Therapsil
Healthcare Professionals Wait Over 120 Days for Access to Psilocybin for Professional Training: Here’s how YOU can help

 

Dear friends of TheraPsil,

Thank you for your support of the work we do to assist patients in accessing legal, psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of end-of-life distress. 

Since the historic decision on August 4th, where Minister Patty Hajdu granted access to psilocybin for 4 Canadians with end-of-life distress, 2 more applications have been approved and TheraPsil has been inundated with an influx of patient requests for support.

As we do our best to help all qualified patients submit their own section 56 exemptions, we have realized that there is an insufficient number of qualified healthcare professionals who are trained in psilocybin therapy and can provide high-quality patient care in this unique modality.

As such, on June 18th, 2020, doctors, therapists, clinical counselors, nurses, social workers and other healthcare professionals on the TheraPsil team began submitting their own section 56 exemptions to personally access psilocybin for professional training.  

 

Why do doctors need access to psilocybin for professional training?

TheraPsil has been diligently working on a training program that would train healthcare professionals in psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy is a unique modality and requires a specific set of skills.

Part of TheraPsil’s training program, in conjunction with lectures, case studies, readings, and discussions,  involves ‘experiential learning’, whereby trainees would take psilocybin mushrooms themselves, and practice facilitating psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy with each other.

It is our belief that by experiencing this ‘non-ordinary state of consciousness’ first hand, therapists who will administer and facilitate psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for their own patients are better able to empathize with their patients, hold space, know when to intervene (and more importantly when not to intervene) and better help their patients integrate their psilocybin experience learnings for lasting healing during post-integration sessions. 

In short, we believe experience is one of the best teachers, and that to provide the highest quality patient care, therapists trained in psilocybin therapy should have their own experience with this medicine. 

For more information about our proposed  training program please watch the following webinars:

TheraPsil’s Proposed Training Program – Webinar Part 1

TheraPsil’s Proposed Training Program – Webinar Part 2

 

How You Can Help

As we wait for a decision on the healthcare practitioner exemptions, we ask that if you believe in this methodology and training program you voice your opinion on this matter to your local MP and to Minister Patty Hajdu. 

Step 1) Find your local MP’s contact information 

You can do this by searching on the House of Commons website with your postal code.

Step 2) Email your Minister Patty Hajdu using one of the below templates as a guide

PLEASE NOTE:  The letter below is a template and we suggest that you make changes to it to accurately reflect your beliefs and personal experience. The Health Minister and Health Canada work for you and all other Canadians. Using your own voice is powerful and we encourage it! 

 

TEMPLATE 1 – If you are a healthcare professional

 

SUBJECT LINE: Advocating for Healthcare practitioner access to psilocybin

To: hcminister.ministresc@canada.ca 

CC: spencer@therapsil.ca 

CC: YOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT 

 

BODY EMAIL 

Hon. Patty Hajdu, P.C. 

Minister of Health MP for Thunder Bay – Superior North 

House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario KIA 0A6 

From: (Name)

(Address)

Dear Honourable Health Minister, 

My name is (Name) I am a (Clinical Occupation) and have been working in the field for (# years)

I am messaging you to advocate for clinician access to psilocybin for training and to support the health care professionals who have submitted section 56 applications to you. 

I thank you for granting terminally ill patients access to psilocybin. However, true compassionate medical access is not achieved until clinicians have access to psilocybin for training as well. Psilocybin therapy is a novel treatment with so much potential for Palliative Canadians. Unfortunately, clinicians like myself can not start helping these palliative Canadians until we have trained with psilocybin. This leaves 2 options: 1) Clinicians need to break the law to help patients or 2) Clinicians must treat patients with insufficient training, leading to decreased safety and efficacy. 

Please, Minister, only you can help these patients. I ask that you grant clinician section 56 exemptions without delay so they can be optimally prepared to treat patients. 

(If you have a palliative patient that you believe would benefit from psilocybin, please explain this to the minister in a few sentences, being mindful of patient confidentiality)

I sincerely hope that you will take this opportunity to enshrine the rights and dignity of terminally ill patients by facilitating access to psilocybin-containing mushrooms that can be used to provide the highest quality of training to Health Care Professionals. This is a time-sensitive matter and clinicians and patients can not wait much longer. 

Regards, 

(Name and Address)

 

TEMPLATE 2 – If you are NOT a healthcare professional

 

SUBJECT LINE: Advocating for Healthcare practitioner access to psilocybin

To: hcminister.ministresc@canada.ca 

CC: spencer@therapsil.ca 

CC: YOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT 

 

BODY EMAIL

Hon. Patty Hajdu, P.C. 

Minister of Health MP for Thunder Bay – Superior North 

House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario KIA 0A6 

From: (Name)

(Address)

 

Dear Honourable Health Minister, 

My name is (Name)

I am messaging you to advocate for clinician access to psilocybin for training and to support the health care professionals who have submitted section 56 applications to you. 

I thank you for granting terminally ill patients access to psilocybin. However, true compassionate medical access is not achieved until clinicians have access to psilocybin for training. Psilocybin therapy is a novel treatment with so much potential for Palliative Canadians. Unfortunately, clinicians can not start helping these palliative Canadians until we have trained with psilocybin. This leaves 2 options, Clinicians need to break the law to help patients or treat patients with insufficient training leading to decreased safety and efficacy. 

Please Minister, only you can help these patients. I ask that you grant clinician section 56 exemptions without delay so they can be optimally prepared to treat patients. 

(If you have any friends or loved ones who you think may benefit from psilocybin therapy, please include a few sentences about them here, being mindful of patient confidentiality (i.e do not share any identifying information.)

I sincerely hope that you will take this opportunity to enshrine the rights and dignity of terminally ill patients by facilitating access to psilocybin-containing mushrooms that can be used to provide the highest quality of training to Health Care Professionals. This is a time-sensitive matter and clinicians and patients can not wait much longer. 

Regards, 

(Name and Address)

 

 

Step 3) Tweet, or share your opinion on social media

If you feel strongly about the need for professionals to access psilocybin for training purposes, please share your opinion on social media and tag @pattyHajdu and/or your local MP. ( You can also tag us @therapsil)! 

You can share this video or your own words – whatever feels right for you!

Thank you so much for your support of patients and healthcare practitioners who urgently need access to psilocybin. By sharing your support of this with the Health Minister, you are making a concrete difference and step forward towards true compassionate access.

Warm regards,

The TheraPsil Coalition 

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