Australia Uncovered: Psychedelics: Stepping Into The Unknown

SBS doco looks at a world first trial in Australia into treating anxiety.

Anxiety is the most common group of mental disorders experienced by Australians aged 16 to 85, according to the latest ABS figures.

Could psychedelic assisted therapy hold the answer to our mental illness epidemic? This is the question explored in Psychedelics: Stepping into the Unknown – the thrilling final instalment in the third season of Australia Uncovered.

Producers Darren Dale and Jacob Hickey, said: “We know that millions of us will suffer from anxiety and other mental health illnesses at some point in our lives. The possibility that psychedelic assisted therapy could potentially offer hope is a fascinating prospect and one that we wanted to interrogate and explore. Gaining access to a world first trial has been extraordinary and it’s been a privilege to document its progress and the lives of those involved.”

As the head of Australia’s first clinical psychedelic laboratory, Dr Paul Liknaitzky is fast emerging as a leader in this ground-breaking area of research. In a world first, Dr Liknaitzky and his team at Monash University trial the use of psilocybin (the active ingredient found in ‘magic mushrooms’) in psychedelic assisted therapy to treat Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). For two years,

Psychedelics: Stepping into the Unknown is granted exclusive access to what unfolds.

We meet the participants before their treatment begins and witness their daily struggles living with anxiety. We follow them through treatment, including extraordinary psychedelic dosing sessions, and intense and intimate therapy. Their experiences are raw, courageous, and life changing.

After two eventful years, the trial concludes, and the brave participants reflect on the impact it has had on their lives. For Dr Liknaitzky, the Monash team and the many Australians seeking relief from their mental health struggles, the future of psychedelic therapy is only just beginning.

8:40pm Thursday February 29 on SBS.

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