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UpHold Our Troops

UpHold Our Troops

The non-profit organization, UpHold Our Troops wants to positively influence the mental health crisis in our military with the healing power of psilocybin. UpHold Our Troops provides scholarship support for those veterans, active military and family members who would like to become psilocybin facilitators.

In fostering a growth mindset and always-on learning, we will equip our veterans to address the challenges they are likely to encounter in the civilian world.

We uphold the highest standards of teaching and skill-building with a view to shaping psilocybin journey awareness, understanding, transformation, and peace.

Our goal is that those who have served and believe in the power of psychedelic medicine for healing trauma will be able to strongly connect with their brothers and sisters who have served and are struggling and can continue to serve them through facilitation.  

It is not about getting high. It is about getting healed to ensure the benefits of veteran interventions catalyze deeper societal change that reach the largest number of people.

To apply, click on the logo to download an application.

Suicide Prevention Hotline;

Text 988 or call 1-800-273-TALK


Over 7,000 U.S. service members have died in the post-9/11 warzones of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere. Their deaths have affected a large community of parents, spouses, children, siblings, and friends in the US. These numbers don’t take the deaths of Iraqi, Afghani and global allies into account.

Because the U.S. military recruits heavily from low income and minority communities, and the states that send the most troops to war are often the poorest states in the nation, certain U.S. states and towns have borne higher human costs than others.

At least four times as many active duty personnel and war veterans of post-9/11 conflicts have died of suicide than in combat.

An estimated 30,177 have died by suicide as compared with the 7,057 killed in post-9/11 war operations. The increasing rates of suicide for both veterans and active duty personnel are outpacing those of the general population - an alarming shift, as suicide rates among service members have historically been lower than suicide rates among the general population. 


Estimates of PTSD prevalence rates among returning service members vary widely across wars and eras. In one major study of 60,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, 13.5% of deployed and nondeployed veterans screened positive for PTSD, while other studies show the rate to be as high as 20% to 30%., As many as 500,000 U.S. troops who served in these wars over the past 13 years have been diagnosed with PTSD. 

It is not clear if PTSD is more common in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans than in those of previous conflicts, but the current wars present a unique set of circumstances that contribute heavily to mental health problems. According to Paula P. Schnurr, PhD, Executive Director of the VA National Center for PTSD, the urban-style warfare tactics in Afghanistan and Iraq, marked by guerrilla attacks, roadside improvised explosive devices, and the uncertain distinction between safe zones and battle zones, may trigger more post-traumatic stress in surviving military members than conventional fighting. 

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Complicating the diagnosis and assessment of PTSD in military veteran are the high rates of other mental health trauma. Depression is the most common other condition with PTSD in veterans. Results from a large national survey show that major depressive disorder (MDD) is nearly three to five times more likely to emerge in those with PTSD.

Approximately 22% of screened female veterans reported military sexual trauma (MST), a term adopted by the VA to refer to sexual assault or repeated threatening sexual harassment that occurred while the veteran was in the military. 

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Other common disorders coexisting with PTSD in military veterans include anxiety and substance abuse or dependence.1820 The National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study, conducted in the 1980s, found that 74% of Vietnam veterans with PTSD had a comorbid substance use disorder (SUD).21 In one study of recent veterans, 63% of those who met the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorders (AUDs) or drug use disorders had co-occurring PTSD, while the PTSD prevalence among those who met criteria for both AUDs and drug use disorders (e.g., alcohol dependence and cocaine abuse) was 76%.22

PTSD is associated with physical pain symptoms, as well. For veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, chronic pain continues to be one of the most frequently reported symptoms.25,26 Approximately 15% to 35% of patients with chronic pain also have PTSD.27

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Mary Johns

Military veteran, Mary is theĀ President of UpHold Our Troops board and supports veteran recovery through psilocybin. Reach Mary at [email protected]

Francine Raften


Francine, an advocate for plant based medicine for healing and proponent of introducing psilocybin for military mental health trauma

Marsha Sargeant


Marsha N. Sargeant, M.S., Ph.D. is a psychologist, clinical scientist, and mental health advocate who has worked with veterans and active duty military service members for over 10 years. She brings a wealth of knowledge regarding barriers to mental health care, the importance of integrated care for co-occurring mental health and chronic medical conditions, and trauma-informed models of care. Dr. Sargeant also serves as a methodology / statistics consultant, thus brings a keen eye for monitoring the latest empirical evidence surrounding the role of hallucinogens in treating mental health conditions.

Mary Nielsen


Mary believes our medical system is failing our veterans and military. We need to do better. Psilocybin can help.

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If you are active military, a veteran, or family member, we'd love to sponsor a scholarship for you to become a certified psilocybin facilitator.

Donate to the Scholarship Fund

  • Your donation is tax deductible
  • You will help a veteran become a certified psilocybin facilitator
  • Veterans helping veterans
  • Every dollar helps veterans
  • UpHold Our Troops board members take NO compensation
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