How to Get Involved
Many patients who have had transformative experiences with ketamine want to become involved in sharing their success stories or becoming a patient advocate. Patient advocacy can come in different forms from education to mentoring to political activism. Mood and pain disorders still carry a stigma that must be dismantled, and many patients still do not have equitable access to good health care. Below are some ways to become involved and be heard.
Engage in Local and Online Support Groups
Navigating the management of pain and mood disorders feel can be isolating, scary, and confusing, and many patients feels very alone through the process. Local support networks that are focused on providing comfort and encouragement among patients can be very helpful. However, bear in mind that support networks can include a wide spectrum of patients from different locations, being treated for a wide variety of conditions, and on different medications, and therefore, may have a different perspective regarding support and feedback. Patients are encouraged to inquire with their provider, psychotherapist, or pain management doctor about local support groups associated with their clinics or local communities to become more involved. Online support groups can also be greatly beneficial as they are convenient and often anonymous.
Below are some online support networks related to ketamine for pain and mood disorders:
Get Active in National Organizations
There are several national organizations focused providing education and support for those managing pain and mood disorders. There are opportunities in these organizations to become involved in education and mentorship with other patients and local community programs. Major national organizations focused on pain and mood disorders include:
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
- America Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America
- American Chronic Pain Association
- U.S. Pain Foundation
Some national organizations are focused on researching the use of ketamine and other psychedelics as potential effective treatment options.
Some national non-profits are focused on advocating for patients to ensure equitable access to ketamine:
Share Your Story
A powerful way to advocate as a patient is sharing their story. The purpose of sharing one’s experience is to educate the community on the various pain and mood disorders ketamine is treating and to provide context around ketamine treatment itself. Many patients who are seeking to understand if ketamine can help are often confused or concerned about treatment, the concept of dissociation, and how long it takes to feel better. Direct patient experiences can help demystify these concepts and help patients make better informed decisions about their health.
If you are interested in sharing your story anonymously, please reach out to reach out to Info@askp.org.
A Big Thanks
A huge thanks to the contributors of the Patient Portal. Without the support of patients and the medical community, the Patient Portal would not exist!
- Kathleen Barrett (Patient Advocate, ASKP3)
- Sara Herman MD (Founder / Physician of Soft Reboot Wellness, www.softrebootwellness.com)
- Sarah Markey
- Taryn Schiff
- Tom Schnorr (RPh, CCN)
- Scott Smith
- Renee St. Claire (Patient Advocate, Ambassador: Heroic Hearts Project, https://www.heroicheartsproject.org)