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Bendable Therapy, a new alternative mental health clinic, will offer psilocybin treatment for patients

(Update: Adding video, comments from Co-Founder/Executive Director Amanda Gow)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A new Bend mental health treatment facility is set to become the first nonprofit clinic in the state of Oregon to legally use psilocybin to help patients treat mental health issues such as PTSD, anxiety and depression.

Bendable Therapy is a Bend nonprofit that dedicates itself to enabling access to modern and clinically proven mental health therapies for the Central Oregon region, such as psilocybin, according to their website.

Co-Founder and Executive Director Amanda Gow spoke to NewsChannel 21 on Tuesday about the clinic.

"We wanted to be sure that we could see clients from diverse backgrounds," she said.

With the medicinal use of psilocybin becoming legal in Oregon this year, after Measure 109 was passed by voters in November 2020, treatment facilities like Bendable Therapy can now use the psychedelic effects of psilocybin, or mushrooms, to help participants battle mental health issues.

"Psilocybin sessions can evoke really profound and meaningful experiences. So, Bendable Therapy the name was born because we are here in Bend, and also, the mind is bendable" Gow told us Tuesday.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, psilocybin comes from certain types of psilocybe mushrooms. Psilocybin is metabolized in the body to the active drug psilocyn, also present in many of the same mushrooms.

Gow has served at several nonprofits throughout Central Oregon over the years. She's currently in a masters program, pursuing a degree in clinical mental health.

She became passionate about opening her own therapy facility after realizing the barriers in cost associated with the treatment, which can exceed over $4,000 per session: "I realized rather quickly that this was going to be inaccessible to the vast majority of the population. And I figured, with my background, I can probably do something about that."

At Bendable Therapy, participants will be paired with trained and licensed professionals that best meet their mental health needs and goals.

Participants can use a maximum dose of 5 grams of mushrooms per sessions, as allowed by state law.

"When someone comes to us, they can expect to go through an intake process where we learn more about them and their needs and their goals, and then we align them with a facilitator. Then we begin the intake process," Gow explained.

While psilocybin treatment sessions in other parts of the state can cost thousands of dollars, at Bendable Therapy, you can get treatment at no cost to you.

"If people have the capacity to pay for the psilocybin session, we ask that they donate to cover those costs," Gow said. "But if they cannot, financial means will never be a barrier to access."

Under the new state law, only people 21 and older can use psilocybin while being supervised by a licensed facilitator.

Bendable Therapy plans to begin offering psilocybin sessions in its own facility in Bend in July.

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Blake Mayfield

Blake Mayfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.


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