Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy in Canada
Canada’s path to legal MDMA and psilocybin assisted therapy
Canada is taking steps towards providing more therapy options for Canadians struggling with serious mental health afflictions.The amendments under the Special Access Program (SAP) came into effect January 5, 2022 allowing alternative therapies where traditional treatments have failed, or where other treatments are unsuitable or are unavailable in Canada. The amendment, which reversed a 2013 policy prohibiting special access to restricted drugs, signifies a positive change in Canada’s position on psychedelic treatments using psilocybin and MDMA. The SAP however, began with very limiting accessibility, mostly only end of life distress conditions were approved. More recently, SAP has began opening up more with applications for psilocybin therapy for treatment resistant depression as well as MDMA therapy for PTSD are also being approved, this is in-line with Australia’s findings that there are no current alternatives to treat these two conditions that affect so many. However, the SAP is still an onerous process to provide access to each individual case and with the shortage of healthcare professional, this is not feasible for many seeking help, the program was not created to provide for easy broader access, Health Canada insists wider accessibility for the treatment and therapy will have to be achieved through the clinical trial path to legalize these psychedelics as a therapy drug.
MDMA & Psilocybin Clinical Trials
ATMA has been approved by Health Canada to conduct Canada’s largest clinical trial on psilocybin, the N500 Phase II Psilocybin Clinical Trial, which will begin in summer 2023. Even though it’s only a phase II trial, the large number of participants could make the result of this trial significant for testing the efficacy of psilocybin in treating anxiety and depression. This trial may play a big role in psilocybin receiving a Drug Identification Number (DIN), which would allow for psilocybin-assisted therapy in Canada in 2024-2025.
For MDMA, MAPS has successfully completed Phase 3B with very promising results for treating PTSD. With Phase 3C results expected at the end of 2023, an FDA approval of MDMA as a therapy drug could very well come in early 2024, as per MAPS’s projection. MAPS clinical trial results will pave the way for Canadian licensed drug suppliers to apply to Health Canada for an approval to use MDMA to treat PTSD near the same time frame as the FDA approval.
ATMA and MAPS are planning an N500 Phase II MDMA Clinical Trial application to Health Canada in Spring 2023. Both of ATMA’s N500 Phase II Clinical Trials for MDMA and psilocybin are designed for healthcare professionals who may cross participate in ATMA’s training program and the clinical trials, but at the same time gather science based evidence data on efficacy to assist wider therapy legalization forward. ATMA is the only psychedelic assisted therapy training provider that has been approved by Health Canada to run its very own clinical trials.
Psychedelic therapy training in British Columbia (BC)
ATMA is pleased to partner with Qi Integrated Health in Vancouver, BC as a site for the in-person training that will allow for clinical trial cross participation. We offer this training site for the convenience of therapy providers who practice on the west coast of Canada and the United States including Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho and Nevada where training may be of great interest in 2023.
Training to become a psychedelic therapist in Alberta
On January 16, 2023, Alberta adopted regulatory requirements, rules and guidelines for psychedelic assisted therapy. Alberta’s regulations emphasize standards of training for all healthcare professionals who wish to participate in the field of psychedelics, see our Alberta Psychedelics Regulations page for more info.
In response to the regulations, ATMA has created a strategic Alberta partnership that will insure ATMA’s community of psychedelic practitioners will be able to practice psychedelic-assisted therapy in Alberta without leaving their current practice. ATMA and Linden Medical Centre Partnership press release.
The emphasis on training for all categories of healthcare workers working in the psychedelic sector is also what ATMA has focused on in offering.
Psychedelic-assisted therapy in-person training in Ontario and Eastern Canada
ATMA is pleased to partner with Neuma Centre in Kinston, as well as Ottawa River Psychology, both in Ontario as sites for the in-person training that will allow for clinical trial cross-participation. We are also working on a location in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) as well as Ottawa that will provide in-person training for therapy providers in Ontario, Greater Montreal Area (GMA) and the Maritime provinces wishing to integrate psychedelic assisted therapy into their current practice. For therapy providers looking to lead this new revolutionary field in the northeast US states like New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Michigan, Connecticut, Vermont and DC where psychedelic assisted therapy is being considered through the legislative process, these sites are not far for this unique training experience.
ATMA is creating strategic geographical partnership in order to make travel for in-person training much more accessible and less challenging for busy mental healthcare professionals.
Enroll in a Psychedelic Therapy Training Course Today!
We offer diverse training programs to meet all categories of healthcare workers:
Introduction to Psychedelic Assisted Therapy – If you are a healthcare professional working for Ontario’s Health Care Plan (OHIP) or Ontario Health, ATMA offers a special group discount for you on this course.
Advance Psychedelic Training – for therapy providers and aspiring psychedelic therapists.
Psychedelic Training for Physicians and Prescribers – for MDs, psychiatrists and nurse practitioners, you will likely be involved in and jurisdiction in Canada or the US that permits psychedelic-assisted therapy.
What is the utility of training for psychedelic therapy now if it’s not legal in Canada yet?
There are several ways you can provide psychedelic assisted therapy in 2023:
1. Work with your own clients who would be willing to make the trip to Oregon to receive a psilocybin facilitation;
2. Work with a psychiatrist or physician on a Canadian SAP application for a client;
3. Provide psychotherapy services to those who live in your practice area but are going to have a psilocybin experience in Oregon and who need assistance with prepping and integration.
4. Participate in a pilot program ATMA is developing for graduates of our Advance Training Program, where you can provide internship hours to provide psychedelic assisted therapy for patients suffering from treatment resistant depression or PTSD as approved by Health Canada. ATMA can assist and guide you to participating in the above ways. ATMA programs and platform will prepare you to offer your services in psychedelic assisted therapy in 2023 if you wish to be an innovator and leader in this field
Want to learn more about the three components of psilocybin assisted therapy?
Join any of our monthly Live Webinar Information Session where all Q&As are welcome.
How can ATMA help you become a psychedelic therapist?
ATMA is pioneering a therapist-centred and therapist-driven business model by providing education, training, clinical trials, and business support services on the largest online community platform. Our goal is to provide practitioners with a guided path to integrating psychedelic-assisted therapies into their current practices.