Clinical Trial Application Submitted to Health Canada for Experiential, Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy Training

ATMA Journey Centers have applied for Health Canada approval to provide experiential training to mental health professionals interested in learning how to provide psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
ATMA Journey Centers Inc. (“ATMA”), an Alberta-based company focused on delivering innovative psychedelic-assisted therapies internationally, announced today their submission of the first experiential-based clinical trial to Health Canada to train mental health professionals interested in learning to provide psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.

Therapists are integral to psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, and the need to provide accessible and robust training experiences for therapists is a crucial objective as the need for psychedelic-assisted treatment continues to grow. ATMA is committed to building out infrastructure for the psychedelic therapy industry by addressing obstacles to accessibility for Canadians seeking psychedelic treatment.

ATMA Co-CEO Vu Tran sees the importance of preparation without delay.
“We are laying the foundation through didactic and experiential training that will allow for the highest accessibility of these psychedelic treatments for all Canadians who are desperately seeking it.”
ATMA was the first private company in Canada to conduct legal psychedelic-assisted therapy with psilocybin under a Section 56 Exemption granted by Health Canada, and continues to work to provide psilocybin-assisted therapy care to Health Canada-approved palliative care patients for compassionate reasons.

ATMA is pleased to announce the completion of its first clinical trial application (CTA). The phase II open-label single arm study, led by psychiatrist Dr. Ravinder Bains, aims to assess the safety and psychological outcome of psilocybin when administered to healthy participants enrolled in a psychedelic assisted therapy training program offered by ATMA. Physiological outcome will be assessed by documenting vital signs including heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature after administration of dried mushrooms (psilocybin) over a 6-hour experimental session, while the psychological outcome will be documented by pre-and post-session self-assessment, including the QIDS-SR16 and MEQ30 questionnaires. With growing interest in clinical applications of psilocybin to treat depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse disorders, the physiological data gleaned from this study will provide much-needed ‘healthy control’ information.
“There have been several recent publications from top-tier medical journals that demonstrate psilocybin therapy is effective and potentially surpasses current pharmacological treatments for a variety of mental health issues,” states ATMA co-CEO David Harder. “ATMA believes it is critical, from both the patient and health care provider perspective, that therapists have direct knowledge of the effects of psilocybin.”
This perspective is not unique to David or the team at ATMA; ATMA currently has a waitlist of 400 mental health care providers enlisted in its therapist training program.

Mental health care providers who want to complete experiential learning with psychedelic medicines are currently tasked to travel out of Canada to seek these experiences. There have not been experiential learning opportunities made available to therapists in Canada. If ATMA’s application to Health Canada is successful, therapists will now be able to engage in experiential learning and training opportunities on Canadian soil. It is anticipated that therapists who have an experiential understanding of psychedelic medicines will demonstrate increased efficacy in providing psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies.

In partnership with Wayfound Mental Health Group, ATMA aims to create the framework and groundwork for all mental health professionals seeking to adopt psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. ATMA Co-CEO Vu Tran sees the importance of competency in this offering.
“If the goal is to make psychedelic therapy accessible to as many Canadians seeking as possible, then the solution must be to support regulated health care professionals to do so in a safe, ethical, and streamlined fashion.”
Wayfound Mental Health CEO Megan McElheran expressed:
“We are committed to supporting mental health professionals to access a high standard of clinical training in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, as we understand how crucial mental health professionals will be to the continued development of the psychedelic industry. We want to stay ahead of the tide and engage as many mental health professionals as possible in training opportunities with psychedelic medicines and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. Hence, the mental health industry is ready should legalization of the psychedelics occur.”
The Trial application’s Principle Investigator, Dr. Ravinder Bains, understands this philosophy.
“We are experiencing a mental health crisis on the front lines, and having these effective tools at our disposal must come with qualified therapists with first-hand experience who know how to use them.”

ABOUT ATMA JOURNEY CENTERS INC.

ATMA is a Canadian company focused on delivering practical and innovative healing and transformative experiences that leverage the potential of psychedelic medicine to awaken the inner healer and allow a deeper connection with self, with others, and with the beauty of our world. ATMA was the first private company in Canada to conduct legal psychedelic-assisted therapy with psilocybin, one of the active hallucinogens found in ‘magic mushrooms. For more information, visit www.atmajourney.com.

ABOUT WAYFOUND MENTAL HEALTH GROUP

Wayfound Mental Health Group Inc., and its predecessor companies, have been proudly serving the community in Calgary since 1999. Wayfound has grown to become a national mental health service provider and, in addition to work in psychedelic training, is focused on innovation in mental health program development and delivery. The mental health professionals at Wayfound bring years of experience working with clients across the lifespan and suffering from various mental health conditions. Wayfound focuses on service provision for first responders and public safety personnel who have suffered operational stress injuries in the line of duty. The organization believes that access to mental health care should be a right, not a privilege, and they advocate for the importance of mental health care being as commonplace as physical health care.
For further information:

MEDIA CONTACT: David Harder, Co-CEO, ATMA Journey Centers Inc., [email protected]

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