of Australians will experience a serious mental health illness during their lifetimes.
THE CURRENT STATE OF MENTAL HEALTH
Mood disorders are on track to become the second leading cause of disability worldwide by 2020[i]. Not only is suicide the biggest killer of young Australians, the number of suicides in young Australians is rising.[ii] Recent statistics say that one in two Australians will experience a mental illness at some point in their lives[iii]. If you are not affected, someone dear to you will be. Our current treatment of mental health has been insufficient in alleviating both the suffering of individuals and the burden on society.
[i] Marcus, M et al. (2012). “Depression: a global public health concern.” In proceedings of the 65th World Health Assembly
[ii] 3303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2014 (2016). Underlying causes of death (Australia)
[iii] (2008). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007 (4326.0). Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Shifting the paradigm
In clinical research settings worldwide there is a renewed interest in psychedelic medicines as adjuncts to psychotherapy. Psychedelic medicines have been shown to increase psychological wellbeing, trait openness and life satisfaction in an enduring way with a single dose[i]. This is a striking difference from traditional pharmacotherapy which must be taken for months to years at a time. Not only is daily dosing required with traditional psychotherapy but there may be unpleasant side effects[ii].
[i] Griffiths, R et al. (2008). Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance 14 months later. Psychopharmacology, 22:621-632.
[ii] Carvalho et al. (2016). “The Safety, Tolerability and Risks Associated with the Use of Newer Generation Antidepressant Drugs: A Critical Review of the Literature.” Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 85:270-288.
Creating a Better State of Mind
Psychedelic medicines have shown great promise in treatment of addiction[i], end of life anxiety[ii] and treatment-resistant depression[iii]. MDMA has been reliably shown to bring PTSD into remission. Results from clinical trials have been so compelling that the FDA has recently classified Psilocybin and MDMA with ‘breakthrough therapy’ status. In recognition of the international psychedelic science renaissance, how do we pave the path forwards for psychedelic medicines in Australia?
 A 2018 article in the leading journal of Psychopharmacology started with the line “We are currently witnessing a renaissance in psychedelic research so much so that phrases like this are beginning to feel platitudinal” Carhart-Harris et al. (2018) “Psychedelics and the essential importance of context.“ Psychopharmacology, 32(7):725-731.
[i]Johnson, M et al. (2014). 5-HT2AR agonist psilocybin in the treatment of tobacco addiction. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 28-11:983-992.
[ii] Ross et al. (2016). Rapid and sustained symptom reduction following psilocybin treatment for anxiety and depression in patients with life-threatening cancer: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 30-12:1165-1180.
[iii] Carhart-Harris et al. (2016). Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression. The Lancet, 3-7:619-627.
MIND MEDICINE AUSTRALIA
Mind Medicine Australia is a registered charity (with DGR-1 status) acting as the central node for the promotion of regulatory approved and research backed psychedelic medicines to assist with the treatment of mental health in Australia.
We support innovation in the treatment of mental health and promote psychological wellbeing by acting as the nexus between academia, government, technology, philanthropy and culture.
Launch Event of Mind Medicine Australia
To celebrate the launch of Mind Medicine Australia we are uniting the community of Australian changemakers on Wednesday February 13 2019
at The University of Melbourne.
With distinguished guest:
PROFESSOR DAVID NUTT
(Imperial College London, UK)
Psychedelic Therapy: A New Paradigm for Mental Health
5:30 Arrival for 6pm start
Carrillo Gantner Theatre
Asia Sidney Myer Building
The University Of Melbourne
A Message from our Executive Officer
Innovating Mind: Why Australia needs a psychedelic research program
From FastSmarts: Innovator of the Year by VESKI for Melbourne Knowledge Week 2018
Join us in paving the way for next-generation mental health research, education
and treatment in Australia.