Meet The Psychedelic Advocacy Network Amplifying The Voice Of Patients Enrolled In Clinical Trials

Meet The Psychedelic Advocacy Network Amplifying The Voice Of Patients Enrolled In Clinical Trials

Two patients who have participated in clinical trials with psychedelics have founded a non-profit  aimed at representing the voice of the participants of psychedelic studies and advocating for the unique safety requirements of psychedelic therapy.

As Vardit Kohn first reported in Open Foundation, Ian Roullier and Leonie Schneider recently launched PsyPA.

“The focus should be on the psychotherapy, not the psychedelic aspect of the process,” they said.

Through connecting and empowering patients via consultancy and advocacy services, PsyPAN aims to give a collective voice for all participants and to help improve participant safety and wellbeing by building best practices across all levels of the global psychedelics sector. 

Founders Roullier and Schneider were themselves participants in clinical trials using psilocybin and DMT to treat depression. Roullier, who suffered from depression and anxiety for most of his adult life, enrolled in two psilocybin pilot studies in 2015 and 2019, and that has proven to be the most effective treatment for his mental health to date. 

His story has been covered as part of Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry's 'The Me You Can't See' series, on the BBC documentary 'Alastair Campbell: Depression And Me', and in Michael Pollan's groundbreaking book, 'How To Change Your Mind'. 

Roullier has also given several public talks alongside Dr. Rosalind Watts (from Imperial College London and the Synthesis Institute), appeared on various discussion panels as an "Expert by Experience," and taken part in a roundtable of mental health leaders led by the Chair of the NHS.

These opportunities have provided him grounding in advocacy work. Roullier aims to help destigmatize and normalize the supervised use of psilocybin to treat depression, while his contrasting experiences as a participant during both clinical trials gave him an insight into which elements of the therapeutic models could be improved and which should be used as the foundation of best therapeutic practice.

PsyPAN co-founder Leonie Schneider was first diagnosed with depression in 1996 and had not found any long-term relief in  antidepressant medication or from conventional talking therapies in over 20 years until she participated in a psilocybin trial which provided a turning point in her relationship with depression, as well as a new path to deep personal healing and focused professional action.

Schneider has since redirected her efforts to expanding access to psychedelic assisted therapies by actively advocating for the safe and intentional use of psychedelics, including representing patient interests as an "Expert by Experience" on Professor David Nutt's Drug Science Medical Psychedelic Working Group and speaking publicly to raise awareness of the possibilities and pitfalls of psychedelic medicine, including Women in Psychedelics: Psychedelic Therapy and Clinical Trials (Drug Science) and Psilocybin Assisted Psychotherapy (Psychedelic Society), Inside the Experiment that could bring Psychedelic Drugs to the NHS (BBC Science Focus), to name a few.

PsyPAN’s goals include a “people before profit” approach, fair access and compassionate screening processes, to safeguard treatments provided in clinical trials and healthcare centers, aftercare and integration work, and to increase connection for people who had, have or will have psychedelic experiences.

Also, besides consultancy and accreditation services, PsyPAN is committed to the task of internationally lobbying governments where needed and campaigning for the legal changes required to enable safe access to treatments.

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.

Posted In: How To Change Your MindIan RoullierLeonie SchneiderPsyPANCannabisNewsPsychedelicsGuidanceOfferingsLegalGlobalMarkets

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