In this live virtual series hosted by MindSite News, founding editor Rob Waters will be in conversation with people who are leading and chronicling efforts to develop psychedelic therapies. Together we’ll examine the psychedelic resurgence and its potential for bringing healing and wellness, as well as the potential pitfalls of these efforts. We are at a pivotal moment with policy and cultural change happening at both state and federal levels, and MindSite News is poised to play a role as an independent news source dedicated to rigorous, inclusive reporting on the space. We aim to become a trusted source for individuals, policy makers, and mental health professionals seeking unbiased, comprehensive coverage of this dynamic, fast-changing field. 

This conversation series launches our first efforts to engage the public in conversations about psychedelics and mental health and to raise funds to support our ongoing coverage of this important topic. Today about 30% of adult Americans are grappling with mental illness and substance use disorders — and psychedelic therapies show promise. Once relegated to the countercultural fringe, there is now an explosion of serious scientific research. The potential for psychedelic drugs to be used as legitimate therapies is rapidly gaining recognition and legal status. MindSite News aims to increase our capacity to cover this evolving space by hiring and appreciate your support of our unbiased, deeply reported work.

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How to Change Your Mind: A Conversation with Michael Pollan 

MindSite News founding editor Rob Waters will be in conversation with author and journalist Michael Pollan to discuss his recent efforts to document the explosion of interest, research and investment into psychedelic plants and substances and the vast potential they may hold for changing consciousness, treating mental illness and alleviating suffering. They’ll talk about his recent Netflix series: How to Change Your Mind and his book This is Your Mind on Plants. They will also speak more broadly about the role media is playing and can play in shaping the future of psychedelics. 

Heal Soul! A Conversation with David Bronner 

Mindsite News founding editor Rob Waters will be in conversation with Dr. Bronner’s CEO and psychedelics activist David Bronner. We’ll discuss his interest in psychedelics, why he financially supported a campaign that led voters in Oregon to pass the first ballot initiative in the country legalizing the use of psilocybin, and hear his thoughts about how that legislation is currently unfolding. As an independent news organization, MindSite News closely follows policy developments in mental health, and we intend to cover the experiment now unfolding in Oregon and elsewhere.  

Equity and Psychedelics: A Conversation with Simran Sethi

MindSite News founding editor Rob Waters will be in conversation with journalist and Asian Psychedelics Collective founder Simran Sethi to discuss racial disparities in mental health. Asian Americans, for example, are the least likely racial group to seek help for mental health challenges – by some accounts, they are three times less likely to seek mental health services than whites. We’ll discuss Sethi’s interest in psychedelics and mental health and hear about her experience as a member of the Fireside Project, a nonprofit psychedelic peer support line. We will also discuss the steps that led to the formation of the Asian Psychedelic Collective and what she hopes to accomplish through their work together. 

MindSite News is committed to inclusive reporting and including stories and voices from marginalized communities. Enforcement of drug laws in the U.S. has historically resulted in mass incarceration of African Americans and Latinos especially. As psychedelics enter the mainstream, reporting on how they affect diverse communities – and how members of those communities participate in the commerce and benefit from new therapies – will be a vital area of reporting for us.

Psychedelic Journalism: A Conversation with Double Blind Magazine, Lucid News, and Minority Trip Podcast

MindSite News founding editor Rob Waters will be in conversation with a panel of media producers and journalists including Double Blind Magazine Co-founder Shelby Hartman, Minority Trip podcast host Raad Seraj, and Lucid News Co-Founder Mareesa Stertz. We’ll discuss each of their media projects, what they’re trying to communicate about psychedelics, and the roles and responsibilities of media when it comes to covering mental health. 

MindSite News is the only news outlet dedicated exclusively to covering mental health in America, and we’re excited to join these other psychedelics-focused media outlets to discuss our philosophies about reporting on both the flaws and successful innovations in this space.

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