Supporting Communities and Partners Across Canada in Leading Cannabis Public Education Initiatives
Providing Canadians with evidence-based information on cannabis is a critical part of the Government of Canada’s public health approach to legalizing and strictly regulating cannabis. Further to its commitment to strengthening cannabis public education efforts across the country, the Government is funding community-based organizations and Indigenous organizations through Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP) to carry out cannabis public education and awareness projects.
Through SUAP, Health Canada provides funding to key stakeholders, including provinces, territories, non-governmental and Indigenous organizations, to strengthen responses to substance use issues in Canada. These partnerships are essential to the Government’s public education efforts to help communicate, complement and extend the reach of its health and safety messages about cannabis.
SUAP funding supports evidence-informed and innovative initiatives across a range of interventions - health promotion, prevention, harm reduction and treatment - targeting a broad range of legal and illegal substances.
Newly-Funded SUAP Projects
- The Ontario Lung Association is receiving more than $2.4 million over 34 months to undertake a national public education campaign targeting Canadians aged 18-24 years with evidence-based messaging to challenge perceptions that cannabis use is a low-risk activity, and increase awareness of the effects of smoking cannabis on the lungs.
- Parachute is receiving more than $701,000 over 30 months to develop and implement a national social media campaign on drug-impaired driving, targeting Canadians between the ages of 13 and 24. In addition, the organization is receiving more than $1.6 million over 47 months to create and implement a comprehensive, evidence-based national education, awareness and prevention campaign focused on the dangers of unintentional child poisoning from cannabis products.
- The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health is receiving more than $2 million over 36 months to create an online information hub with evidence-based knowledge for health and social service providers.
- The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada is receiving more than $549,000 over 40 months to carry out a second phase of its public education and awareness campaign on the health effects of cannabis use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as more than $936,000 to develop additional resources for women’s healthcare providers.
- The Canadian Nurses Association is receiving more than $1.3 million over 36 months to develop a national nursing framework to increase nurses’ knowledge and understanding of cannabis, and to improve the skills of nurses who work with clients who use cannabis, cannabis products and/or synthetic cannabinoids.
- The Boys and Girls Club of Canada is receiving more than $1.3 million over 48 months to develop and deliver a health promotion and prevention education and awareness program to youth about substance use, addiction, and mental health in various cities across Canada.
- The Schizophrenia Society of Canada is receiving more than $999,000 over 39 months to further develop its web portal—Cannabis and Psychosis: Explore the Link - which offers evidence-based information for youth and those who may be at greater risk of harm from cannabis.
- The Canadian Consortium for Early Intervention in Psychosis is receiving more than $242,000 over 18 months to support healthcare professionals across Canada in rapidly diagnosing and treating cannabis-induced psychosis in youth and young adults.
- The Canadian Paediatric Society is receiving more than $241,000 over 33 months to improve the ability of health care providers to talk to children and youth to understand their use of cannabis for non-medical purposes. The funds will also be used to increase access to evidence-based resources about the health impacts of non-medical cannabis use among children and youth.
- The Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health is receiving more than $178,000 over 15 months to develop a framework informed by sex, gender and equity to raise awareness of the harms associated with different ways of using cannabis and strategies for reducing harms.
- The Métis Nations of Ontario is receiving more than $684,000 over 36 months to promote positive behaviours in relation to cannabis among Métis communities, families and individuals and to engage community members in the development and delivery of a cannabis preparedness initiative.
- The Ngwaagan Gamig Recovery Centre is receiving more than $913,000 over 54 months to develop and disseminate culturally appropriate cannabis public education and awareness resources and programming to Wikwemikong communities in Northern Ontario.
- The First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba is receiving more than $876,000 over 31 months to develop community-driven, culturally and linguistically appropriate resources on cannabis that integrate evidence-informed Western scientific information with local Indigenous understandings.
Currently-Funded SUAP Projects
Partnerships are essential to the Government’s public education efforts to help communicate, complement and extend the reach of its health and safety messages about cannabis. In 2017 and 2018, the Government of Canada also provided SUAP funding to the following organizations:
- The University of Calgary will receive more than $126,000 over 19 months to develop and deliver an evidence-based cannabis education program aimed at helping students understand the effects of cannabis use and Canada’s Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines.
- The Alberta Rural Development Network is receiving more than $261,000 over 30 months to support 15 rural communities in developing and disseminating cannabis information and in collecting community-specific data on cannabis use.
- The Government of Northwest Territories is receiving more than $1.8 million over 36 months to develop and deliver a comprehensive and interactive cannabis public education campaign, featuring culturally appropriate resources for Indigenous communities.
- The John Howard Society of New Brunswick is receiving more than $1.14 million over 36 months to provide grade 10 students across Atlantic Canada with evidence-based information aimed at dispelling myths regarding drug-impaired driving.
- Operation Springboard is receiving more than $3 million over 48 months to scale up its Weed Out the Risk educational program across Canada. The program focuses on the health and road safety risks of driving while under the influence of cannabis.
- The Ontario Physical and Health Education Association is receiving more than $652,000 over 36 months to develop and integrate evidence-based cannabis supports into its existing school curriculum for grades 1 to 12.
- St. Stephen’s Community House is receiving more than $480,000 over 36 months to adapt its successfully tested peer leader approach to meet the needs of youth aged 14 to 19 from various cultural backgrounds.
- The Tri-County Women’s Centre Society is receiving more than $967,000 over 36 months to implement its Youth Truth Matters project targeting residents of ruralareas in southwestern Nova Scotia. The initiative aims to provide cannabis education through school-based knowledge exchange activities with youth, as well as substance use support to allow local access to harm reduction information, supplies and support for people who use substances.
Previously Funded SUAP Projects
In 2017 and 2018, the Government of Canada also provided SUAP funding to the following organizations:
- The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada received $309,000 to develop and disseminate two bilingual educational videos highlighting the risks of cannabis use for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
- The Schizophrenia Society of Canada received $83,000 to support the development, promotion and dissemination of evidence-based information and resources to help youth and young adults better understand the mental health risks associated with cannabis use.
- The Canadian Nurses Association received $41,000 to host a one-day cannabis event to identify tools, resources and best practices for supporting nurses in having conversations with their patients about cannabis use.
- The Canadian Association of Midwives received more than $62,500 to disseminate evidence-based resources on the risks of cannabis use during pregnancy and breastfeeding to midwives and their clients across Canada.
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