The psychedelic medicine community tries the murder-suicide of a well-known doctor

SALT LAKE CITY COUNTY, Utah — A close-knit medical community in Utah is sharing their thoughts and talks about moving forward after a well-known doctor in their field murders his son, then himself at his clinic.

In a place to promote healing, Dr. Emily Bullock gives people the space to process at her psychotherapy clinic in Woods Cross, Utah.

“All different kinds of traumatic events that people have been through, sometimes from a long time ago, sometimes current, sometimes accidents, sometimes sexual trauma, military trauma, stuff like that,” Bullock explained.

The types of therapy found in her clinic include EMDR, assisted psychotherapy, clinical yoga, and ketamine.

“Ketamine is used as a tool to help people in their therapy be able to accomplish whatever goals they are working toward in their treatment,” she said.

She has seen clients using ketamine as medicine and has found that it brings “a lot of hope and promise” into their lives.

“These psychedelic meds and ketamine in particular, which is what’s been approved by the FDA right now, have been incredibly beneficial and impactful to the people in their lives when they’ve been used as a tool to help them in their recovery or their mental health journeys,” Bullock said.

Something else impacted her this week as those in the psychedelic medicine community talk, argue and express emotion following what happened at another clinic over the weekend.

“When you hear about a tragedy like this, it’s very confusing. It’s very distressing,” Bullock said.

Police said Dr. Parth Gandhi died by suicide after shooting and killing his 16-year-old son inside Salt Lake City Psychedelic Therapy and Research on Saturday. It is not known whether any substances have been used previously.

Police: Father kills son in murder-suicide at SLC office building

Gandhi was known in the healing world for his work with psychedelics, particularly with regards to autism, concussions, addiction and depression.

“It’s terribly upsetting to everyone in the psychology community in the medical community, in the field of psychedelic medicine,” Bullock expressed.

Dr. Scott Allen, a physician and anesthetist who runs a psychedelic medicine clinic, knew Dr. Gandhi.

“Dr. Gandhi has been quite an influential educator within the psychedelic movement in Utah and to some extent nationally up until now,” he said. “He conducted a fairly large training course in which many people participated.”

He indicated how people who are used to helping others are now working on their own to process this awful event.

“We’re trying to find a way forward where we can help support each other,” she said.

Allen said they will host their next professional journal club in a couple of weeks and discussed ways to support each other’s thoughts, feelings and emotions as they work to care for other doctors.

“We discussed ways we can serve people and have a place for people to talk about how they personally feel,” she said.

He said this tragic act does not represent the psychedelic medicine community as a whole.

“Psychedelics, in general, tend to promote a lot of feelings of love, connection, oneness with the universe. That’s usually what people feel, it’s more love and more compassion for other people, more empathy. That’s usually what we see,” Allen said. “And so, for someone involved in the psychedelic community, I think that kind of adds to the shock, because most of us who’ve engaged with it, we’re like, ‘ Wow, these substances make us so loving towards each other.’ “

Dr. Bullock, who specializes in working with complex trauma and leads the US Air Force’s Traumatic Stress Response Team, explained that in horrific trauma like this it’s normal to experience a range of different emotions and talked about how crucial it is to reach out, get support and talk to others.

“It’s so important to be able to take care of yourself and your basic needs after a tragedy,” she said. “But then also, get the right kind of help and support immediately and thereafter.”

For anyone wishing to contact the services, Bullock said the Utah Psychological Association is always available and is currently waiting to be able to refer those affected by last weekend’s events to the appropriate agency.

He said anyone in an emergency or dangerous situation should call 911, and there is also the 988 mental health hotline. That line will connect people to a crisis response center and they can deploy a team of mental health experts to intervene. The 24-hour, toll-free, and confidential Domestic Violence Hotline is also at 1-800-897-LINK.

The Utah Psychological Association has released the following statement in response to the situation. He explains their grief for Dr. Gandhi’s daughters, his son’s mother and others close to them, and how they are ready to help his clients.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or showing warning signs, call, text or chat with 988 Suicide and Lifeline Crisis TO 988 which are answered 24/7/365 by crisis counselors at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute. All calls to legacy crisis hotlines, including the old National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-8255, will also connect to a crisis support worker at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute.

Additional Resources

  • SafeUT: Parents, students and educators can connect with an authorized crisis counselor via chat by downloading the file SafeUT app or by calling 833-3SAFEUT (833-372-3388)
  • SafeUT on the front line: First responders, including firefighters, law enforcement, 911, and healthcare professionals can chat with a free licensed crisis counselor 24/7/365 downloading the Frontline SafeUT app.
  • SafeUTNG: Members of the National Guard can chat for free with a licensed crisis counselor 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUTNG app.
  • Utah Hotline: For non-crisis situations, when you need a listening ear as you heal and recover from a personal struggle, call 1-833 SPEAKUT from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., 7 days a week, 365 days a week. year.
  • THE Huntsman Mental Health Institute offers a wide variety of programs and services including suicide prevention and crisis services, hospice care, medication therapy and management, substance use and addiction recovery, programs for children and adolescents, and maternal mental health services among including birth trauma, pregnancy loss, infertility, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
  • is a statewide effort to prevent suicide by promoting education, providing resources, and changing Utah’s culture around suicide and mental health. They offer resources for religious groups, LGBTQ+, youth, employers, gun suicide prevention, and crisis and treatment options.

Other community-based resources

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