Tuesday, April 25, 2023


IPHA NEWS recently nominated Ms. Mary Nielsen to the PMCC (Post Military Crusaders Coalition) for establishing "Uphold our Troops"-  a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships for military veterans and their families so that they can become psilocybin facilitators.  In this interview, we share Ms. Nielsen's heartfelt drive to bring a remarkable form of support to the many cases of military trauma and as a supplemental initiative to suicide prevention.


* 67% No longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis after two months of treatment. “What makes this moment different from 20 years ago is the widespread recognition that we should leave no stone unturned in identifying new treatments for PTSD,”  -Dr. John Krystal, the chair of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine

* “We currently deal with PTSD as something that needs to be managed in an ongoing way, but this approach represents real hope for long-term healing,”  -Rachel Yehuda, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

4/25/2023: From an exclusive interview with MARY NIELSEN

WHAT IS PSYILOCYBIN? They're crudely called "magic mushrooms"-- they're psychedelic mushrooms classified as a schedule 1 drug in the 1970s by Richard Nixon with the Controlled Substances Act. There was been a lot of research prior to this legislation that was completely shut down. Universities and organizations that were studying this and conducting clinical trials could not have access to psilocybin. So an underground psilocybin network continued and some recent push with John Hopkins University Hospital initiated some clinical trials that show absolutely clear evidence of medicinal effect from three doses of psilocybin.  

This isn't an SSRI medication that you are going to have to be on the rest of your life, then you'll need other meds to counteract the side effects. It's one to three psilocybin journeys with a guide and then some talk therapy in between has psilocybin rewiring your brain.  It creates greater neuroplasticity, creates greater neuron activity, and allows you to look and have different creative problem solving a abilities.  Within three months, the patients are no longer showing signs of  having PTSD. They are off of their medications. They are able to function in the world without the anxiety and the deep depression-- and they're able to hold jobs. On their own, they are getting off of alcohol, narcotics and whatever other substances they were on. It's truly remarkable and things have moved into phase two clinical trials, and we are hoping that it is going to be declassified as a Schedule one drug by 2024.

UPHOLD OUR TROOPS is In the state of Oregon, where psilocybin has received a legal framework (as of January, 2023) this allows veterans who have struggled with anxiety, PTSD and substance use disorders to work with other veterans who are also struggling with those same issues to get some of the healing benefits of psilocybin.

Psilocybin has been proven in clinical trials to alleviate many symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, substance use (etc)- the very issues that our veterans are struggling with. The reason why I established this foundation is because I learned about these occupational issues in the military from the many reports of our soldiers' experiences during our 20-year military intervention with Afghanistan.  During those 20 years, a little over 7,000 military personnel died in combat or some type of military interaction. But in that same 20 year period of time, 30,000 veterans committed suicide-- that's four times more deaths by their own hands than getting killed in battle! 

It broke my heart to learn that our country, the VA, the medical system and the mental health system has not done much for our men and women who served their country.  To underserve those who have gone off to fight for the ideals that our country is based on.  How is it that we can't do anything better, that we just keep doing the same old thing and throwing the same old money at it? It's unconscionable.

 Psilocybin is a plant-based medicine and it has been around for centuries with a proven track record of its healing properties. It is not addictive. It's out of your system in 24 hours. As a chemical based psychedelic MDMA or LSD, which is made with chemicals versus a plant and something that's in nature creates more of a connection really with us as human beings in nature.  Culturally, some of the indigenous tribes were using it for ceremonial or religious purposes to create a bond between humans in nature

Right now, clinical use of Psilocybin is approved and available in the state of Oregon. It is in the works in Colorado, Washington DC, Hawaii, Washington State, Montana, Arizona, New Mexico and Pennsylvania. There's just been such a voice coming out from different research organizations and people's own anecdotal findings lately as far as evidence of what psilocybin and other psychedelics can do to address these disorders. 

In Oregon (as the first state in the country with a legal framework), people are concerned about the growing lot of misinformation-- that it is like a dispensary model with cannabis.  This is not its intent. A person who wishes to have psilocybin services doesn't need a mental health referral from a mental health professional. They can go to a service center where all psilocybin must be consumed on the spot and the person must stay on site for a certain period of time based on the dose of psilocybin that they receive. They spend their time with a facilitator (but prior meeting with a facilitator for a consultation is optional) and then there's a 24-hour waiting period. 

More and more members of the healing community find psychedelic entheogenic medicine to have the potential to heal and help so many and could shift the mental health crisis in our country. The slow cogs of government change need to engage a little more, but I think grassroots efforts in individual pockets of our country will make an impact- perhaps anywhere from five or ten years. Its incredible (to me) that the COVID vaccine could get FDA fast-tracked to save lives, yet psychedelics can't get fast-tracked for life saving mental health. 

Suicide Prevention Hotline; Text 988 or call 1-800-273-TALK

AUTHOR: Mary Nielsen is the entrepreneurial founder of Clinical Cognitive Facilitator Training. Mary is the Executive Director and founder of Spectrum Advanced Aesthetics Institute (www.spectrumlasertraining.com), the OG of Fearless Beauties (www.fearlessbeauties.org) and an author of several textbooks. She believes in the empowerment found in education and in supporting complementary methods for enacting the highest level of healing, including psychedelic facilitator training.  Mary serves on the Advisory Board for Private Career Schools in Oregon.

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