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Cannabis and Your Mental Health: New Campaign Explores the Link Between Cannabis and Psychosis

Monday, 04 May 2020 08:00

TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / May 4, 2020 / The Schizophrenia Society of Canada (SSC), with funding from Health Canada, is launching Cannabis and Psychosis, a campaign dedicated to supporting young people in learning about cannabis through examining the relationship between cannabis and psychosis.

"There is a lot of information out there about the potential impacts of cannabis use for young people's developing brains and their mental health, especially regarding the link with psychosis," said Chris Summerville, CEO of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada (SSC). "With Mental Health Week here, we want to make sure people, especially vulnerable youth, are informed of the potential risks."

Since the 2018 legalization of cannabis there has been a shift in the conversation and increased need for public education about non-medical cannabis use in Canada. Research surrounding this topic is complex, and young peoples' experiences are varied.

"Abstinence-only cannabis education does not work. Therefore, young people need access to information on how to reduce the harm(s) associated with cannabis if they do choose to use, in order to make more safe and informed decisions," said Dr. Yarissa Herman, a scientific advisor for the Cannabis and Psychosis campaign.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of Canadians in incredibly significant ways, and this may have an impact on cannabis use and mental health. Several provinces such as Ontario and Alberta, have reported a surge in legal recreational cannabis purchases. In order to understand how COVID-19 has impacted individuals' experience with cannabis, SSC has launched a COVID-19 survey to collect information.

"Youth like myself need access to balanced and comprehensive information to help navigate credible evidence and learn from other youth with experiential knowledge," added Jimmy Tan, a youth advisor for the campaign. "I hope this website serves as a judgement-free zone in which youth, families, and educators can gather information and reach their own conclusions."

Health Canada provided $999,350 over 39 months to fund this project.

Cannabis and Psychosis: Exploring the Link is a project of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada. Guided by the expertise of the Youth and Scientific Advisors, the aim of the project is to create a hub for accessible, engaging, balanced information to promote informed decision making about cannabis use among youth, specifically in relation to mental health.

For more information or to schedule an interview with one of the campaign coordinators, a member of the Youth Advisory Committee, or a scientific advisory contact:

Rita Rahmati, Public Affairs
Tel.: 647-289-9774 | Email: [email protected]

SOURCE: Schizophrenia Society of Canada - Cannabis and Psychosis

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