SSO’s Cannabis Community Forums

Jun  13 2019

With cannabis becoming legal in Canada on October 17, there are a lot of questions and concerns surrounding the effects of cannabis on youth and its connection to psychosis.

SSO continues to organize community forums across Ontario as part of our cannabis legalization public awareness campaign.

Our objective is to unpack what legalization means for Ontarians, discuss where gaps exist, the harms associated with cannabis use, especially for youth, and where youth and families can get help. These forums are supported by our partner agencies and our panelists including:
  • •    Dr. Suzanne Archie, Executive Director of The Cleghorn Early Intervention Clinic, who focuses on the association between cannabis and psychosis
  • •    An individual with lived experience to share their story as well
  • •    One or two local service providers who present on harm reduction, resources for parents and youth and local services and resources
SSO provincial forums to-date:

November 1, 2018: Our first “Let’s Talk Cannabis” in Hamilton, Ontario

April 8, 2019: Peterborough, Ontario 
On April 8, the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario in partnership with the Peterborough Drug Strategy (PDS) hosted a free youth-focused event to expose mental health risks associated with using cannabis. Held at the Peterborough Library, our expert panel included Kaelen Boyd, Policy Analyst at SSO, Gordon Langill, Director of Programs and Services at CMHA, Tanya Kowalenko, Educator at CMHA, Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, medical officer of health at Peterborough Public Health, and Ilyas Khamis from SSO’s Speakers Bureau who spoke about his personal experience with cannabis and psychosis and his recovery journey.

May 6, 2019: Ottawa, Ontario
On May 6, the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario hosted a free youth-focused event supported by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (Ottawa) to expose mental health risks associated with cannabis. Held at the Bronson Centre in Ottawa, our expert panel included Kaelen Boyd, Policy Analyst at SSO, Dr. Suzanne Archie, Clinical Director, Cleghorn Early Intervention in Psychosis Program and Scientific Advisor at SSO, Katie Fleming, Knowledge Broker at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addition, Andrew Mendes, Director of Operations at Rideauwood Addition and Family Services, Ilyas Khamis from SSO’s Speakers Bureau who spoke about his personal experience with cannabis and psychosis and his recovery journey, and Moderator Krista Benes, Manager, Substance Use and Mental Health at the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

SSO’s “Let’s Talk Cannabis” Toronto Forum will take place on October 16, 2019 supported by Turning Point Youth Services and Skylark Children Youth and Families. Click here for details about Toronto's forum.

Read more about SSO’s position on cannabis legalization.

Visit our Twitter and Instagram for updates for the next Cannabis Forum in Toronto.