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We are delighted that Monash University has announced the establishment of the Neuromedicines Discovery Centre (NDC) to focus on psychedelic-assisted therapies for the treatment of mental illness. This initiative was developed from a proposal put to Monash University by Mind Medicine Australia and our advocacy work with key stakeholders.
The NDC will be led by Professor Arthur Christopoulos and bring together the combined expertise and resources of World leading researchers from Monash and collaborators from the University of Melbourne, Phoenix Institute and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. Unlike other centres overseas working on the development of psychedelic-assisted therapies to treat key classes of mental illness, the NDC will span the entire medicines development pipeline, from drug discovery and optimisation, to clinical trials, new healthcare guidelines and into the public policy area.
As a registered charity, Mind Medicine Australia is focused on developing the ecosystem for the use of psychedelic-assisted therapies in Australia as a treatment option for key classes of mental illness. Our aim is for these therapies to become a normal part of our mental health system so that many more Australians suffering from key classes of mental illness can get well. We aim for these therapies to be affordable to all Australians that need access to them.
To develop the ecosystem for these therapies we have focused from the start on 4 core strategies: (1) Education and building awareness (including a major online Global Summit that’s happening next week); (2) Training practitioners; (3) Developing clinical and regulatory pathways in Australia for the use of these therapies; and (4) Advocating for the establishment of a Centre of Excellence within the University sector to deepen our understanding of the science and clinical application and extend the boundaries of knowledge.
Mr Peter Hunt AM the Chair of Mind Medicine Australia, said that:
“The establishment of the Neuromedicines Discovery Centre follows a proposal put to Monash by Mind Medicine Australia and nearly two year of preparatory work. We are delighted to see the university sector in Australia recognise the paradigm-shifting nature of these therapies and their potential to dramatically reduce the incidence of key classes of mental illness in our society. This Centre can help Australia become a global leader in this field.”
The Executive Director of Mind Medicine Australia, Ms Tania de Jong AM, said that:
“Australia’s mental health statistics are terrible and getting worse. Monash’s Neuromedicines Discovery Centre is a critical part of our strategy to encourage the widespread availability of these ground-breaking therapies so that many more Australians suffering from debilitating mental illnesses are offered the chance to get well. Overseas trials have demonstrated the safety and high remission rates from these treatments. We hope that many other Australian universities will follow the initiative of Monash and develop their own capabilities in this area. Together we can dramatically lower the incidence of mental illness in this county and reduce the immense suffering and suicide in this nation. This is the new frontier for the treatment of mental illness, and we congratulate Monash on their initiative.”