Doing More Harm than Good – Why current medicines are not working for the majority of patients · Mind Medicine Australia
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Doing More Harm than Good – Why current medicines are not working for the majority of patients

With Robert Whitaker (USA)

Date: Wed 14 October 2020 @ 7:30pm
Location: Webinar (online)

Join this free, 60-minute online webinar to gain access to insights and learn about ground breaking treatments to chronic mental health conditions.

Clinical trials assess the efficacy of psychiatric drugs over the short term. But what about their long-term effects? A comprehensive review of the scientific literature reveals that that psychiatric drugs, on the whole, increase the likelihood that a person will remain symptomatic and functionally impaired.

In this webinar Robert Whitaker (USA) will explain why current pharmacotherapy treatments for chronic mental illness fail over the longterm and the need for innovation to introduce new treatments to combat mental illness.

Learning points

  • How can the long-term effects of psychiatric drugs be assessed? What is the evidence that can be reviewed?
  • A historical review of research on antipsychotics and antidepressants reveals that as early as the 1970s, researchers had begun to worry that these drugs might increase the “chronicity” of psychotic disorders and depression.
  • Why would psychiatric drugs have this negative long-term effect? Researchers have hypothesized that it is because the drugs, over the long-term, induce abnormalities in brain function that is the “opposite” of what the drugs do over the short-term.

Following the presentation there will be a Q & A panel with Tania de Jong AMRobert Whitaker (USA) and Peter Hunt AM. This will be an opportunity to engage in a discussion about psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies for mental illness broadly, and what Mind Medicine Australia and other local organisations are doing here in Australia.

About medicinal psychedelic treatments

Psychedelic-assisted treatments offer enormous potential in providing a meaningful alternative to current treatments for mental illness. PTSD is a debilitating condition that affects tens of millions of people worldwide, with many more trauma victims diagnosed with comorbid conditions such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders. In recent clinical trials, MDMA has been shown to produce reliable clinical improvements, restoring patient safety and self-agency even for individuals who have suffered with PTSD for many years, and for whom many treatments have failed.

The wave of clinical psychedelic research and regulatory support is rapidly building, with experts forecasting the availability of psychedelic-assisted treatments in the US and EU within the next 2 to 5 years, subject to positive clinical outcomes in large trials that are currently underway.

The Presenters

Robert Whitaker (USA)

Robert Whitaker is a journalist who has specialized in covering medicine and science. His articles on psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry have won a George Polk Award for Medical Writing, and a National Association of Science Writers’ Award for best magazine article. In 1998, he co-wrote a series on abuses in psychiatric research that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service. He is the author of four books. His most recent one is Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America.

Tania de Jong AM

LL.B (Hons), GradDipMus

Co-founder Mind Medicine Australia, Founder Creative Universe, Creativity Australia, The Song Room & Creative Innovation Global

Tania de Jong AM is a trail-blazing Australian soprano, award-winning social entrepreneur, creative innovation catalyst, spiritual journey woman, storyteller and global speaker. Tania is one of Australia’s most successful female entrepreneurs and innovators developing 5 businesses and 3 charities including Creative Universe, Creativity Australia and With One Voice, Creative Innovation Global, Mind Medicine Australia, Dimension5, MTA Entertainment & Events, Pot-Pourri and The Song Room.

She works across the public, private, creative and community sectors and is passionate about mental health, innovation, diversity and inclusion.  Tania speaks and sings around the world as a soloist and with her group Pot-Pourri releasing twelve albums. She is Founder and Executive Producer of future-shaping events series, Creative Innovation Global.

She was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in June 2008 and named one of the 100 Women of Influence and the 100 Australian Most Influential Entrepreneurs in 2018. Tania’s TED Talk ‘How Singing Together Changes The Brain’ has sparked international interest. Tania’s mission is to change the world, one voice at a time!

Peter Hunt AM

B.Com, LL.B

Founder & Chair of Mind Medicine Australia

As an investment banker Peter Hunt AM advised local and multi-national companies and governments in Australia for nearly 35 years.  He co-founded and was Executive Chairman of one of Australia’s leading investment banking advisory firms, Caliburn Partnership (now called Greenhill Australia) and continued as Chairman of the Firm after its sale to Greenhill Inc in 2009. Peter was a member of the Advisory Panel of ASIC and chaired the Vincent Fairfax Family Office.

Peter is an active philanthropist involved in funding, developing and scaling social sector organisations which seek to create a better and fairer world.  He is Chairman of Mind Medicine Australia which he established with his wife, Tania de Jong, in 2018. He founded Women’s Community Shelter in 2011 and remains on the Board. He is Chairman of So They Can, Grameen Australia and Grameen Australia Philippines. Peter is a Director of Project Rozana and an Advisory Board member of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute. Peter also acts as a pro bono adviser to Creativity Australia. 

Peter was made a member of the General Division of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2010 for services to the philanthropic sector.

Disclaimer: Mind Medicine Australia does not encourage or facilitate illegal use of psychedelics or plant medicines. MMA focus is focused on clinical and legal use only supported by the emerging science and legislative processes. Mind Medicine Australia reserves the right to record and publish webinars on various social media platforms. You agree that you will not discuss any names, locations or specific details of illegal use of psychedelics both verbally or via any written forms of communication via Mind Medicine Australia social media platforms (for example Facebook, Instagram or Zoom private and public chat forms during a webinar). Breaches of these guidelines may result in not being able to participate in the event. We thank you for support and cooperation on these matters.

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