By Tania de Jong AM, Executive Director and co-Founder Mind Medicine Australia
Mind Medicine Australia is Australia’s leading not-for-profit organisation working on the use of medicinal psilocybin and MDMA-assisted therapies to treat a range of mental illnesses. Mind Medicine Australia exists to help alleviate the suffering caused by our accelerating mental illness epidemic in Australia, through expanding the treatment options available to medical practitioners and their patients.
We are a registered charity (DGR-1 status) working to support research for the clinical use of medicinal MDMA and psilocybin, so that safe, evidenced-based psychedelic-assisted therapies can be accessible and available to Australians who are suffering with depression, PTSD, addiction and other conditions. . These medicines are also currently being researched for dementia, eating disorders, OCD and a number of other conditions.
Mind Medicine Australia was launches in 2019 at the University of Melbourne among a community of Australian changemakers. The launch event highlights and some words from Mind Medicine Australia founders Tania de Jong AM and Peter Hunt AM can be viewed here.
Unlike current treatments such as anti-depressants, which only manage the illness and can have nasty side effects, psilocybin and MDMA assisted therapies have been scientifically proven to be a safe and effective cure for anxiety, depression, end-of-life stress, addictions and PTSD after just a short treatment program. Research from over 160 trials indicates that the medicines are safe and non-addictive when administered within a medically-controlled environment, and lead to remissions in 60-80% of patients after just 2-3 medicinal sessions in combination with psychotherapy. There have been no adverse events in over 3000 patients.
Both medicines have been granted Breakthrough Therapy Status by the FDA in the USA to fast-track their approval. This designation is only given to medicines which may prove to be vastly superior to existing treatments.
As a result, the Australian Government has announced the allocation of 15 millions dollars for Australian research on the use of psychedelics in treating mental illnesses. To prepare for potential regulatory change in Australia, Mind Medicine Australia seeks to educate, raise public awareness and engage with key stakeholder groups to promote best practice and develop a clinical implementation framework for psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
Mind Medicine Australia’s has four key strategic objectives: awareness and knowledge building, facilitating access to medically approved therapy, delivering a professional development program (Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy) and creating an Asia-Pacific Centre for Emerging Mental Health Therapies.
Mind Medicine has created State and Regional Chapters across the nation. Our Byron Bay Chapter is currently the biggest and most active. Joining your local Chapter is a great way to meet like-minded people, host and attend events, raise awareness, donate and support Mind Medicine’s mission. For more information on Chapters and how to join please click here.
MMA is also producing a ground-breaking international Summit on Psychedelic Therapies for Mental Illness to take place 17-20 November 2021 at the Sofitel Melbourne On Collins. https://mindmedicineaustralia.org.au/international-summit-on-psychedelic-therapies/
Recently Australia’s TGA has started granting approvals through SAS-B for psilocybin and MDMA assisted therapies for patients on a case-by-case basis. Mind Medicine Australia also made an application to the Therapeutic Goods Administration to reschedule MDMA and Psilocybin from Schedule 9 Prohibited Substance to Schedule 8 Controlled Medicine. The TGA has recently announced that the publication of notice of the final decision will be deferred and that an Independent Review will take place including consultation with international experts on this matter. This brings hope to thousands of people who urgently need access to these medicines. If you would like to read more about Mind Medicine Australia submissions to the TGA please follow this link.
At Mind Medicine Australia we are dedicated to helping the now global movement to spread this awareness and ensure these medicines are available via the medical system.
The recent pandemic has exacerbated Australia’s mental health epidemic and these treatments have the potential to cure millions of people who are suffering.
Please reach out to MMA to get involved, join Byron Chapter, support, donate and learn more at: www.mindmedicineaustralia.org