The Schizophrenia Society of Canada (SSC) is excited to announce $978,000 in funding from Health Canada to support its National Cannabis and Mental Health Project. This funding will help address the gap in Canada’s mental health space by ensuring information about the impacts of cannabis are accessible to youth in need.

Canadian youth (15–24) has one of the highest rates of cannabis use worldwide 1,2 with prevalence rates almost double that of adults. Research is highlighting the continuing gap in the implementation of relevant cannabis education across a range of contexts and targeted to specific age groups, especially youth.

The funding will help refine and scale the innovative resources developed by and for youth through this project, including a self-led Cannabis and Mental Health certificate course, accompanying Mentor Guide, the Cannabis and Psychosis website, and numerous knowledge mobilization products focused on sharing accessible scientific and experiential expertise. “I am grateful to the Schizophrenia Society of Canada and their community partners for adapting the Cannabis and Mental Health program to reach a wider youth audience,” said Hon. Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health. “As our government works to improve integrated health care services for all Canadians, this funding will help to empower more young people to protect their mental health and better understand the health impacts around cannabis use.”

The Cannabis and Mental Health course and associated resources are evidence-based and developed with the lived experiences and expertise of youth, parents, educators and clinicians. This funding will enable the Cannabis and Mental Health project to continue meeting the needs of youth. Additionally, this funding will help us to provide training and workshops for teachers, clinicians and other adult allies.

“This project is so critically important as many young people use cannabis recreationally, or to address mental health challenges, and may be unaware that it can carry risks,” said Chris Summerville, CEO, Schizophrenia Society of Canada. “With Cannabis and Mental Health, we’re getting evidence based education into the hands of youth, educators and adult allies.” For more information about the Cannabis and Mental Health project, visit: and

About: The Schizophrenia Society of Canada (SSC) is working to build a Canada where people living with early psychosis and schizophrenia can achieve their potential. This is possible with early intervention and recovery-focused mental health services. The heart and soul of SSC is the conviction that things can be better for those experiencing early psychosis and schizophrenia. Cannabis and Mental Health Project Testimonials:

“These resources offer a balanced, evidence-based and engaging curriculum addressing the relationship between cannabis use and mental health, to help equip youth with tools to make informed decisions. They create a great opening to explore why young people choose to use cannabis, the impact of legalization on diverse communities, and the importance of destigmatizing and harm reduction approaches to substance use and mental health education.” Julia Armstrong, Manager, Mental Health and Substance Use Health. April 2023

The Cannabis & Mental Health project was created by a diverse group of youth, including those with lived experiences, identifying as black, Indigenous, or persons of colour, and from geographically disparate regions across Canada. These perspectives are highlighted throughout the course through conversations between young people on their experience of stigma and an Indigenous youth’s perspective on spirituality. We hope that by seeing others like themselves, harder-to-reach youth, especially those who feel their realities aren’t reflected by mainstream public health approaches to cannabis and mental health, will feel more excited about and
empowered with accessible, balanced content.
Hargun Kaur, National Youth Action Committee, April 2023.

The Cannabis and Mental Health course aims to assess the needs of those existing in the margins. The project takes a strength-based approach to prioritising the needs of specific communities while uplifting the voices of those that may be at more elevated risk of erasure and exclusion.
Connor Lafortune, Indigenous Strategic Advisor, April 2023.

The Cannabis and Mental Health Team!