$1.4M for groundbreaking cannabis mental health studies

Published on October 29, 2020 by David Wylie

New research into cannabis use among the Métis is being acclaimed as ‘a first in Canada.’

The Mental Health Commission of Canada announced $1.4 million in funding for 14 different community-led research projects on the relationship between cannabis and mental health, including some of the first Indigenous-led studies.

Up to $100,000 is earmarked for each project over two years for researchers to explore how cannabis use affects underserved populations across the country.

“Collectively, these projects could create stronger, more responsive and supportive communities, especially for those people who lack power or opportunity or who are vulnerable in some way,” says Dr. Joanna Ochocka, co-director at the Centre for Community Based Research (CCBR).

“We are excited to see community-based research projects across Canada that will build capacity and new knowledge, directly benefit communities, and influence public policy.”

It will address significant gaps in research on cannabis and mental health among Indigenous, Métis, 2SLGBTQ+, senior, immigrant, refugee, ethnocultural, and racialized populations, as well as other communities who experience layers of oppression, the announcement made this week states.

Six of the projects will include initial examinations of cannabis use and mental health in Métis and First Nations communities.

“These six projects offer an opportunity for First Nations and Métis to invest in research that honours their own language and culture, the foundation of their world views,” says Dr. Carol Hopkins, who is the executive director at the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation.

“That’s a step in the right direction toward the decolonization of Indigenous knowledges.”

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