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Post: Next-generation psychedelic workers

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Next-generation psychedelic workers
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Next-generation psychedelic workers

By ERIN SCHUMAKER , DANIEL PAYNE , CARMEN PAUN and RUTH READER

05/01/2024 02:00 PM EDT

Presented by WORKFORCE

Social workers are prepping for the psychedelic revolution.

The Food and Drug Administration has set a target date of Aug. 11 for a decision on the first drug application for talk therapy combined with MDMA, commonly called ecstasy, as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Should the FDA approve Lykos Therapeutics’ application, universities that train social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists want to be ready.

The Columbia University School of Social Work is rolling out a 25-person psychedelic-assisted training program this fall, which includes 120 hours of classroom coursework and 600 hours of clinical experience in a ketamine clinic.Unlike independent training programs, which can run thousands of dollars per course, Columbia isn’t charging its masters’ students extra, said Heidi Allen, the school’s associate dean for research. Why it matters: There’s already a lack of mental health providers, with half of the U.S. population living in areas that have a shortage , according to a report by the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis.“Without addressing the fundamental drivers of access to care, innovative new treatments simply widen existing disparities,” Allen told Erin. Wide angle: Last month, the nonprofit mental health advocacy group BrainFutures hosted a roundtable in New York that brought together representatives from disciplines like nursing, psychiatry and psychology from 10 universities, including Columbia, to share the models and curricula they’re developing for psychedelic-assisted therapy and to learn from one another. […]

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