After several near-death experiences, Numinus Wellness chief strategy officer and co-founder Stacey Wallin was trying to make sense of what she was feeling. “I really had to come face-to-face with my mortality and the big questions it raises around your life, spirituality, and purpose,” Wallin tells Truffle Report.
To deal with her trauma, Wallin says she has worked with and benefited from a variety of tools including meditation, somatic practices, and community-based healing. “For me, it’s never been psychedelics ‘or’, it’s psychedelics ‘and’ [other modalities]. I don’t view psychedelics as a panacea, although I think they are a very important tool that we need to continue to destigmatize,” she says.
“I experienced a smattering of personal trauma that I hadn’t resolved or worked through and I was feeling compelled and pushed to make my life about social impact — this was actually the fork in the road that led me to Numinus.”
Co-Founding Numinus Wellness
Wallin tells Truffle Report that her career has gone through several different chapters. After working in finance and business, including founding a business that used technology to predict and prevent the sort of workplace injuries that resulted in her mother being temporarily paralyzed, she worked at the BC Tech Association before co-founding Numinus Wellness.
“Numinus has been the convergence of everything in my life — my lifelong experience and family dynamic with mental health, my personal journey of healing and trauma resolution, my entrepreneurship background, and my desire for systemic change,” Wallin says. “It’s the closest thing I’ve ever experienced to a soul purpose. It’s a purpose for me more than it is a career.”
Numinus Wellness and Transforming the Mental Health Landscape
Vancouver-based mental health care company Numinus Wellness supports the delivery of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and hopes to transform the mental health landscape. Speaking about what she hopes Numinus will achieve in the next five years, Wallin says “I want us to create access to mental health treatments that are efficacious, that help people not just to manage their symptoms but to truly heal.”
“I also want us to be at the forefront of destigmatization and the paradigm shift that is happening right now. I am hoping to have a measurable impact on changing the system through policy and advocacy work, as well as changing the availability and accessibility of these offerings through public education and infrastructure development.”
Numinus Wellness, in partnership with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), recently demonstrated with a Phase 3 clinical trial the potential of MDMA for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “I’m incredibly excited about the continued work that we are doing with MAPS around MDMA,” Wallin tells Truffle Report. “Given the results from the trial, by having that strong evidence come forward it validates a lot of the great work that has been happening with MDMA for PTSD.”
The company has also partnered with KGK Science to undertake a psilocybin extraction clinical trial involving 14 volunteers, and assessing the safety and psychoactive properties of a mushroom product extracted and formulated at the Numinus Bioscience lab in British Columbia. “It is first-of-its-kind research,” Wallin says.
Numinus also currently works with practitioners across three locations in Vancouver and Montreal to deliver psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, and Wallin says the company plans to expand this partnership to more locations. “I can’t share too many details about the where and when of that but we’re looking to thoughtfully expand what we do to the right places with the right kinds of support,” she says.
A Platform for Women’s Voices
A speaker at the second annual WWC Conference, a virtual event bringing together women in psychedelics and cannabis to learn and collaborate, Wallin says she is grateful that women are being offered this opportunity of thought leadership. “I’m thrilled that there is some dedicated space and airtime creating a platform for women’s voices — women have a very important voice and very important input into the psychedelic space and its evolving,” Wallin tells Truffle Report.
She agrees there are challenges for women in the sector but that this is not unique to psychedelics. “There are still particular challenges in every sector relating to gender and we are seeing some continuation of the same patterns from other business areas such as finance or technology starting to unfold in the psychedelic space,” she says.
“It’s incredibly important that we remember that 50 percent of the population is female and we need to make sure that we are not designing a psychedelic space where women and their unique needs are an afterthought. We need to incorporate women into the design of our solutions and have women’s voices incorporated in leadership at the very top to correct some of the imbalances of the past and make sure we are actually looking at this industry holistically.”
Learn more about the WWC Conference here.
Emily Jarvie is a writer and content creator whose work has appeared in North American, Australian, and European publications. Before moving to Canada, she was a political journalist for Australian Community Media in her home state of Tasmania.