VA Signals Historic Policy Shift By Funding First-Ever Psychedelic Studies for Veterans

VA issues Request for Applications (RFA) to study the efficacy of psychedelic compounds in treating veterans who suffer from PTSD and depression.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Last Friday, the Department of Veterans Affairs issued a Request for Applications (RFA) to study the use of FDA-designated Breakthrough Therapies, including MDMA-Assisted Therapy and psilocybin, to treat veterans who suffer from PTSD and depression. This announcement marks the VA’s first-ever direct investment in support of these studies, and signals a significant policy shift in favor of MDMA and psychedelic-assisted therapies within the VA health care system. The VA’s announcement marks a huge victory for the leading federal veteran advocacy group for MDMA-Assisted Therapy, Healing Breakthrough.

For decades, MDMA-Assisted Therapy trials were funded exclusively by private philanthropic donors. These investments yielded extraordinary results, which were confirmed by Phase Three clinical trials results last year. After two to three sessions of MDMA-Assisted Therapy, the studies found that 71% of trial participants no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis, and 87% experienced a clinically significant reduction in symptoms. No other treatment comes close to providing the relief and hope that MDMA-Assisted therapy does; a fact that the VA and Members of Congress now accept responsibility for acting on.

Last November Healing Breakthrough’s Director of Veteran Advocacy and Public Policy, Juliana Mercer, testified before the House VA Committee in its first-ever hearing on the healing potential of these emerging therapies, and asked attending Members and VA representatives to conduct VA-funded studies of their own, rather than relying on the generosity of private donors to further this research. Prior to testifying, Juliana developed a bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress, who jointly urged the VA to directly fund nationwide clinical trials with veteran-specific populations, resulting in the VA’s historic announcement last week. The VA’s Under Secretary of Health, Shereef Elnahal, credited veteran advocates like Juliana for raising awareness of the issue, and bipartisan Members of Congress for their support in furthering these studies, in his LinkedIn post today.

"Veteran mental health treatment is on the verge of a revolution. As a Marine Corps veteran whose purpose was restored by psychedelic-assisted therapy, I’ve made it my mission to ensure that my brothers and sisters receive access to these treatments as well. The VA’s decision to put skin in the game by funding veteran-specific studies on MDMA and psychedelics is more than just a historic event for those like me who recognize these compounds’ life-saving potential. It is the culmination of tireless efforts of veteran advocates, bipartisan legislators, VA clinicians and researchers, and philanthropists who are determined to end the veteran suicide epidemic. We are incredibly grateful to Secretary McDonough and Under Secretary Elnahal for taking the lead on what promises to be a game-changing policy shift that will finally bring healing and hope to our suffering veteran population."

For more information about Healing Breakthrough, please visit

Media Contact:
Denise Gitsham
[email protected]

CisionView original content:

SOURCE Healing Breakthrough

VA Signals Historic Policy Shift By Funding First-Ever Psychedelic Studies for Veterans WeeklyReviewer

PR Newswire Political/Government News

World Reviewer Staff
World Reviewer Staff
The first logical thought has to be "no way". I'm the World Observer! Ill find and share important news all day.

Latest articles

Earnings Disclosure

WeeklyReviewer earns primarily through affiliates and ads. We don’t encourage anyone to click on ads for any other purpose but your own. We recommend products and services often for our readers, and through many we will earn commissions through affiliate programs.

Related articles