Clarion Clinics Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Psychedelic Assisted Therapy Clinic Via Icon Agency

Clarion Clinics Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Psychedelic Assisted Therapy Clinic Via Icon Agency
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

Australia’s first purpose-built, dedicated psychedelic-assisted therapy (PAT) clinic has officially opened its doors following a launch campaign led by Icon Agency.

Located in Abbotsford, Clarion Clinics will provide a highly specialised course of PAT for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or treatment-resistant depression (TRD). The opening follows Authorised Prescriber approval for its Head of Psychiatry, Professor Suresh Sundram, from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Currently, the clinic is the only purpose-built and dedicated PAT facility in Australia, specifically positioned and designed to create the ideal setting for PAT.

A course of treatment involves approximately nine months of psychotherapy and psychiatry. This includes two full-day psychedelic-assisted treatments, individual therapy, group therapy, and tailored aftercare. All treatments are conducted on-site in a clinical setting, with two experienced and qualified therapists present throughout.

“This treatment is potentially life-changing for many people in Australia. Clarion is at the leading edge of mental healthcare, has the right protocols, and an experienced team ready to help people through these challenging conditions,” Peter Widdows, Incannex Director responsible for Clarion Clinics, said.

As a first-of-its-kind, the clinical leadership team, who represent the strongest track record of PAT nationally, partnered with Icon Agency to lead a strategic media and government relations campaign.

“As an industry leader, in uncharted waters, we were acutely aware of our responsibility to communicate the program in the right way – not just for the benefit of our clinic, but the therapy more broadly. Icon’s ability to manage complexity and nuance was pivotal in bringing media and stakeholders along on the journey,” said Widdows.

The campaign, which was underpinned by in-depth key messaging architectures and risk analyses, included ongoing government relations support and a phased media relations program.

“Australia is the first country in the world to approve this type of therapy, so it was crucial to educate all sides of politics and position Clarion as thought leaders and a resource for politicians and bureaucrats seeking information,” said Benjamin Haslem, director of media and public affairs, Icon Agency.

“Given the local, Victorian and the Federal Governments influence aspects of how the clinic delivers PAT, it was imperative that we engaged stakeholders across all three tiers of government”.

While Clarion’s treatment may not be suitable for everyone, extensive screening is required to ensure that potential risks are minimised. With around 700,000 people living with PTSD or TRD in Australia, the Clarion Clinics treatment has been developed as a form of augmented psychotherapy (not primarily a pharmaceutical treatment) and aims to achieve long-term improvements for clients.

“Operating at the precipice of change in mental healthcare required a communications approach that was cognisant of a highly regulated market and potentially-polarising topic of psychedelic-assisted-therapy. We were thrilled that this initial earned media campaign helped secure hundreds of expressions of interest for the clinic. Clarion is a true pioneer, and the magnitude of its impact is still to come,” said Sian Evans, senior account director, communications, Icon Agency.

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