Psychedelics for Mental Health

Background

The Psychedelic Society, along with other organisations and individuals listed below, are calling on the UK government to reschedule psilocybin, a compound that has been called a ‘breakthrough’ treatment for mental health.

Recent trials using psilocybin to treat depression and anxiety have returned staggering results, with 80% of patients reporting improved wellbeing or life satisfaction for up to six months from just a single dose.

Psilocybin is currently a Schedule 1 substance. Schedule 1 substances are not authorised for medical use and can only be supplied, possessed or administered in exceptional circumstances under a special Home Office licence. This means psilocybin cannot be prescribed by doctors, and that conducting research with it is extremely time-consuming and expensive.

By rescheduling psilocybin from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 or below, research would become faster and cheaper, and doctors would be able to start prescribing the substance when they see fit.

Petition text

To the UK Ministers for Drug Policy and Mental Health,

4 million people suffer from depression & anxiety in the UK1. Research has shown the potential of psilocybin to treat these conditions2, 3, 4, 5, yet it is being hindered by the restrictive Schedule 1 status of the substance. Out of compassion for those suffering from depression & anxiety, we ask that you take immediate action to reschedule psilocybin.

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Supporting organisations

If your organisation supports this campaign, please let us know.

Featured signatories

Caroline Lucas MP

Green Party co-leader and MP for Brighton Pavilion

Our drug laws will only start to keep people safe when they start taking account of the evidence rather than being based on dogma and scaremongering. There’s already evidence that psilocybin can have benefits for sufferers of depression and rescheduling would allow more patients to potentially benefit from further research, as well as giving doctors the option to prescribe it. This is a small change that would make a big difference, including potentially helping to protect anyone tempted to self-medicate under the current regime.


David Nutt

Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology, Imperial College London

Research into the treatments we urgently need is being suffocated by anti-science laws - and the UK’s leadership in this field jeopardised with it. Unless the government acts quickly to reschedule psilocybin, we will soon be outpaced by other countries to whom mental health and scientific development is a priority. We need laws that support science, not stifle it.


Jon Hopkins

Producer and musician

It is time to move on from the irrational anti-science stance taken by our government and re-evaluate how we look at psilocybin. From personal experience I know that the feeling of oneness and awe that it reliably offers, plus the much-needed reminder that we are part of an infinitely wise and vast system, has a hugely positive effect on mental health. It allows us to see things anew and releases us from the prison of our own self-centred thoughts.


Jeremy Gilbert

Professor of Cultural and Political Theory, University of East London

Psilocybin was proscribed as part of the political backlash against the counterculture (and largely as an afterthought to prohibiting LSD), on the basis of literally no sound medical evidence of risk or harm; the clinical case for potential benefit is now overwhelming, while the case for risk or harm has yet to be made by any qualified party.


Dr Ben Sessa

MBBS (MD) MRCPsych

I am doctor working with patients who are struggling to recover with traditional approaches. Psychedelic therapies with psilocybin and other compounds (e.g. MDMA) are a safe and effective form of treatment that my patients deserve.


Darren Springer

Founder, Shroomshops

I am in support of and encourage the research looking into using psilocybin (the active psychedelic ingredient in magic mushrooms) as a means to support those who suffer from mental health challenges. I am in full support of the research that can potentially address these issues but also keen to see its use as a preventive measure too.


David Luke

Senior Lecturer in Psychology, University of Greenwich

The current drug laws are stifling to clinical and pure research and counterproductive to the positive mental health of the nation.


Steve Rolles

Senior Policy Analyst, Transform

The politics of the war on drugs continues to create barriers to medical research - not least through the mis-scheduling of psychedelics. Ill-considered scheduling decisions from a long distant era are now holding back the exploration of research with potentially far-reaching benefits for our health and well being. A relatively simple change in scheduling would be an important step in facilitating this work. It's time we stopped playing politics with people health and allowed doctors and scientists to do what they are best at.


Samantha Moyo

Founder, Morning Gloryville

Psychedelics have not worked as a solution to my personal mental health challenges however, I know a lot of people who have experienced positively transformed through the use of psychedelics. Each person must have the right to choose their healing modality of choice and no "government", represented by similar minded conservatives, should decide for the people!


Adam Wilder

Founder, Togetherness

This would be absolutely epic. Not just in terms of research in how to treat anxiety and depressions - it will start to have massive positive effect on culture, changing how we understand ourselves and relate to each other.


David Badcock

CEO, DrugScience

The inability to conduct medical research on psilocybin due to scheduling laws is denying thousands of individuals from accessing potential life changing treatments that would be far more effective than the current treatments that are available. This must change.


Ronan Harrington

Founder, Alter Ego

Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come. The convergence of our mental health crisis with the scientific consensus that psilocybin is a game changer for the treatment of depression is now too difficult to ignore or turn our backs on. We owe it to our friends and family members who are suffering to break from the irrational taboo surrounding psychedelics.


Amanda Feilding

Director, The Beckley Foundation

The number of antidepressants prescribed in England has more than doubled in the last decade, but the most common treatment, SSRIs, do not work for up to 50% of people. With no major breakthrough in drug development for three decades, it is vital that we facilitate research into better alternatives. Let us put health, and the reduction of suffering ahead of political expediency and rigid-thinking. Let’s reschedule psilocybin now.


Reasons for signing

I have a deep belief that the use of psychedelics in a responsible and guided fashion would aid us towards the paradigm shift that we clearly need in this world of disconnected individualism resulting in the staggering mental health epidemic we are faced with. The need to aid those suffering and to help unlock the compassion and connectedness within so many to help them heal.

Michelle N. about 1 month ago

Anxiety and depression are epidemic and existing medications only aim to treat the symptoms, without even acknowledging any root cause, and they don't even work well at doing that. We need research into new treatments and ways of supporting people to heal and grow.

Helen about 1 month ago

I am signing because, I have suffered with depression and anxiety all my adult life and have tried numerous anti-depressant which have not worked. I would like to approach my problems with an alternative, natural substance and although I haven't taken psilocybin, I have researched it, read and watched video reviews and believe it may be a way forward in helping people like myself to pick up the pieces and overcome a very sad life.

Sorcha J. about 1 month ago

It's time to drop the stigma that has greatly set back mental healthcare due to the prohibition of psychedelic research

Max S. about 1 month ago

I read the book 'how to change your mind' by Michael Pollan, subsequently tried mushrooms & had a good experience which validated everything I'd read.

Galina G. about 1 month ago

I'm signing because you do an awesome job. For many years I was depress hard, and time after time it became harder. After a unique use of magic mushroom I saw meaningfull life and I was full of joy, and now joy and real life takes place of despair, depression and bad emotions. After that, I took the decision of microdosage the psychedelics substances, That was the best decision of my life. No more pharmaceutical substances are needed, I'm happy, full of life and joy by myself, just cause the psychedelics reset my brain in a good way, like .. all damages in my brain disapeared more easier than they came. My body, my spirit, my life and simply, I, thanks this kind of substances for all the good things I can live. For now, I just take psychedelics sometimes, but it seems I don't anymore need them to be someone.
So, I say it again, a big thanks for your job, all the informations u give for everyone, to start the new book of your life, the real and epic one.
It could be a deliverance for so many peoples to reschedule psilocybin.
Big love on everyone.

Vincent F. about 1 month ago

Because I believe psychedelics can work better than the actual drugs. Psychedelics worked for me when I was depressed and very anxious.

Romain about 1 month ago

I am convinced of the benefits of tryptamine based psychedelic compounds, such as Psilocybin and LSD, as well as phenethylamines such as Mescaline and MDMA in the treatment of depression and PTSD. This is by virtue of their compatibility with neurotransmitters in the human brain. I feel we are losing out on tremendous potential for safer treatment in many psychological disorders, given the prevailing negative attitudes to these compounds. It’s time for a change

Brian P. about 1 month ago

Having seen a huge amount of public interest (and listening to a very influential podcaster who supports PTSD research) in using Psychedelic medicine (Psilocybin) the time has come to address the medicinally beneficial reactions to this substance.

Chris G. about 1 month ago

i beleve it

Douglas W. about 1 month ago