A scene from the Israeli documentary Trip of Compassion.
A scene from the Israeli documentary Trip of Compassion.

Film documents a search for better mental health

ISRAELI documentary Trip of Compassion is a film about MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Trip of Compassion follows a number of patients participating in clinical trials in Israel, and is the first feature documentary to show footage from within psychedelic-assisted therapy sessions.

MDMA (Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) or ecstasy, is illegal in NSW, and it increases an individual's feeling of empathy and compassion towards others, according to the Australian Alcohol and Drug Foundation.

The foundation lists long-term effects of MDMA can be depression, dependence and memory problems, among others.

According to Mind Medicine Australia, the organisation behind the screening, psychedelic-assisted treatments offer enormous potential in providing a meaningful alternative to current treatments for mental illness.

PTSD is a debilitating condition that affects tens of millions of people worldwide, with many more trauma victims diagnosed with comorbid conditions such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders.

Results from Phase 2 clinical trials over the past decade have been so compelling that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States recently designated MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a 'breakthrough therapy'.

A Q&A session after the screening will include founders of Mind Medicine Peter Hunt and Tania de Jong, plus former army major Steve McDonald.

In 2011, Byron Shire resident Steve McDonald became co-founder of the non-profit Psychedelic Research in Science & Medicine, which has now initiated formal Australian based research into psychedelic medicines.

• At the Byron Theatre, 69 Jonson St, Byron Bay, on Saturday, March 7, from 8pm.