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Alma Institute

Portland, OR
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Our mission is to strengthen and diversify the network of legal psychedelic service providers, beginning in Oregon.

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About Alma Institute:

Our mission is to strengthen and diversify the network of legal psychedelic therapy providers by offering prioritized enrollment and certification opportunities to people from marginalized communities, specifically BI&Poc, 2SLGBTQIA+, and people with low incomes. We seek to increase benefits and prevent harms by creating pathways to apprenticeship, employment, and ongoing peer support for facilitators in this growing field.

Launching in Oregon in 2023, our social justice-rooted training program practicum to prepare students for licensure under the nation’s first legal psilocybin services program. We seek to raise industry standards so people from historically excluded communities can find belonging and thrive in psychedelic work. This requires anchoring in trauma-informed care, cultural humility, feedback, accountability, and meaningful practices of sacred reciprocity.

We exist so psychedelic healing work can not only be available to our communities, but relevant to our ancestral and lived experiences and impactful for generations to come.

Our Approach:

We hold a strong focus on continued support and skill building for new graduates, and are weaving a culture of engagement, mentorship and accountability into our programming. We will support this by hosting in person and digital integration circles for new and experienced facilitators, supporting networks of student pods to continue learning together, and leading industry-wide conversations about ethical standards and care.

Oregon ranks among the worst for mental health conditions and is dismal in access to therapy and psychiatric services. The numbers are even worse for people from marginalized social locations. These community members experience higher rates of the very mental health conditions that psilocybin can help address. However, psilocybin is not a cure-all. Wellbeing is systemic and depends on the harmony of a variety of factors. The success of psilocybin services will depend largely on the trust and rapport established between client and facilitator, the client's sense of safety and belonging, the environment in which services occur, and importantly, the follow-up care and support provided.

As in talk therapy, it is critical that patients have the option of working with someone who has shared identifiers and can relate to their lived experience. This is especially important when working with racial and gender-based trauma and deep healing processes.

Additionally, the lasting benefits of psilocybin will rely on external factors, such as access to healthcare, safe and consistent housing, healthy food, community support, and gainful employment. It is essential that individuals working in this new industry understand and are engaged with the intersectional approach to wellbeing and community health; if they don't, the industry will be peddling a short-term band-aid solution, with service sites overwhelmed by high-paying experience seekers and fail to deliver on the promises of lasting change and healing promoted by the Psilocybin Services Act.

Alma Institute seeks to bring a deeper inquiry to psychedelic therapies and help raise standards for the field at large. If we are successful, we can shift the conversation from one laser focused on mental health, to one about the historical roots of our suffering and the systemic change needed for collective healing.

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Culture
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Education
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Mental Health
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Humans
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Women Led
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LGBT+
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Latine Led
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