Ashwin Budden

Washington, DC

Ashwin Budden is a filmmaker and global health consultant based in DC, who has worked in social and public health research for almost 20 years. He advises global health and social impact organizations, such as The Gates Foundation, USAID, and National Institutes of Health on design and evaluation of their health programs in Africa, South Asia, and the U.S. He has also worked in academic and non-governmental public health organizations. Ashwin is a social/behavioral scientist by training with a PhD in Anthropology and Cognitive Science from UCSD.

ABOUT THE FILM: Soul-Retrievers - Reclaiming the Pyschedelic Frontier of Mental Health

A half-century after the criminalization of psychedelic compounds such as LSD, mushrooms, and mescaline, the U.S. government is on the cusp of approving certain classes of psychedelics for therapeutic use. This approaching watershed comes on the wake of a renaissance in clinical and neuroscientific research on psychedelics demonstrating their effectiveness in treating major psychiatric and substance abuse disorders. Media coverage of this expanding body of evidence has swelled over the past several years but has left out the voices of key change-agents of this

movement: the therapeutic guides who care for patients undergoing psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. Soul Retrievers is their story. This documentary will bring you into a community of therapeutic guides. It will explore their personal journeys becoming psychedelic psychotherapists, how they have navigated the dangerous terrain of stigma and secrecy still attached to using psychedelics, and how they are crafting new models of mental healthcare in helping patients come to terms with traumas and profound, life-altering psychedelic experiences.