If you are in distress, you can text WELLNESS to 741741 at any time. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency department.

Home › Resources › Inuit Forum on Cannabis and Mental Health

Inuit Forum on Cannabis and Mental Health

Purpose

This report documents the discussions held at the Inuit Forum on Cannabis and Mental Health in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, on October 9-10, 2019. The purpose of the forum was to have an Inuit-led discussion on cannabis and mental health in order to exchange knowledge and identify research gaps and priorities. This event represented the start of developing an Inuit-specific cannabis and substance use research agenda. The forum was planned and organized by representatives from the Nunatsiavut Department of Health and Social Development, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA). The event forum represented the first opportunity for Inuit across Inuit Nunangat to meet to discuss cannabis. While it included presentations, most of the time was spent working in small groups while engaging in wide-ranging discussions centred on cannabis, mental health, and research. Topics included cannabis use and access, risks, benefits, challenges, and best practices. Participants had different levels of knowledge about cannabis and were eager to discuss all aspects of this complex topic.

Research questions developed by participants included the following:

  • What are the perceptions of cannabis use among different demographics?
  • What are the risks associated with using cannabis?
  • What are the potential benefits of using cannabis?
  • What are the broader impacts of cannabis use and legalization in different communities?
  • What are the general patterns of consumption in different regions?
  • What are effective public education strategies?
  • Participants also had the opportunity to meet with regional colleagues to discuss what was happening in their regions and brainstorm about what they would like to do in the future. This process generated ideas and plans they could take back to their home communities and regions.

Several key themes emerged from the forum:ž

  • Communities require a lot more basic information on cannabis, including its link with mental health.ž
  • Cannabis-related programs or research must be grounded in the local culture and language and in such social determinants of health as housing. They must also take into account the community context — including trauma and lived experiences — and reflect regional differences.ž
  • There is considerable interest in exploring a harm reduction approach, including cannabis use as a substitute for other substances (e.g., alcohol). However, this possibility must be thoroughly studied so that all harms and benefits are known and the approach can be customized to the individual.ž
  • A comprehensive cannabis strategy is needed that is similar to the Tobacco Reduction
  • Strategy.Much of the information in this report can be used to inform such a strategy.ž Participants identified a need to have more opportunities to come together to discuss and share knowledge related to cannabis and mental health.

Feedback Form

Hey, thanks for checking out this resource. After you’ve seen it, we’d love to learn a bit more about your interests and how you found us. Was the information what you looking for? Was it helpful? We’ll use any feedback you provide to further improve what we do. In appreciation, you’ll be automatically entered in a contest where you could win a cash prize or gift certificate. *

Disclaimer:

  • Completion of the form is voluntary.
  • The information collected by the Mental Health Commission of Canada will only be used for the purpose described above.
Are you willing to be contacted within 3 to 6 months for a short follow-up survey?
In case of “Yes” – please provide an email address

SURVEY CONTEST MINI RULES

No purchase necessary. Open to residents of Canada age 13+ who are the intended recipient of an invitation to complete the Mental Health Commission of Canada survey and participate in the contest. Starts October 3, 2022 at 12:00 a.m. ET and ends March 15, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET. 6 prizes available: (i) 1 x $500 CAD online retailer gift certificate prize; and (ii) 5 x $50 CAD online retailer gift certificate prizes. Limit 1 entry per person/email. Odds depend on number of eligible entries. Math skill-testing question required. Click here to read Full rules and entry details.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

SHARE THIS PAGE

RELATED

Serious impact from COVID-19 on mental health and substance use continues, especially among youth A new report from the series of Leger polls commissioned by the Mental Health Commission of...

Physical chronic diseases often co-occur with mental health problems and illnesses. To further explore this relationship, we have developed several resources in collaboration with the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, including a scoping...

Watch our discussion of the recent policy brief about the impact of the pandemic on families and early childhood mental health with co-author and co-host: the Canadian Paediatric Society. In...