Who benefits from a regulated therapeutic framework: Veterans

We owe our Veterans an immeasurable debt for their service and sacrifices in defense of our Constitution, freedom, and way of life. The task of honoring and repaying this debt is an unending pursuit and one that we as a society ought to strive to do more for our heroes.

Unfortunately, and way too often, the options for Veterans treating the invisible scares of war are limited or just simply out of reach for som. H. 4255 (a/a/ Initiative Petition 23-13) seeks to provide Veterans with another option to those who have tried other therapies and pharmaceuticals and have yet to find peace and healing.

We are facing a dire emergency that demands for us to meet the moment

  • For Veterans, the prevalence of PTSD is two to four times higher than the public at large.
  • On an average day in America, 17 Veterans die by suicide.
  • In 2020, Oregon voters approved the first regulated therapeutic framework for natural
  • psychedelic substances.
  • Since the first service center opened in July 2023, more than 1,000 individuals, including Veterans have received treatment.
  • In Massachusetts, Massachusetts for Mental Health Options is seeking to implement a similar program through the ballot initiative process (H. 4255).
  • As part of Governor Healey’s HERO Act (H. 4172), the Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Services of Massachusetts would convene a working group to study alternative therapies (including natural psychedelics) for mental health treatments for Veterans suffering from mental health disorders.
  • H. 4255 would establish a regulated therapeutic framework that would allow for Veterans, 21 years or older, to access psilocybin (along with psilocyn, dimethyltryptamine, ibogaine, and mescaline) therapies at licensed Psychedelic Therapy Centers from licensed Facilitators of natural psychedelic therapies.

On January 23, the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs held a multi-hour hearing on H. 4172, where the Governor, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, members of the General Court, and members of the public testified in front of the 16-member Committee, chaired by Senator John Velis and Representative Gerard Cassidy.

Supports of both the greater HERO Act and, in particular, Section 112 of the bill, had the following to say:

I experienced psilocybin for the first time under the supervision of a seasoned team of facilitators with a cohort of 14 other women. 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 effects of that retreat stay with me to this day. I’m incredibly grateful for the support I received from the Hope Project and wish I could grant the many other people I know struggling with their own battles this opportunity. I’ve seen this work for myself, for my peers and for countless others who ran out of options and I’m hoping to make it accessible to the people who need it most.

Emily Oneschuk, Local USN Veteran and Grassroots Director for Massachusetts for Mental Health Options

We claim to value evidence support for practices, yet we have barriers in place at the federal and state level that have for too long prevented the creation of a scientific evidence base around psychedelic medicines. This bill offers a good step in correcting the errors of the past. A move that will add to the scientific base related to these therapies.

Sarko Gergerian, Local Law Enforcement Professional and Psychotherapist

This public-private group would provide our state and medical leaders with the education and confidence in taking the next steps in implementing these life-changing and life-saving therapies. Too many soldiers’ lives have been lost. Too many children are left to walk in that dark shadow. The emotional, social, and financial cost of PTSD in the veteran community is already too high.

Rebecca Slater, Local Veteran Supporter Leader and Non-Profit Ambassador

Get the Latest Campaign Updates