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Unlocking the Mysteries of the Mind: Center for Psilocybin Research and Treatment

Depression is the most prevalent mental health disorder and is a leading cause of disability worldwide. This condition affects millions of people, impacting their relationships, careers, and overall quality of life.

Unfortunately, traditional treatments for depression— medication and talk therapy—fail to improve symptoms for up to one-third of the people who seek care. The need to develop more effective treatments is one of Sheppard Pratt’s highest priorities. 

To expedite our work in alleviating the painful and often life-shattering effects of this illness, Sheppard Pratt is establishing a Center for Psilocybin Research and Treatment with support from COMPASS Pathways. COMPASS, a mental health care company headquartered in the United Kingdom, is dedicated to accelerating patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health.

“There is a tremendous unmet need to provide access to high-quality mental health care,” says Harsh K. Trivedi, MD, MBA, President and CEO of Sheppard Pratt. “Establishing this one-of-a-kind center allows us to transform the delivery of care, bringing innovative solutions to patients as quickly as possible.”

Sheppard Pratt is among the first sites in the United States to conduct clinical studies in the use of psychedelic therapies to treat mood disorders. The state-of-the-art Center on our Towson campus will broaden our research capabilities in the use of psychedelics to treat depression, anxiety, addiction, and other disorders. It will also serve as a training site for clinicians in the use of these new therapies, helping to expand access to treatments on a global scale.

The Center will be led by Scott Aaronson, MD, Chief Science Officer, Institute for Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics.

“Working with COMPASS, we will be able to identify the best use of this novel intervention—an exciting proposition,” Dr. Aaronson says. “Our goal is to expand our knowledge of the use of psychedelic therapies and determine which conditions and patient populations will benefit most. We see the enormous potential this therapy can have on the lives of millions of people with mental health conditions around the world.” 

George Goldsmith, CEO and Co-founder, COMPASS, says in a statement: “We want to transform mental health care, which today is not good enough for far too many people. Sheppard Pratt has a long history of excellence in clinical service delivery and commitment to its community of patients. Sheppard Pratt’s new Center of Excellence will help to accelerate our combined work so that we can bring evidence-based innovation, on a large scale, to the people who need it the most.”

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