Yet the standard treatments using pharmaceuticals such as SSRIs and psychotherapy lead to remission rates of less than 50% with depression and probably less than 10% with post-traumatic stress disorder. That’s a huge number of people that simply aren’t getting well,’ he said.
‘Over 160 studies show that psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies are both safe and highly effective for 60-80% of patients after only two or three medicated sessions combined with a short course of psychotherapy, when conducted in a clinically controlled environment. The medicines involved are also non-addictive. This collection of first-hand accounts recalls the positive impact that these treatments have had on those suffering.
‘We hope that this initiative will help to accelerate a much-needed paradigm shift in the approach to mental health solutions in Australia,’ said Mr Hunt.
The new book Mind Medicine: Psychedelic Healing Stories from Australia is available here.