Facilitators will learn about the therapeutic use of psilocybin, ketamine and MDMA

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In the next phase of voter-approved psilocybin services opening up in Oregon, SoundMind, an organization that is “revolutionizing mental healthcare”, will soon be training psilocybin facilitators in Portland.

In the November 2020 election, Oregon voters approved Measure 109. This measure allowed the Oregon Health Authority to manufacture, deliver and administer psilocybin products to people over the age of 21. 

Starting on Tuesday, Jan. 2, OHA’s Psilocybin Services Section started accepting applications for licensure. And the SoundMind Institute is already preparing to train its second cohort of psilocybin facilitators.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to help guide the rollout of the first state-level infrastructure built to support these incredibly effective healing modalities,” Dr. Hannah McLane, who founded SoundMind in 2010, said in a release. “Now, it’s up to programs like ours to learn how to apply these practices in the Western Medical System.” 

The facilitators are trained to accompany patients through their “trip” after they use psilocybin products to treat anxiety, depression, trauma, etc. SoundMind hosted its first training cohort in Oregon in November 2022, after receiving licensure from the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission.

Prospective facilitators must undergo a 200-hour program that teaches them about the therapeutic use of psilocybin, ketamine and MDMA before becoming certified. SoundMind instructors, who work as scientists, physicians, traditional healers and more, teach the course over eight months.

The program is extensive, educating trainees on, “Everything from use in indigenous communities all the way to the ethical debates we’re having now,” Hector Soriano, an herbalist who attended a previous training, said. “It [has] helped me build the personal tools I need to really know myself better, and in turn help my community.” 

SoundMind currently has training locations in Oregon, Philadelphia and Jamaica. But with other places like Colorado passing their own psilocybin laws, their teaching practices could extend far past these hubs.

“Every day I find myself in awe of the healing I’m able to witness through psychedelic medicines,” McLane said. “There is a brighter future for healthcare when the first facilitators begin working in Oregon this year.” 

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