Mental health disorders are a growing concern in Canada, with an estimated 20% of Canadians experiencing mental health issues at some point in their lives. Despite the availability of various treatments, including therapy and medication, many people continue to suffer. Thankfully, there are new options being explored to help those who have not responded to traditional treatments. In Canada, several clinical trials and initiatives are underway to study psychedelics’ effects on mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction.
One of the most promising areas of research for psychedelic therapy is the treatment of depression. Studies have shown that psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, can alleviate symptoms of depression in people who have not responded to traditional antidepressant medications. In 2021, a clinical trial conducted at the University of Toronto found that psilocybin-assisted therapy significantly reduced symptoms of depression in participants with treatment-resistant depression. Read more about ATMA’s psilocybin clinical trials.
Anxiety disorders are another area of mental health that may benefit from psychedelic therapy, especially end of life anxiety for palliative care patients. A recent study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that a single dose of psilocybin led to significant reductions in anxiety and depression in patients with life-threatening cancer. Researchers believe the drug’s ability to induce a sense of connectedness and spirituality may contribute to its therapeutic effects.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating mental health condition that affects many, particularly veterans and first responders. Traditional treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication have had limited success in treating PTSD. However, some researchers believe that psychedelics may hold promise as a treatment for the disorder. A clinical trial conducted by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in Canada is currently underway to study the effects of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy on PTSD. Watch this video for more insight on MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD.
Addiction & Substance Use Disorder
Psychedelic therapy may also have potential in the treatment of substance use disorder. Some studies have shown that psychedelics such as psilocybin and LSD can produce profound experiences of interconnectedness and spiritual awakening, which may help individuals break free from addictive patterns of behavior. In Canada, researchers at the University of British Columbia are currently studying the potential of psilocybin-assisted therapy in treating alcohol addiction.
Our Training Programs
ATMA is leading the way in training healthcare providers in integrating psychedelic-assisted therapy into their practice. Our focus is on helping healthcare providers learn more about these groundbreaking therapies and to prepare them to work with clients who are curious about psychedelic therapy and who may greatly benefit from it. If you have questions about our programs, please contact us.