Reducing the stigma attached to psychedelics

pharmaphorum podcast episode 101a

It’s no secret that 2023 has been a year for a shift in thinking when it comes to psychedelics, in particular as pertains to their use for hard-to-treat or treatment resistant mental health disorders. As the field develops, however, it will be crucial to train the next generation of specialised therapists who possess the skillset to deliver such treatments to patients safely.

In a new episode of the pharmaphorum podcast, web editor Nicole Raleigh speaks with Dr Sarah Bateup, therapy lead at Clerkenwell Health, a British start-up working to revolutionise the clinical research landscape by providing a holistic one-stop hub for drug development, trial design, and treatment delivery for complex mental health and neurological conditions – including psychedelic medicines and braincare technologies, importantly in combination with a therapist.

Having spent her whole career working in mental health, as a therapist Bateup became interested in technology and the possibilities it offers for effective therapy. It was while later working at COMPASS Pathways that she became excited by the possibilities of psilocybin for mental health, with the potential to provide a window of opportunity to make patients more amenable to treatment, and thereby them, lessening the socioeconomic and healthcare system burden.

The therapist a variable within a trial environment, training and assessment of therapists must be far more robust, Bateup says, especially when it comes to delivery of psychedelic-based treatment. A multifaceted role, combined with a global therapist shortage, it becomes clear that a new cost-effective workforce needs now to be developed, in practice.

The landscape yet in its very early stages, there is, however, growing interest in psychedelic-assisted therapy, with a view to establishing academic-clinical partnership and reducing the stigma attached to psychedelics.

You can listen to episode 101a of the pharmaphorum podcast in the player below, download the episode to your computer, or find it – and subscribe to the rest of the series in iTunes, Spotify, acast, Stitcher, and Podbean.