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The use of experimental psychedelic drugs by former Navy SEALs and other U.S. special operation veterans to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries will get a spotlight in an untitled documentary in the works from Participant, Actual Films and Chicago Media Project.
The film, directed by Jon Shenk and Bonni Cohen, will tackle groundbreaking treatments involving psychedelics amid evidence that the incidence of suicide among former military members who either experienced or witnessed traumatic combat is four times higher than the number of U.S. soldiers killed during active military operations.
The documentary will feature Marcus Capone, a former Navy SEAL left with post traumatic symptoms, like depression and rage, after taking part in special operations. He and his wife Amber founded the nonprofit VETS to help U.S. veterans tap psychedelic assisted therapies as a lifeline.
“Over the years, we have been honored to share stories of survivors struggling with the lingering effects of trauma, and this project goes in the most surprising directions. Marcus and Amber Capone, and their community, are warriors who are helping to open a window that will have profound effects on how we think about treating mental health and brain injury,” directors Shenk and Cohen said in a statement.
The documentary will follow other SEAL veterans who struggled with anxiety, severe pain and suicidal threats and who now find themselves at the cutting edge of alternative treatments. And the film will detail new scientific research from the Bay Area-based Brain Stimulation Lab around the regenerative properties of ancient natural medicines.
The Participant-led film on transformative treatments will be produced by Jessica Anthony, and executive produced by Jeff Skoll, the late Diane Weyermann, Justine Nagan, Paula Froehle, Steven Cohen, Shizuka Asakawa and Kent McCleerey.
“This film confronts hard truths about the lack of essential mental health care for those that have served their country and takes the audience on a truly compassionate and emotional journey they will not forget,” Participant CEO David Linde added in his own statement.
Participant’s upcoming feature releases include Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power on Peacock, Out of My Mind for Disney + and Lionsgate’s White Bird: A Wonder Story.
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