Former Colorado Avalanche defenseman Kyle Quincey found that psilocybin helped him with his battle with mental health during the pandemic, and he was to share that experience with others in the form of a retreat.
The pandemic amplified mental health disorders for people from all backgrounds. Amid the psychedelic renaissance, more are turning to psilocybin and other alternative therapies. Quincey also learned about how it can rewire the brain in ways that traditional medicine cannot. Colorado is one of the states leading the way in psilocybin reform, making it the perfect destination for such a retreat.
The Denver Post reports that in order to help others struggling with their mental health he’s in the process of building his retreat center on Colorado’s Western Slope, called Do Good Ranch. There, his team aims to provide psilocybin-assisted therapy for people with traumatic brain injury (TBI), addiction, anxiety, and depression.
He stressed that set and setting is important when you’re dealing with something as powerful as psilocybin.
“If we can create a process with our team that we’re building and be able to replicate that all over the country, we can provide help for way more people,” Quincey said. “Because there are millions of people who need this, and they need it in the right set and setting with the right team and the right intentions.”
Quincey plans to connect with both veterans organizations as well as former athletes.
“All of us in these industries, it’s very high stress. We trained our bodies, we never trained our minds,” he said during the panel. “Right now, these guys have fought for our country, but cannot heal in our country. They have to go to Mexico, Peru, and Jamaica. It’s ridiculous. So we’re trying to be the answer to that.”
Quincey’s Relationship with Psilocybin
Numerous concussions sustained in the high-impact sport of hockey eventually takes its toll on players including Quincey.
“I ended my career in Finland. I came home, I’ve had 20 concussions. I had massive mood swings, from pure euphoria to suicidal thoughts,” Quincey said during a panel at the 43rd Telluride Mushroom Festival in August. “On almost my year anniversary of retiring, my youngest son was diagnosed with brain cancer. And COVID hit the same week.”
Each year, the Telluride Mushroom Festival features presentations on “all things fungi.” The festivities include mushroom identification sessions, hands-on demonstrations, and lectures led by regionally-, nationally-, and internationally-known experts. It culminates in a parade through town.
After finding success with psilocybin, Quincey partnered with Jeremy Widmann, a Boulder, Colorado-based biochemist who’s involved with a CBD company Boulder Hemp. The company sells things like full-spectrum CBD tinctures. They also sell feminized seeds and seedlings. Together they purchased a property to be the future location of Do Good Ranch.
“The mission there is to create a sanctuary and safe place for veterans, first responders, athletes and all warriors that are willing to do the work to heal themselves,” Quincey said during the panel.
Colorado voters approved legislation to legalize psilocybin-assisted therapy last November, allowing healing centers like Do Good Ranch to exist. The retreat center is currently under construction in Paonia in anticipation of Colorado’s legal psilocybin-assisted treatment market rolling out in 2025. Public records show it as being 280 acres in Crawford, just outside of Paonia.
Psilocybin-assisted treatment is a frequent discussion topic for Quincey. In a 2022 episode of the “Life After Fame” podcast, Quincey said he was also growing functional mushrooms for a company he backed called Just Beat It, selling supplements made with antioxidants, hemp, and fungi such as cordyceps.
Former Philadelphia Flyer Riley Cote is also vocal about his support of psychedelics. Cote found success using psilocybin mushrooms at legal psychedelic-assisted therapy ceremonies in Jamaica. It’s one of the main topics of a episode of ESPN’s E:60 called “Peace of Mind” that is available for on-demand streaming on ESPN+.
Psilocybin’s Potential for Treating Mental Health
Researchers found that psilocybin causes ‘significant reduction’ in symptoms of depression, a largest of its kind study shows.
At the American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2022 Annual Meeting that began on May 21 in New Orleans, Louisiana, COMPASS Pathways unveiled the “largest randomized, controlled, double-blind study of psilocybin therapy ever completed,” according to a May 24 press release, and the data shows “significant” improvements to treatment-resistant depression (TRD) symptoms.
Researchers associated with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said that psilocybin is being studied for its efficacy in treating neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The aforementioned studies are focusing on its ability to treat depression and quality of life. In animal models, psilocybin shows promise in improving neuroplasticity, forming new neural connections, but human studies are needed.