THE HEROIC HEARTS PROJECT
Leading the way in the fight against PTSD
KEITH J ABRAHAM
Keith Abraham served 9 years as a member of The Parachute Regiment, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Throughout the latter years of his military service and during this time working for an investment bank, Keith began experiencing severe symptoms of anxiety and depression. After exhausting the majority of services and options offered by the NHS and military charities without much success, Keith realised a new approach was needed.
His profound experiences with ayahuasca and psilocybin convinced him of the vital role plant medicines have to offer those suffering from PTSD, brain injuries and mental ill-health.
Since studying Music at the University of Manchester, Mags has spent more than a decade working for some of the UK’s top advertising agencies, spanning both London and Manchester.
She has put her creative and organisational skills to good use, working with a wide range of clients, including Guinness, BT and Aldi. Mags has helped to launch brands, run multi-channel advertising campaigns, as well as manage many and diverse stakeholders along the way.
Her interest in the field of psychedelic drug research began when she found herself searching for alternative therapies to help a close friend suffering with long-term depression and PTSD. Mags’ determination to find a better solution for mental health issues than ineffective and often harmful prescribed medications has led to her becoming a passionate advocate for drug policy change. She is now dedicated to bringing the so-called “psychedelic renaissance” to the mainstream, in order that the world might rethink and revolutionise its approach to mental health treatment.
DR GRACE BLEST-HOPLEY
Grace earned a Ph.D. in the neurochemical and neurofunctional effects of cannabinoids following completion of a Masters in Neuroscience at King’s College London. As a research associate, she has continued to research in the field of cannabinoids and mental health, particularly using neuroimaging techniques. Grace has a keen research interest in psychotropic drug research and how these may be used therapeutically, as well as the mechanisms and risk factors behind the development of psychological disorders. She is currently serving as a member of the reserve armed forces.
Integration Coach & Research Assistant
Guy served in the UK military for 5 years, leaving in 2014. He is currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at the University of Roehampton, studying a BSc in Psychology and Counselling.
After witnessing the loss of a very close friend during active service, Guy developed PTSD. Since leaving the military, his experiences with different plant medicines highlighted the root causes of his trauma and how he was maintaining it through his behaviour and thought patterns.
Having been healed of his own PTSD, Guy is now an energetic and committed advocate for the use of plant medicine therapies to treat PTSD in veterans.
Social Media Manager
Isabella Ross has been a drug policy reform advocate since 2017, where she presented a Bill proposing the introduction of drug consumption rooms in her home of Melbourne, Australia to a youth parliament.
Since making the move to London in 2019 to study BA Politics, Sociology and East European Studies at UCL, she has interned and written for Volteface, and volunteers with Students for Sensible Drug Policy UK.
Ben began his career in the arts, working in development and marketing for an opera festival in Washington DC. Helping to create, perform and tour operatic productions exposed him to the challenges of coordinating international schedules, keeping print deadlines, and fundraising. He designed logos, advertisements, and brochures for the festival as well as helping expand their education and outreach initiatives.
Ben’s passion for mental health awareness comes from his own experiences with familial, life-long depression and anxiety. He has worked with artists, executives and oil and gas workers in the American west, and has witnessed a universal struggle and confusion surrounding mental health. Through research and seeing the profound effects of psychedelics on trauma and depression, Ben has become a passionate advocate for their use in treatment.
Ben is dedicated to expanding access to treatment options and is currently studying law in the US to advocate for drug policy reform.
Director of Veterans' Relations
James grew up in Worcester, England before enlisting into the Parachute Regiment at age 16. During his time with the regiment, he saw front-line deployments to Macedonia, N. Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Since leaving the military, James has gone on to perform numerous charitable expeditions assisting wounded veterans climb some of the world’s highest mountains, as well as running conservational and sustainable development programmes for young adults, overseas. He continues to mentor several veterans both academically and within a professional capacity and wants to expand on this to focus on helping those with PTSD.
James adopted a vegan lifestyle three years ago for ethical reasons and has since become a staunch advocate of the healing benefits of a plant-based diet.
MICHAEL JOHN HARRIS
Director of Events
Michael has 20 years of experience across International arts and events. A former Director at The Guardian, Michael founded and managed their global Guardian Live businesses, including: Guardian Masterclasses, Awards ceremonies, conferences, media partnerships and sponsorship (including MIF and Glastonbury Festivals).
Previous work has included; Head of Programming for Assembly at the Edinburgh Festival, curating one of the largest arts programmes in the world with over half a million in audiences a year. Previous roles include Artistic Director at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill, Head of Programming for Bill Kenwright Ltd. Michael has also set up projects and delivered work with many national and international partners including Roundhouse, Bloomberg, Public Theatre (New York), Circus Space, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Wellcome Trust, Derevo (Moscow), State Theatre (Johannesburg), TED, Garden of Unearthly Delights (Adelaide), Chameleon (Berlin) CENA (Brazil) and Almeida Theatre.