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Global Wellness Institute Announces New Initiative on Psychedelics & Healing

The initiative will support collaboration and coalition building, and ethics and best practices, in the psychedelic community.
Photo: Shutterstock

The nonprofit Global Wellness Institute (GWI) has announced a new initiative: The Psychedelics & Healing Initiative. The launch of this project, which joins GWI’s portfolio of 33 collaborative initiatives, comes at a time when the FDA has granted some psychedelics “breakthrough” status as new mental health treatments.

Researchers around the globe—–and at some of America’s most distinguished medical institutions—–are looking closely at how psychedelic medicines could provide treatment for intractable medical issues such as depression, anxiety, alcoholism, substance abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The clinical evidence increasingly indicates that psychedelics can make a difference. 

Policy changes throughout the U.S. are changing the regulatory landscape. Wall Street is part of the new geography, too. Psychedelic pharmaceutical companies are now publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ, and the Canadian Securities Exchange. 

As the world awakens to the benefits of psychedelics, among the challenges ahead are how the psychedelic community will forge a unified and thoughtful voice to help identify and address emerging issues. ”As this movement grows and receives regulatory approvals, an initiative that brings together respected leaders to focus on evidence-based best practices, equity, and accessibility is very much needed if we want to realize the potential for psychedelics in helping address the global mental health crisis,” says GWI’s chair and CEO Susie Ellis.

Rick Doblin, Ph.D., founder of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), will serve as the initiative’s honorary chair. Doblin’s keynote remarks at the 2021 Global Wellness Summit outlined a future for wellness where psychedelic-based medicine would take its place among long-established preventative and self-care approaches, such as meditation and stress-management. A video of his historic keynote, the first from a psychedelic advocate and researcher to the wellness industry, is available on the Global Wellness Summit website.

The Psychedelics & Healing Initiative is a collaboration between leading physicians, business innovators, research scientists, impact investors, and policymakers from psychedelic organizations that exemplify the highest ideals of healing and community-building. Many are actively engaged in advocacy and the exploration of how psychedelics can heal, expand consciousness, and nurture community. 

The founding members of the initiative are:

  • Rick Doblin, Ph.D., honorary chair, and founder and executive director, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)
  • Mary-Elizabeth Gifford, EVP, Psyence Group
  • Paul Hutson, Ph.D., professor and founding director, Transdisciplinary Center for Research in Psychoactive Substances at the University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Melissa Lavasani, founder and executive director, Psychedelic Medicine Coalition
  • Lynn Marie Morski, M.D., J.D., president, Psychedelic Medicine Association 
  • Louie Schwartzberg, filmmaker; director of Fantastic Fungi; founder of Visual Healing for Wellness
  • Sa’ad Shah, co-founder, Noetic Fund
  • Dingle Spence, M.D., co-founder, Jamaica Cancer Care & Research Institute; board of directors, International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care; and advisory board member, the EndWell Project
  • Kathryn Tucker, J.D., co-founder, Psychedelic Bar Association; Special Counsel, Emerge Law Group
  • Hanifa Nayo Washington, co-founder and chief of strategy, Fireside Project

Ethics, safety, and best practices are among this new initiative’s priorities—–as are equity, access, and reciprocity. The Psychedelics & Healing Initiative will offer support to those in the field already generating resources for ethics and standards for psychedelic medicines and provide an online home with links to a virtual “wisdom well” of best practices. Policy updates, continuing education, and regional outreach are also planned. On an international level, the initiative will work in support of the recently launched International Therapeutic Rescheduling Initiative, ITPRI, a Swiss-based movement to reform the United Nation’s pharmaceutical treaties. 

Learn more about its mission and founding members here.

For more on psychedelics, check out How Psychedelics are Poised to Revolutionize the Mental Wellness Space.

About The Author
julieKeller_author-1

Julie is the co-founder of Well Defined and a longtime influencer and advocate in the wellness world. Along with her work at Well Defined, she is an executive recruiter and marketing specialist for Hutchinson Consulting. She is also a consultant and content strategist for numerous wellness brands. She is the former editor-in-chief and publisher of American Spa and was named a 2019 Folio Top Woman in Media in the Industry Trailblazers category and a 2018 winner of ISPA’s Innovate Award. She is also a seasoned journalist, specializing in spa, travel, health, fitness, wellness, sustainability, and beauty. She has been published in Departures, ForbesTraveler.com, E! Online, Gayot.com, Insider’s Guide to Spas, Luxury Travel Advisor, Marin Magazine, Ocean Home, Smart Meetings, Spa Asia, and Travel Agent.