As some of you may have heard at #SSDP2019, Students for Sensible Drug Policy is embarking on a new project to connect our members and alumni interested in a career in psychedelic-assisted therapy and research to quality mentorship, training, and career development opportunities. The Psychedelic Pipeline will serve as a unique pathway for SSDPers to connect to professionals in the field with similar values, gain access to unique learning and training opportunities, and ultimately become leaders in the field of psychedelics.
SSDP recently received a grant from Threshold Foundation which partially funds the project, meaning we can finally get started on making this much-needed resource a reality for all of you! We are grateful to Threshold for valuing our work and recognizing the timeliness of this project.
Due to the illegal status of psychedelics, the public lacks knowledge about how to use these promising substances safely or therapeutically. Until SSDP and our allies end prohibition and lead large-scale public health campaigns, reducing the risk and maximizing the benefit of psychedelic drug use necessitates a peer-based, underground delivery model to both inform and support people who choose to use psychedelics. While programs such as our proprietary Just Say Know peer drug education program can deliver information, integration support services are already lacking and most experts predict the demand for therapists will far outpace supply when drugs such as MDMA and psilocybin become legal for therapeutic purposes.
Although SSDP has provided connection to our members to develop carreers in drug policy, the cannabis industry, harm reduction, and related fields, there is currently no formal pipeline to recruit psychedelic therapists, integration coaches, and support personnel; those who are interested in pursuing such a career have few options to receive training and mentorship. A broad network of practitioners will soon be required to meet the anticipated demand for psychedelic-assisted therapy. We’re especially concerned that there won’t be enough therapists of color who can work to heal the trauma of racism that people of color face on a daily basis, much of which is interconnected with the War on Drugs.
SSDP Psychedelic Pipeline Overview
Students for Sensible Drug Policy is partnering with key stakeholders to develop the Psychedelic Pipeline. The pipeline will provide resources for members interested in all aspects of the field, to include professional skillsets beyond therapy and research that are necessary for the field to develop and thrive. If fully funded, this pipeline will provide pre-training resources, connection to mentors, and scholarship funds for SSDP members and will feature outsized investment in recruiting people of color.
The Director of Drug Education, other SSDP staff, and key stakeholders will promote the program to our members, and develop a list of SSDP members interested in participating in the pipeline program. A sign-up form has been created and will be shared by SSDP staff to our network. The Director of Drug Education and other SSDP staff will maintain the list, and provide outreach to those members on the list for purposes of development and maintenance of the program.
The Director of Drug Education and other SSDP staff will collaborate with key stakeholders to develop a mentorship list of professionals currently working in psychedelic-assisted therapy and research as the initial phase of the pipeline. The list will serve as a resource for SSDP members and alumni to access quality mentorship in their chosen field and will be managed by SSDP.
If you know of someone who has experience in psychedelic therapy, research, policy, or skills related to this developing field, and would be a good mentor for our program, please email the Director of Drug Education, Vilmarie Fraguada Narloch, PsyD at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestion, including a CV, information about their experience in the field, and contact info.
If fully funded, the pipeline will also include a scholarship program that will provide opportunities for SSDP members and alumni to obtain funding that can be used to assist with costs of training, attending conferences, and other related career development expenses our members may face as they complete their training to become psychedelic-assisted therapists and researchers. This scholarship component of the pipeline will focus primarily on providing access to people of color, people from marginalized communities, and people directly impacted or harmed by the War on Drugs.
The final phase and long-term goal of the pipeline will be to work with existing clinics, research teams, and training programs to develop a formal training consortium that will create robust and comprehensive training opportunities for our members and alumni to meet training requirements such as clinical hours for the completion of a degree or other related training and academic program.
If you are an SSDP member and interested in getting involved in the Psychedelic Pipeline, please complete this form so we can begin to determine the needs of SSDPers as we develop the project. If you have any questions, please reach out to the Director of Drug Education, Vilmarie Fraguada Narloch, PsyD at email@example.com.