Psychedelic Medicine Community Handles Murder-Suicide By Prominent Doctor

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s close-knit medical community shares its thoughts and how to move forward after a prominent doctor in the field murdered his son and then himself in a clinic. are discussing about

To promote healing, Dr. Emily Brock provides spaces for people to heal in her psychotherapy clinic at Woods Cross.

“There are different kinds of traumatic events that people have gone through. Some are historical, some are current, some are accidents, some are sexual traumas, some are military traumas, things like that,” Block explained.

Therapies offered in her clinic include eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, psychological supportive therapy, clinical yoga, and ketamine.

“Ketamine is used as a tool to help people on treatment reach their goals,” she said.

She has seen clients utilize ketamine as a drug and finds it brings “a lot of hope and promise” to their lives.

“These psychedelics and ketamine, especially the ones that are currently FDA-approved, are incredibly beneficial and impactful on people’s lives when used as tools to help them on their journey to recovery and mental health. I’ve given you,” Bullock said.

As people in the psychedelic medicine community talk, debate and express their emotions following what happened at another clinic over the weekend, something else is affecting her this week.

“It’s very confusing when you hear about tragedies like this. It’s very heartbreaking,” Block said.

This is very upsetting for everyone in the psychology community, the medical community, and the psychedelic medicine community.

– Dr. Emily Bullock

Police said Dr. Perth Gandhi died by suicide Saturday after shooting his 16-year-old son inside the Salt Lake City Psychedelic Therapy and Research. It is unknown if any substance has been used before.

Gandhi was known in the healing world for his work with psychedelic drugs, especially related to autism, concussions, addiction and depression.

“For everyone in the psychological community, the medical community, the psychedelic medicine community, this is very upsetting,” Block said.

Dr. Scott Allen, an internist and anesthesiologist who runs a psychedelic medicine clinic, knew Gandhi.

“Dr. Gandhi was a pretty influential educator in Utah and the national psychedelic movement all the way here,” he said. “He led a fairly extensive training course and many people attended.”

He showed how people used to helping others are now working on themselves to handle this horrific event.

“We are looking for ways we can support each other going forward,” he said.

Allen said he and his colleagues will be hosting the next professional journal club in a few weeks to discuss ways to support each other’s thoughts, feelings and emotions as they work to care for other doctors.

“We’ve been talking about how to serve people and create a space for people to speak about their personal feelings,” he said.

He said the tragic act does not represent the psychedelic medical community as a whole.

“In general, psychedelics tend to promote many feelings of love, connection, and oneness with the universe. , which means more empathy. “So I think the shock is compounded for anyone involved in the psychedelic community because most people who have been involved in the psychedelic community are like, ‘Wow, these substances are what’s causing this. And you can be very affectionate with other people.'”

Block, who specializes in working with complex trauma and led the traumatic stress response team in the U.S. Air Force, explains that it’s normal to experience a range of emotions in horrific traumas like this, and it’s important to reach out to the emotions. said how important it is to Go out, get support, and talk to others.

“Being able to take care of yourself and your basic needs after a tragedy is very, very important,” she said. “But you also need to get the right kind of help and support, both immediately and afterward.”

Block said the Utah Psychological Association is always available for those seeking services and is currently standing by to refer those affected by last weekend’s events to the appropriate agency.

She said anyone should call 911 in a dangerous situation or emergency, and there is also a mental health emergency call 988. The line connects people to a crisis response center, which can dispatch a team of mental health professionals to intervene. He also has a 24/7, toll-free, confidential domestic violence hotline at 1-800-897-LINK.

In response to the situation, the Utah Psychological Association issued the following statement: It describes the group’s grief for Gandhi’s daughters, his son’s mother, and those close to them, and how they are ready to help his clients.

Statement from the Utah Psychological Association.
Statement from the Utah Psychological Association. (Photo: KSL-TV)

suicide prevention resources

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, call 988 to connect with the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

crisis hotline

  • Huntsman Institute of Mental Health Crisis Control Phone: 801-587-3000
  • SafeUT Crisis Line: 833-372-3388
  • 988 Suicide and Crisis 988 Lifeline
  • Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ Teens: 1-866-488-7386

online resources

warning display

suicide warning signs

  • talk about wanting to die
  • looking for a way to kill myself
  • talk about hopelessness and aimlessness
  • Feeling trapped or talking about unbearable pain
  • talk about being a burden to others
  • Increased alcohol and drug use
  • act anxious, agitated, or reckless
  • too little or too much sleep
  • Feeling withdrawn or isolated
  • show anger or talk about revenge
  • exhibit extreme mood swings

The more of these signs a person exhibits, the greater the risk. Warning signs are associated with suicide, but they may not be the cause of suicide.

Information from the American Suicide Prevention Foundation.

What to do if you see the warning signs of suicide

  • don’t leave him alone
  • Remove all firearms, alcohol, drugs, and sharp objects that could be used to attempt suicide.
  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).
  • Take them to the emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional

Information from the American Suicide Prevention Foundation.


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Lauren Steinbrecher

Lauren Steinbrecher is an Emmy Award-winning reporter and multimedia journalist who joined KSL in December 2021.

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