The University of New South Wales has today announced a $2.1 million grant from the National Health and Medical Research council to fund a trial exploring ketamine as a treatment for major depression.

Ketamine – otherwise known as horse tranquilliser and/or the ‘alternative’ party drug of choice – has been known to have a positive affect on people suffering from depression for some time, but there are no clear answers yet as to which delivery method and dosage is best.

Because, y’know, there’s IRL and then there’s cartoon life, and IRL mental health is about a billion times more complicated to treat than this:

UNSW Awarded $2M For Trial Into Ketamine As Severe Depression Treatment

The trial will see 200 patients who have not responded to existing medications taking part, and is due to commence April 2016. 

“lt will allow us to examine whether the positive effects of ketamine on an individual’s depression are sustained over a longer period, using the gold standard approach for research, a randomised control trial,” said research leader Professor Colleen Loo, from UNSW’s School of Psychiatry and the Black Dog Institute.

“This trial builds on five years of research and will be the largest worldwide trial of this scale that is university-based and government-funded.”

HEY PALS! If you are dealing with depression or mental illness, feel free to call BeyondBlue on 1300 22 4636 or visit the website, or if you are feeling suicidal, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for 24/7 counselling. Big hugs coming from us to you.

Image: PYMCA via Getty Images.