Estimates are that 1 in 2 Canadians have or will have a mental illness by age 40. More than half of Canadians consider anxiety and depression to be epidemic in the country and mental illness is a leading cause of disability claims in the workplace in Canada.
This is why Spectrum Therapeutics has partnered with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) to develop an educational content module related to cannabis in the workplace as part of CMHA's Not Myself Today workplace mental health program. The module—slated to launch early next year, will feature a host of physical and digital engagement tools aimed at reducing stigma about the use of cannabinoid-based medicine in the workplace. The content will also include video resources featuring medical cannabis subject matter experts and fact sheets that provide detailed information and direct readers to further resources. The aim is to encourage greater healthcare professional oversight when patients use cannabis to treat a medical condition.
"The stigma surrounding medical cannabis and mental illness prevents meaningful action and dialogue among those affected,” said Dr. Mark Ware, Chief Medical Officer, Canopy Growth. “One of the goals of this partnership is to break that stigma by empowering conversations about mental health informed by evidence-based educational resources. For Spectrum Therapeutics, the goal of this partnership is the powerful opportunity to improve lives by enhancing physical and mental health. We believe this can be achieved by facilitating education and informed conversations about medical cannabis in the workplace."
Not Myself Today is an evidence-based initiative designed to help employers and employees transform mental health at work. The program is embraced by more than 500 organizations across Canada and the US, reaching more than 350,000 employees. By breaking down barriers and making the topic of mental health engaging and accessible to all employees, Not Myself Today improves mental health literacy, reduces stigma, and shifts workplace culture to be more supportive of every employee's mental health and well-being. For the past 6 years, the initiative has evolved into a highly-regarded program and counts many of Canada's largest and most respected employers across corporate, government, and social sectors as its champions.
"The mental healthcare system of the future is not just in clinics or hospitals—it's in settings like the workplace, where we can promote the skills, knowledge, and practices that can improve mental health for the broad population instead of limiting our focus to individual patients," said Fardous Hosseiny, Interim National CEO, CMHA.
The research on cannabis use and mental illness is still in its infancy and CMHA highlights that more studies are needed to understand the relationship between mental health and cannabis use, both in terms of possible benefits and risks. CMHA and Spectrum Therapeutics strongly advise that individuals speak with a healthcare professional for advice on any mental health treatment including medical cannabis.
Spectrum Therapeutics has identified mental health as an area with high unmet medical needs and is currently engaged in clinical research in partnership with leading academic institutions and research centres to determine the role cannabis can play in addressing mood and anxiety disorders.
Through partnerships like this one with the CMHA and support for campaigns such as Not Myself Today, Spectrum Therapeutics is proud to provide education for patients, their families, and healthcare providers on medical cannabis and its role in mitigating some of our most pressing healthcare issues.