Treating mental illness with psychedelics - A Different Lens

In the fight for better mental health services, support and outcomes for millions of people around the world, the data can no longer be ignored: psychedelics might just be the key to unlocking a revolution in mental health.

13 December 2021

The past decade has seen a major revival of interest in the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs. Scarcely a month goes by without the announcement of a new research initiative or the publication of an exciting study.

Compounds such as psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine promise to break a 50-year drought in the development of new medicinal treatments for a range of mental health disorders. Research to date indicates that, when delivered in conjunction with psychological therapy, they’re both faster-acting and more effective than current therapeutics.

A few weeks ago, Monash launched the Neuromedicines Discovery Centre (NDC). The NDC is an end-to-end academic enterprise for the discovery, development, evaluation, manufacture, and clinical rollout of 21st-century medicines for treatment-resistant and poorly targeted mental health disorders. Based at Monash University, it draws together researchers from across Melbourne’s biomedical, healthcare. and policy research community.

To the uninitiated, this might look unnecessary. If these drugs already exist and we already have reasonable confidence that they’re effective, why should we bring an extraordinary concentration of resources from such a wide range of disciplines to bear on such a project?

The short answer is that it’s not a problem that can (or should) be tackled piecemeal. Making meaningful, widespread and equitable improvements to mental health treatment will require a carefully coordinated and rigorous effort.

Read the full article here for the five reasons why tackling the problem at scale is the key