An Open Letter to Health Minister Patty Hajdu from TheraPsil’s Clinical Intake Director

 

Dear Honourable Minister Patty Hajdu,

My name is Natasha, I am a Registered Nurse and the Clinical Intake Director at TheraPsil.

I feel a deep gratitude to live in Canada, and to have a Minister of Health that understands Canadian’s should have a right to utilize psilocybin-containing mushrooms in search of emotional healing when all other treatments have failed them. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for granting 28 section 56 exemptions for the patients TheraPsil has advocated for so far. 

I’d like to remind you that you really are changing the lives of so many people.

I am blessed to be directly connected with the patients you have provided exemptions for on a regular basis. I hear their stories, their pain, their struggle. But I also hear of the newfound hope and healing they are finding within this structured and safe psilocybin psychotherapy framework.

The approval of these section 56 exemptions is not only improving the lives of 28 patients – there is a domino effect of light that reflects from all the lives intertwined with each one of these patients. 

Humanity as a whole is more interconnected than we normally tend to comprehend. I believe this movement towards emotional healing for these 28 patients, in turn, has spread waves of healing to so many others. 

Thank you Madame Minister, for allowing this healing.

Unfortunately, it is devastating that it has become a normal part of my reality, that some individuals I connect with, die before we are able to get them legal access to this treatment.

Along with the 28 Canadians you have granted exemptions for so far, 7 more are currently waiting for a response to their request for legal access. One of which has been waiting over 90 days and another over 70.

Some of these individuals awaiting a response are facing the reality that their lives may be cut short due to illness. Their life is in limbo. Daily they must cope with the extreme stresses of waiting for test results, physical challenges, medical procedures, managing medications, and planning for what will happen when they are no longer around or disease recurrence, as well as all the compounding emotional distress that comes along with this reality.

On top of all that vulnerability and stress, these patients are now left hanging in another limbo: they are spending months not knowing if they will receive legal permission to utilize psilocybin to treat their distress.

I have witnessed the increase in anxiety and distress this is inducing, and have reached out to many patients to counsel them through this uncertainty. 

On top of the 7 patients currently awaiting a response from you, I am working directly with a long list of additional Canadians in need, who are hopeful to soon submit an application and gain access to the legal treatment their fellow Canadians received. 

Part of my role at TheraPsil is to ensure each patient we advocate for is connected with qualified and trained health practitioners, who can provide safe treatment. 

But there is a limited pool of these practitioners to refer to.

TheraPsil is in a unique position in which we now have high-quality psilocybin training for health practitioners available. In order for practitioners to complete the curriculum, and then be available for me to connect these patients to, they must complete experiential training. This is not just to understand the experience themselves, but also a safe container to practice their sitting skills with a supervisor present. 

I am currently in the first legal psilocybin assisted therapy training cohort in Canada and I thank you for granting me a section 56 exemption for psilocybin use for training.

But my colleagues, who I am relying on to finish their training, in order to support the many current and future patients, need to complete the experimental portion of this training as well.

Please grant them the same rights you granted to me,  to have legal permission to possess and consume psilocybin for their learning. 

Health Minister Patty Hajdu, thank you for your compassion. 

Again, please continue to grant Canadians in medical need section 56 exemptions, and please grant my colleagues their section 56 exemptions for training, as you granted mine.

Warm regards,

Natasha Fearnley, RN

Clinical Intake Director, TheraPsil 

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