If you’re interested in joining the Initiative as a member, please email the Initiative Chair, Mary-Elizabeth Gifford.


Our Why:

The world is falling in love with the promise of psychedelics, and it’s easy to understand why. After a long period of prohibition, the FDA has granted some psychedelics “breakthrough” status for the treatment of mental health. The interest and momentum are well-founded. At a time when the gap between mental health needs and mental health resources appears ever wider, where depression, anxiety and addiction are increasing, there is evidence-based science that tells us that psychedelics can make a difference.

Our Who:

The Psychedelics & Healing Initiative of the Global Wellness Institute is a collaborative of physicians, business innovators, research scientists, impact investors, policy makers and ethnobotanists who hold leadership positions in psychedelic biomedical companies; in organizations that exemplify the highest ideals of psychedelics and healing; or who are actively engaged in advocacy and exploration of how psychedelics can heal, expand consciousness, and nurture community.

Our How:

This Initiative works to build consensus and nurture a collaborative approach to leadership in a new field that holds the possibility of bringing relief and healing to many. Through collaboration and inclusivity, the Initiative will forge a unified, considered and thoughtful voice to help frame issues and ensure the right questions are being asked during a time of intense growth during this seemingly limitless opportunity to serve the public good.

Our What – Our coalition will work together in the following ways:

  • CODES OF ETHICS: Serve as an online home for a virtual “wisdom well” of ethical standards and psychedelic industry best practices. Aggregate and share materials ranging from the Ethical Framework generated by the MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) Public Benefit Corporation, to the recently evolved North Star Pledge, to links to the fierce conversations on ethics and corporate conduct hosted by Bioneers, the Chacruna Institute, the Harvard Divinity School, and elsewhere. Eventually, it is possible that accord may be reached on what a shared international industry standard may look like, but first, it will be important to familiarize the emerging field with all the remarkable work that has already been done—and honor this work by driving public awareness and increasing access by providing it with a home.
  • COALITION BUILDING AND POLICY: Host quarterly fireside chats for all stakeholders via Clubhouse, Zoom and other platforms that allow for the free exchange of ideas and breakthroughs while staying current with the swiftly moving international regulatory scene.
  • PSYCHEDELICS AND HEALING BOOKCLUB: The first ongoing pan-industry gathering to generate a sense of intention and purpose through the communal experience of sharing the close reading of some of the field’s great books and rich text traditions. From Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception to Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind, much of today’s practical work in psychedelics and healing is framed by an agenda guided by science, but just as equally informed by germinal psychedelic books and essays. The Psychedelics and Healing Bookclub will be a regular monthly Psychedelics and Healing Initiative feature on Zoom, featuring a roster of guest hosts.
  • PSYCHEDELICS AND HEALING READING LIST: To live on the GWI site and deepen over time.
  • GLOSSARY OF TERMS: A living document that will shift and grow in real time, this online document will aggregate knowledge from global sources and make available a ready reference for industry in which the science may be new, but the traditions are ancient. This feature will function to honor both.

Mary-Elizabeth Gifford
United States

Initiative Chair

Mary-Elizabeth Gifford, EVP, Psyence, United States
Mary-Elizabeth Gifford is EVP for CSR at Psyence, a public biomedicine company that works to set the standard for psilocybin and other natural psychedelics. Her background is rooted at the intersection of plant remedies, regenerative agriculture, and health justice. She joined Psyence from a Washington, D.C., nonprofit, The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, global experts in healing population-wide trauma. She’s led the Board of Directors of Demeter-USA, the U.S.D.A.-authorized certifier of Biodynamic farmlands, and served on the Board of The Center for Responsible Travel. A graduate of Brown University, she had a post-graduate year studying the History of Mind-Body Medicine at Harvard.