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Certification Board for Psychedelic Medicine Launches and Receives $900,000 Grant

June 16, 2022 - The Board of Psychedelic Medicine and Therapies (BPMT), a non-profit public benefit corporation dedicated to education and certification for psychedelic medicine, today announced that the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation has initiated a $900,000 matching grant to support BPMT’s mission of ensuring the competent, safe, and ethical delivery of psychedelic medicine in an equitable and accessible manner.

“BPMT is a critical infrastructure project focused on improving the safety, accessibility, and quality of psychedelic medicine within the U.S. healthcare system,” said Alexandra Cohen, President of the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation. “We are pleased to support this important initiative.”

BPMT was recently established to certify healthcare professionals in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in the United States, which will help standardize the clinical quality of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy treatments, enhance patient safety, increase provider accountability, and facilitate reimbursement by insurance providers.

The CEO of BPMT, Scott Shannon, said: “For this field to reach its potential, it needs clarity, safety, credibility, and financial reimbursement. Certification is the most direct path to accomplish these goals. Certification will help guide psychedelic medicine towards its incredible promise to become a widely available treatment option in the US healthcare system for all those in such dire need of transformative treatments.”

BPMT is governed by a nine-member Board of Directors elected by peers from the psychedelic profession with a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. BPMT has previously been supported by funding from a wide range of visionary philanthropists including Mike Cotton, The Evolve Foundation members of the Psychedelic Science Funders Collaborative, and others who see certification of psychedelic providers as critical for the successful roll out of psychedelic services in the US.

Currently, clinical standards for psychedelic medicine lack consensus definition and no current metrics exist to assess skill and competency for practitioners. Training options vary in depth and without agreed-upon requirements. Insurance reimbursement, provider liability, and equitable access for patients remain important unsolved issues for psychedelic medicine, which creates an uncertain frontier of practice for any professional to enter.

BPMT plans to offer certification beginning in 2023 for licensed healthcare professionals. In addition, BPMT is also exploring how to offer a certification for non-licensed practitioners, who are typically the second provider in the treatment setting, from a variety of backgrounds including chaplains as well as individuals from indigenous and traditional lineages. Certifying non-licensed practitioners will expand the supply of certified practitioners as well as potentially reduce overall cost and increase equitable access to psychedelic medicine.

To create a coordinated effort, BPMT will continue to work closely with a wide range of stakeholders and leaders in the psychedelic field, including the American Psychedelic Practitioners Association. As an organization, BPMT is dedicated to an innovative, equitable, and paradigm-shifting vision of mental health care. For more information, visit www.psychedelicsboard.org.