Australia’s first psychedelic clinical trial commences recruitment

The St Vincent’s Melbourne trial will see 40 patients receive psilocybin (the psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms) alongside a short program of psychotherapy and clinical support. The trial is for terminally ill patients who are experiencing depression or anxiety. This treatment has been shown to dramatically reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in cancer patients, and in many cases produces a substantial positive shift in patients’ perspectives on life, and death.

The past 15 years has seen a resurgence in psychedelic medicine research. Due to the remarkable promise demonstrated by psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies in treating severe and intractable mental illness, the Food and Drug Administration in the US have recently conferred three Breakthrough Therapy designations to expedite drug development.

Lead therapist and Chief Principal Investigator of the trial, Dr Margaret Ross, said “We see a lot of fear and despair in our terminally ill patients, so to be able to offer a novel trial treatment that has already shown such promise is excellent. It’s really a privilege to be able to conduct this research. This is one of the most exciting developments in psychiatric research in decades.”

The trial has now commenced recruitment. If you are interested in being a trial participant, please email

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