Leading academic researchers, veterans struggling with recovery from PTSD, patients dealing with a terminal diagnosis, and adults seeking additional treatment options for mental health challenges are advocating for regulated access to these breakthrough therapies. Learn more about their stories below:

I suffered from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and gained profound healing from psilocybin mushrooms. I have also been a caregiver for two loved ones with severe major depressive disorder (depression), including my best friend who died by suicide. The evidence indicates that if psilocybin were legally available years ago, my friend would still be alive today. I support legalizing natural psychedelic therapies on behalf of long-suffering mental illness patients, like myself and surviving friends and family, who deserve legal, reliable access to life-saving treatments now.

Graham Moore
Cambridge native, MMHO Educational Outreach Director

After the violent loss of my younger brother and the completion of my military service I found myself lost and spiraling. I had exhausted all of the mental health resources I knew of within the VA and privately when I ended up finding natural psychedelics as a last resort. With the support of a non-profit, the Hope Project, I was able to attend a retreat in Jamaica where I experienced psilocybin for the first time under the supervision of a seasoned team of facilitators. The entire process helped me weave the disparate and difficult pieces of my life together in a way that I couldn’t access in traditional talk therapy and the profound effects of that retreat stay with me to this day. I’m incredibly grateful for the support I received and wish I could grant the many other people I know struggling with their own battles the same opportunity I was afforded.

Emily Oneschuk
US Navy Veteran, Wakefield native, MMHO Grassroots Campaign Director

After returning home from deployment as a KC-130J pilot in the Marine Corps in 2017, I began suffering from debilitating nerve pain without a known cause. By 2019, the pain had overtaken my body as well as my mind. I spent tens of thousands of dollars for treatments not covered by insurance, and countless hours of researching any therapy that could give me a glimmer of hope to heal and enjoy life with my wife and 2 toddlers. When I thought I had exhausted all options and thinking I had nothing left in the tank, a fellow Veteran mentioned psychedelic-assisted therapy. It was through the combination of commitment, plant-based medicine (through a local clinical trial), and therapy that I have been able to heal and finally ‘return home’. I am fully invested in all aspects (to include financially) in ensuring other Veterans and non-Veterans have access to and the opportunity to heal from within.

Ari W. Polivy
USMC Veteran, Massachusetts resident

We have an opportunity just over the horizon to have Massachusetts be one of the first three states in the nation to offer adults access to psychedelic compounds and centers with facilitated care for wellness, development, and healing. Another way of viewing this is that Massachusetts voters will have the chance to directly confront prohibitionist rules and policy enshrined into law at the federal level which strips adults of their constitutionally protected rights to decide what they put into their bodies. It is an opportunity to tell industry interests that we control the landscape that we live within in Massachusetts.

A vote to pass this ballot initiative will save lives as people access these compounds in self-care healing centers under the guidance of certified facilitators. Even if you would never consider entering such a place, helping others who do want to would be a noble act of the highest level. You can be assured that your vote will help people struggling with treatment resistant depression, PTSD, anxiety, and existential dread of death & dying. I know we are all connected to people who need more options because they have reached the end of their rope. Let’s be honest that options do exist, they are helpful, and should be made available to the residents of Massachusetts just like they have been in the state of Oregon, Colorado, and other countries. This initiative will save, enhance, and transform lives. Let’s work together to make this happen in November 2024!

Lt. Sarko Gergerian, MS, MHC, CARC

At the end of the pandemic, I began my clinical career working at McLean Hospital serving adults in an inpatient unit. Despite the incredible standard of care at McLean, I witnessed problems that extended beyond the scope of support that the hospital was able to provide. I saw patients taking multiple psychiatric medications, receiving both group and individual therapy, and finding the tools to be medically and emotionally stable. For some, this treatment process was effective. For others, this process provided brief stabilization but did not address the underlying issues that prompted their suffering. Many patients were readmitted to the hospital, often repeatedly. It became clear to me that a paradigm shift is needed. Now, the emergence of natural psychedelic medicine gives me hope for the future of behavioral healthcare in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Elizabeth Owen
Massachusetts resident

For 25 years I felt like a robot on anti-depressants and had no sense of enjoyment in life. After using psilocybin once I could feel the armor peeling off me and let me live. I could finally connect with others, the world, and myself. It was such a life changing experience and I would recommend it anyone who is interested. It helped me heal where our current medicines and treatments couldn’t

Candance Alexander
Boston MA professional

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