Could psychedelics hold a key to better mental health?
Mental health issues are on the rise. Between 2005 and 2015, the number of people worldwide with depression and anxiety increased by 18.4% and 14.9% respectively. Even as we accumulate knowledge, extend assistance and de-stigmatise the issues, more and more people are struggling to find help. We need some novel strategies, and researchers at Imperial College London may have rediscovered them.
Psychedelic substances cause characteristic changes to our thoughts, perceptions and mood that can only otherwise be experienced in a state of dreaming. They also — as Dr David Erritzoe and Dr Rosalind Watts are proving — cause depressive symptoms to decrease in people, both immediately after consumption and long after the drugs have left their systems. The neurological and psychological possibilities are striking, and not only to treat serious mental disorders.
What you'll explore
David and Rosalind will guide us through the history, current research and potential futures of psychedelics in medicine, therapy and beyond, by:
- Introducing psilocybin and its medicinal past, as well as their own psilocybin research studies,
- Guiding us through a meditative session to instil a relaxed and perceptive state,
- Sharing patients’ accounts along with qualitative and quantitative results from their study on psilocybin's effect on treating depression, and
- Discussing the uses and psilocybin for general wellbeing, touching on themes like meditation, connectedness, unity consciousness and mysticality.
09.30-10.00 Coffee and croissant
10.00-13.00 Academy: The brave new world of psychedelic therapy
13.00-14.00 Community lunch