Rea, Kerri

Project title: A framework for equity-oriented psychedelic-assisted therapies

Department: Social Work

Faculty supervisor: Dr. Bruce Wallace

"Psychedelic-assisted therapies are experiencing a re-emergence in mainstream medicine and mental health contexts. A wide variety of psychedelic-assisted therapy modalities are being utilized to address mental health issues such as end of life anxiety, treatment-resistant depression, substance misuse disorders, suicidality, PTSD and more. The novel and inchoate acceptance of psychedelic-assisted therapies into mainstream medical and therapeutic realms raises questions of equity. Concerns have been raised that individuals and communities facing structural inequities are perhaps least able to access these treatments including Indigenous and racialized people and people who use drugs. Psychedelic-assisted therapies may exemplify the inverse law of care whereby services are most inaccessible to communities with the most need. This research will examine how a health equity approach may be implemented in the development and provision of novel psychedelic-assisted therapies. A review of psychedelic-assisted therapy practices and developments will be conducted by examining grey and peer reviewed literature within the psychedelic-assisted therapy field. A health equity lens will guide the analysis. A framework for equity-oriented psychedelic-assisted therapies will be developed incorporating the dimensions of: Trauma- and violence-informed care; culturally-safe care; and harm reduction which are interconnected, responsive to inequities, and tailored to unique contexts."