Field Trip Health Ltd. (CSE: FTRP, OTCBB: FTRPF) is supporting the application for the military
veteran who suffers from PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks and treatment resistant depression.
TORONTO, January 20, 2021 - Master Corporal Scott Atkinson, a 25-year Canadian military
veteran, today made an application to Health Canada for an exemption under Section 56 of
The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to access psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy to treat
his depression and other mental health conditions resultant from his long and distinguished
military career, including active tours in the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.
If approved, the application, which is being supported by Field Trip Health Ltd., a Canadian based
global leader in the development and delivery of psychedelic therapies, would be the
first s. 56 exemption granted to a Canadian military veteran, and the first to be granted to any
Canadian without a terminal illness (or survivor of a terminal illness) and who is not in palliative
care. Also, if approved, the application will open the door for Canadians and other military
veterans to pursue access psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy.
Psilocybin is the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. It, along with other psychedelic
molecules when paired with therapy, have the potential to transform lives by treating mental
health challenges such as depression, anxiety and PTSD, leading to improved well-being1,
optimism2 and increased neural plasticity3 according to multiple evidence-based studies from
world-class academic institutions across the world.
In a letter addressed to Canada’s Minister of Health, Hon. Patty Hajdu, Atkinson explained how
the intense experiences defining his years of service have left him emotionally scarred. He has
since been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Treatment Resistant Depression,
Treatment Resistant Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia, and
Chronic Pain Syndrome, and has exhausted most conventional treatments, which have failed
to treat his conditions.
In 2019, Atkinson started using psilocybin mushrooms to treat his mental health issues. The effect
was profound, dramatically diminishing the depression, panic attacks and anxiety, and
enabling Atkinson to participate in “normal” daily activities again and maintain healthy
relationships with his loved ones. However, because psilocybin remains a controlled substance
in Canada, his continued self-medication with psilocybin creates potential legal risks to
Atkinson. Thus, Atkinson has submitted the application for a s. 56 Exemption so he can continue
on his path to healing legally and with medical and professional support.
If the s. 56 Exemption is granted, Atkinson will undergo the therapy under the supervision of Dr.
Michael Verbora, Medical Director of Field Trip, in Field Trip’s Toronto location. Dr. Verbora has
also written to the Minister of Health, requesting the exemption for Master Corporal Atkinson.
Ronan Levy, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Field Trip and a lawyer in Ontario: “The
Minister of Health has demonstrated incredible courage and leadership in granting s. 56
Exemptions to a handful of Canadians suffering from end-of-life distress. Based on the
extensive and growing body of evidence demonstrating the safety and profound efficacy of
psychedelic-assisted therapies, these are treatments that should not be limited to those who
are nearing the end of their lives. Of anyone, with his valor and distinguished career, Master
Corporal Atkinson is certainly amongst the most deserving to be given this exemption. But we
believe all Canadians suffering with mental health conditions should have the right to access
these therapies without fear of recrimination. Master Corporal Atkinson’s submission moves us
closer to this reality and we are very pleased to be supporting him both in his path to healing
and in his application.
Scott Atkinson, Master Corporal: “Living with the pain and symptoms of these mental illnesses
has been excruciating and has impacted every aspect of my life. Through psilocybin, I have
become the best version of myself. As I progress on my healing journey, I am hopeful that Health
Canada can help me access psilocybin under the care of a medical team. I’m not alone in my
struggles and believe there are many other Canadians who have been through traumatic
experiences and faced difficulties which will emotionally scar them for life. It is for them and
the quality of lives they lead that I hope access to effective treatment can be granted for us all.”
About Field Trip Health Ltd.
Field Trip is the global leader in the development and delivery of psychedelic therapies. With
our Field Trip Discovery division leading the development of the next generation of psychedelic
molecules and conducting advanced research on plant-based psychedelics including
psilocybin-producing fungi and our Field Trip Health division building centers for psychedelic
therapies opening across North America and Europe along with the digital and technological
tools that will enable massive scale we help people, from those in treatment to those seeking
accelerated personal growth, with a simple, evidence-based way to heal and heighten
engagement with the world.
Learn more at https://www.fieldtriphealth.com and https://www.meetfieldtrip.com.
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For further information, contact Ronan Levy, Executive Chairman and a Director at Field Trip,
at 1 (833) 833-1967.