The federal government of Australia will be granting $15 million to clinical studies that look into the use of psychedelics substances such as ecstasy and psilocybin mushrooms for the treatment of mental health conditions. This grant is an important breakthrough in the fight against mental illnesses, especially with nearly half of all adults in Australia set to face mental health issues in the course of their lives.
Black Dog Institute, a medical research institute that is dedicated to studying mental health, found that one in five adults experience symptoms of mental conditions in any given year. In the country, that’s roughly five million individuals with nearly 60% of these individuals not seeking medical assistance.
Earlier in 2019, suicide was found to be the main cause of death for Australians aged between 15 to 49. Suicide is an issue that, in many cases, could have been prevented had individuals felt comfortable seeking alternative therapies or help.
During the lockdowns that were imposed in a bid to contain the coronavirus, mental health conditions were further aggravated, with the isolation leading to worry, stress, anxiousness and worsening of already existing mental health issues. A survey that had been carried out by Sapien Labs discovered that 57% of individuals who responded to the survey had experienced some form of trauma or adversity that was related to the pandemic. The survey involved 49,000 adults and was carried out in eight English-speaking nations.
In a press release, Sapien Labs founder and chief scientist Tara Thiagarajan stated that the data collected suggested that long-term effects of the pandemic, especially with regard to the mental health front, would be experienced.
Thus far, little has been done to address the issue. From the looks of it though, the government grant is a step in the right direction. The federal government of Australia also took the opportunity to cite the strong evidence that had been discovered by researchers across the globe on the possible use of psychedelic substances such as MDMA, psilocybin mushrooms and ketamine as treatments for mental conditions that are resistant to the current treatments being used.
Research conducted on psychedelics has also found that the use of psychedelic substances together with psychiatric or psychological care, improves the chances of treatment success. This may explain why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently granted breakthrough therapy status for the use of psilocybin mushrooms in the treatment of mental health conditions.
Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt stated that early findings from different studies on psychedelics, both in Australia as well as internationally, were extremely encouraging. However, he said more research was needed before these approaches could be used by psychiatrists outside of controlled clinical trials.
Additionally, he asserted that the grant would help encourage more research into possible life-saving treatments as well as provide hope to individuals suffering from various mental health conditions including emergency service personnel and veterans dealing with the devastating effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Governments are the only entities investing in psychedelic research. Private firms are also involved. A case in point is XPhyto Therapeutics Corp. (CSE: XPHY) (OTCQB: XPHYF) (FSE: 4XT), which entered a strategic agreement aimed at developing biotechnological processes that can be used to produce psilocybin on an industrial scale.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to XPhyto Therapeutics Corp. (CSE: XPHY) (OTCQB: XPHYF) (FSE: 4XT) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/XPHYF
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