2021 ANNUAL ACTIVITY REPORT – PSYCHEDELIC SOCIETY BELGIUM

SUMMARY OF THE OBJECTIVES AND MISSION OF THE ORGANISATION:

Psychedelic Society Belgium (PSBE) is a non-profit organisation created in 2020 by people who are convinced that change is needed in the field of mental health.

We live in a society with increasing episodes of depression and anxiety, especially among young people, and a clear lack of tools to respond to this suffering. Research shows the underestimated potential of psychedelic-assisted therapies to contribute to such a response. Therefore, the aim of the organisation is to contribute to the establishment of a legislative framework for psychedelic-assisted therapies in Belgium.

 

This is the first annual report of PSBE. After its creation in October 2020, the organisation took some time to get off the ground in the difficult context of the Covid-19 health crisis, and the actual activities started at the beginning of 2021 with the gradual influx of new members.
PSBE does not currently receive any public funding. The only financial income for 2021 came from membership fees (€25 per year). Similarly, all the work done within the association is done by volunteer members, whom PSBE would like to thank for their enthusiastic contribution.

MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS DURING THE REPORTING PERIOD:

Structure:

 

  • Appointment of board members who support the strategy and activities of the organisation

  • Definition of working groups: Management Board, Content coordination, Legal & Regulatory, Funding, Outreach

The Management Board meets by video call once a week.

The other working groups meet regularly, generally about once a month, depending on the needs and the projects in progress.

 

  • Consolidation of the structure and collaboration methods, implementation of Microsoft Teams & Sharepoint, Slack and Trello platforms for internal communication and workflow

Organisation:

  • Growth from 7 co-founders to over 100 members in one year

  • Creation of a community platform for members to communicate, collaborate and exchange information (Slack, currently 110 members)

  • Organisation of a members' barbecue (13 June 2021), the first opportunity for most members to meet in the flesh after months of pandemic and Zoom meetings

  • Organisation (in December 2021) of the first of a series of monthly meetups (every 3rd Thursday of the month) for members, supporters and other interested people, to ensure a link with the public

Communication:

  • Design and launch of the website (psbe.org), including scientific information about psychedelics

  • Creation of social network accounts (Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn)

    • Facebook: up to 4,400 views; more than 600 followers by 31 December 2021

    • Instagram: 520 followers as of 31 December 2021

    • LinkedIn: …

    • 61 posts: relaying information on research, media articles, events, presentation of the most active members of the organisation, etc.

    • contribution to harm reduction regarding psychedelics by providing information about legality, safety and the importance of set & setting, in response to direct messages on social networks

  • Collaboration on various communication materials: information leaflet, legislative advocacy document

Presence in the media and at international conferences:

  • Mentions of the organisation and interventions by members in Belgian media: 

    • Psychedelica als laatste reddingsboei, opinion piece by Lennart Cok, De Standaard, 3 March 2021

    • Le retour en grâce des psychédéliques pour soigner les troubles mentaux, Le Vif, 10 March 2021

    • Champignons hallucinogènes, ecstasy, LSD: faut-il permettre leur utilisation pour traiter les troubles psychiatriques? RTL Info, 13 September 2021

    • L’histoire du LSD, Un Jour dans l’Histoire, RTBF La Première, 19 October 2021

  • Presentation at the annual general meeting of GRID (Groupement Régional Interdisciplinaire Douleur), in order to inform doctors specialising in pain about psychedelic research into pain management, 20 April

  • Attendance of 10 members at the international Insight conference (organised by the Mind Foundation) in Berlin (Germany) from 9 to 12 September

  • Attendance of 4 members at the ALPS (Awareness Lectures on Psychedelic Science) international conference in Lausanne (Switzerland) from 29 to 31 October

Collaborations:

  • Establishment of contacts with 3 Belgian universities (ULg, VUB and UGent) as well as with (aspiring) researchers in Belgium in the field of psychedelics, in order to facilitate the exchange of know-how

  • Contribution, in collaboration with the Coma Science Group (Giga research centre, ULg), to the setting up of the first clinical research with psychedelics in Belgium, which should start soon pending the approval of the FAMHP

  • Establishment of contacts with Belgian researchers working abroad (Mathieu Seynaeve, Kim Kuypers)

  • Organisation of a social event in collaboration with the Antwerp Psychedelics Education Group, ViaVia Café, Antwerp, 3 July

  • Establishment of contacts with Psychedelics Europe, a Brussels-based European advocacy organisation with a mission similar to PSBE’s