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Translating Knowledge for Change During COVID #1: Catherine Willinsky
Catherine Willinsky (Winter 2020 Cohort)
Cannabis & Psychosis: Exploring the Link Project (cannabisandpsychosis.ca)
Because of the virtual nature of our project, and the way we were already used to working, we have been able to forge ahead with our project and KT plan without much interference from the new reality of working during COVID-19. Our team has been used to meeting by Zoom since the beginning of the project, as we’re all in different locations, and we launched our new website on April 20th without any major issues. The only thing that we have encountered is that we were hoping to have some media attention to accompany our launch. While we were able to achieve some coverage, it was not to the extent what we had hoped for, given the intensive coverage of COVID-19. We will reach out to the media for Mental Health Week.
I realize that we may be among the few projects that have not been profoundly affected by the new reality. We’re very fortunate in that we’ve been able to launch during these times because we anticipate that like alcohol, many people may be increasing their cannabis use at this time and may have questions and concerns. We’ve already received a number of inquiries and messages from young people who have found our site and have reached out to share their stories and their concerns and engage with the information on the site. We’ve also started a major outreach effort, contacting a range of national mental health, substance use, youth serving and educational organizations in mental health, and have also begun a comprehensive social media campaign.