Cannabis and mental health dialogue series: Insights into Veteran and Veteran Family experiences with cannabis and mental health
To learn more about the Veteran community’s experiences with cannabis and mental health, the Atlas Institute, in partnership with the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), hosted a virtual dialogue series exploring research priorities and knowledge needs in mental health and cannabis among Veterans and Veteran Families.
Our final summary report and executive summary provide an overview of the dialogue sessions and what was shared with us, including insights, experiences and recommendations.
Insights into Veteran and Veteran Family experiences with cannabis and mental health: Summary report
Insights into Veteran and Veteran Family experiences with cannabis and mental health: Executive summary
The MHCC and Atlas Institute hosted a webinar on November 29, 2022 to share highlights from the report and engage in a panel conversation with attendees of the dialogue session. You can watch the webinar here.
HOW THE REPORT WAS CREATED
The Atlas Institute, in partnership with the MHCC, held a series of dialogue sessions between May and June 2022. These sessions engaged Veterans, Veteran Family members, service providers and researchers in a discussion about their experiences and perspectives around cannabis and mental health. The discussions in this dialogue series were aimed at identifying research priorities and knowledge needs within the Veteran community.
WHY IT MATTERS
There is little research exploring the relationship between cannabis and mental health with respect to Veteran populations in Canada. We’ve heard from Veterans and Veteran Family members that this is a significant topic of interest, and that there is a desire for more research and informational resources so that Veterans and Veteran Families can be informed in their decision-making around the use of medical cannabis.
These dialogue sessions, and the resulting reports, are intended to start an important conversation on cannabis and mental health within the Veteran community, and to provide a step forward in addressing ongoing research and knowledge gaps.
The final report contains background on how the dialogue sessions came to be, as well as:
- A summary of what we heard throughout the dialogue series
- Summaries from each of the four distinct sessions with Veterans, Veteran Family members, service providers and researchers
- Considerations for addressing research and knowledge gaps
In the dialogue sessions, we heard that while cannabis may have great potential as a tool to manage mental health conditions, there is a need for more research, resources and guidance for Veterans, Veteran Family members and service providers in order to properly inform and support the Veteran community.
Veterans and Veteran Families expressed the importance of being involved in research and addressing knowledge needs on this topic. While this virtual dialogue series helped illuminate some priorities, there is still much work to do. We encourage governments, policy makers and funding agencies to take note of the priorities raised in this report and hope that what was generously shared with us will inspire even more research and resources on cannabis and its relationship on mental health for the broader Veteran and Veteran Family community.
The Atlas Institute is committed to supporting Veterans and Veteran Families in accessing the information they need, and will be developing informational resources that aim to meet some of the knowledge needs expressed during the dialogue sessions.