Jesse Gould
Founder, Heroic Hearts Project

From Battlefields to Breakthroughs: Overcoming stigmas through the power of story

From his work with military veterans, Jesse has gained powerful insights into what it takes to overcome entrenched stigmas around psychedelic therapy. The veteran community is one that is not traditionally linked to the psychedelic movement, but more and more, they are turning to this option. What are the factors causing this shift? What turns a staunchly anti-drug veteran into a psychedelic advocate? Jesse Gould, founder of the Heroic Hearts Project will discuss these transformations and how a simple story can be one of the biggest factors. Psychedelic research is in an early renaissance, but are we doing enough to own this narrative? Jesse will also be presenting some of the results from his work with veterans followed by a Q&A with Jesse and another Army Ranger covering their experiences with a variety of mental health options.

Jesse Gould, Founder of Heroic Hearts Project, was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and grew up in New Smyrna Beach, FL. In 2009 he graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Economics. After working in investment banking for a short time he enlisted in the Army and became an Airborne Ranger for four years and three combat deployments. Most recently, he worked in finance in Tampa, FL.

After struggling with severe anxiety for many years, he finally decided to go to an ayahuasca retreat which has had a profoundly positive effect on his anxiety and daily life. During the week-long retreat, he instantly saw the healing potential of the drink and knew that it could be a powerful tool in healing the mental struggles of his fellow veterans. This experience inspired him to found Heroic Hearts Project, an organisation that connects veterans in need of healing with ayahuasca therapy. Since its founding, Heroic Hearts Project has quickly become one of the most prominent veteran voices pushing for psychedelic based therapies.