Pre-COVID 1 in 5 people in Australia were suffering from a mental illness. At least 1 in 8 adults, 1 in 4 older adults in 1 in 30 children are on anti-depressant medications currently, and often without disclosure of potential side effects. There has been no innovation in existing treatments for 5 decades. The lack of effective treatments has most certainly contributed to Australia’s devastating mental health statistics, which position Australia as second worst amongst all OECD nations, only ahead of Iceland. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic many more Australians are experiencing anxiety, trauma, addiction, depression, loneliness and social isolation, and suicide rates could significantly increase in the absence of innovation in treatments.
In the quest for new treatment options for mental illness and psychiatric disorders, attention is being paid to the potential role of psychedelic medicines as adjuncts to psychotherapy for a wide array of conditions, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and some addictions. Trials are also underway for dementia, strokes, cluster headaches, OCD and eating disorders. A proactive approach to broadening the treatment options available for people who have a mental illness is desperately needed.
This keynote session will discuss the mental health epidemic, the urgent need for innovation in treatments. We will examine the evidence for psychedelic-assisted therapy and investigate the potential applications of this novel therapy and the way forwards for Australia
- Understanding the causes and severity of our mental health epidemic
- The urgent need for expanding treatment options for medical practitioners and their patients
- Identify the psychedelic substances and how and why they work in the brain
- Acknowledgement of the role of psychotherapeutic input alongside the drug itself
- Illustrate the overview of evidence
- Ascertain the potential applications in depression, anxiety, trauma, addiction.
- Clarification of the profile of people most likely to benefit and assessment of those who might experience adverse effects
- Understand key issues that remain to be elucidated about the potential use of psychedelics in the clinical environment
- Future directions and next steps to advance the field in Australia
Presenter: Tania de Jong AM - Executive Director - Mind Medicine Australia
Tania works across the public, private, creative and community sectors and is passionate about mental health, innovation, diversity and inclusion. She was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in June 2008 and named one of the 100 Women of Influence and the 100 Australian Most Influential Entrepreneurs in 2018.
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10th June 2021
Presenter: Tania de Jong