Making the most of opportunities to connect, learn and share.

Since establishing the Exploring the Link Youth Advisory committee during the summer of 2019, we’ve wasted no time getting out there and sharing our unique approach to creating innovative resources to help young people navigate the complexities of cannabis.

Our youth advisors have already presented to a number of key audiences, including over 250 delegates at the EPION (Early Psychosis Intervention Ontario Network) conference, and the Vancouver Island Psychosis Conference.

Youth Advisors Alyana and Kristy, with Dr. Sam Chang of the University of Calgary, Vancouver Island Psychosis Conference in Victoria BC in November 2019

We co-presented alongside some of the top researchers and clinicians in early intervention, adding youth voices and lived experience perspectives, and raising awareness about the essential role of youth in co-developing effective cannabis and mental health education resources.

Presenting at conferences is a key part of the project’s knowledge translation and dissemination strategy, and we’ve got lots in store in the months ahead to keep building the momentum as we prepare to launch our website and reach out to partners across the country.

We’ve been fortunate to be selected to participate in the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s SPARK training program, to help make sure that the knowledge and innovation we’re generating through the project will be taken up in diverse communities and settings across Canada.

We’ve also been accepted to present a workshop at the upcoming Canadian Public Health Association conference in Winnipeg in April, where youth advisors will be presenting the project as a case study of effective youth engagement in a public health campaign.

On January 20th we are participating in the OPHEA think tank in Toronto and we’re looking forward to a great 2020, full of opportunities to connect with communities across Canada, and advancing our goal of helping support youth in making informed decisions about cannabis use, reducing harms and promoting mental health.

Catherine Willinsky, Project Manager, Exploring the Link