On Wednesday, February 6, Connexions welcomed parents, teachers and staff to its information Session Straight Talk About Cannabis.
The evening began with guest speakers, Erica Tomkinson and Kelly Connolly, Drug Awareness & Prevention DART Team from the Western Quebec School Board (WQSB), who spoke to attendees about their role within the WQSB as drug and alcohol technicians; the different types of cannabis, highlighting the two compounds found in the plant naturally, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that gives the euphoric feeling and CBD (cannabidiol); the effects of cannabis on youth, noting that the brain continues to grow until age 25 and that there has been a dramatic increase to potency of cannabis.
We also welcomed Marc Olivier Chabot, officer from the Sureté de Québec, who spoke to attendees about recreational cannabis, the law and youth. As explained, any person under 18 years of age may not be admitted to a cannabis retail outlet. It is prohibited to sell cannabis to a minor or to an adult buying for a minor and a minor is prohibited from buying cannabis.
We also welcomed special guest Kiran Somjee, RN, I.A. National Priority Advisor, Strategic Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilization at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) who spoke to us about their Talking Pot with Youth: A Cannabis Communication Guide for Youth Allies which was created with input from youth and youth allies. Kiran went through the different sections of the guide, including the different exercises that parents, teachers and school staff could use to ensure they have a safe, unbiased, informed and non-judgmental conversation with their young people about cannabis.
Parents were thrilled with the evening and the depth of knowledge of the guest speakers who presented clearly and concisely on a complex topic that is ever changing. The event also allowed for questions during and after, which the parents greatly appreciated and welcomed.
A special thank you to:
Guest speakers Erica Tomkinson and Kelly Connolly, Drug Awareness & Prevention DART Team from the Western Quebec School Board (WQSB).
Marc Olivier Chabot, officer from the Sureté du Québec.
Kiran Somjee, RN, I.A. National Priority Advisor, Strategic Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilization at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA)
Eldon Keon, Principal at the Lord Aylmer School, Ralph Mason, Principal at Eardley Elementary School, Céline Sévigny, Principal at South Hull School and George Singfield, Principal at Symmes-D’Arcy High School.
Lisa Falosconi, Director of Complementary Services at the WQSB, Shannon Davis Lafond, Chair of the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) and FranÃ§oisÂ Raymond, Communications Consultant at the WQSB
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Please note that presenter PowerPoints and more resources will be added soon. So please visit this page for daily content updates.
- PowerPoint Presentation from the Western Quebec School Board’s Erica Tomkinson and Kelly Connolly, Drug Awareness & Prevention DART Team
- Online Resources and Guides for Parents – Cannabis and our Children / Youth
- Resources for Parents – Accessing Addiction Services
- Cannabis & the law: Federal (Bill C45) and Provincial (Bill C19)
- Resources For Youth(list of various resources for youth and their parents: information on suicide, mental health and mental illness; crisis services including 24/7 telephone support, shelters; financial aid and employment services; local food banks; sexual health and relationships; and legal assistance)
- Youth & Opioids: What Do I Need to Know as a Parent?
- Connexions’ Printable Mental Health First-Aid Kit Cards for youth:
- Mental Health Activity Cards for Youth;
- Mental Health Cards with Words of Empowerment and Mandala Colouring, Version 1 and Version 2;
- Mental Health Resource Cards that include a list of resources (crisis resources, etc.), as well as important contact information;
- A Mood Tracker;
- List of Different Coping Strategies and What to Include in a Calm Down Kit;
- I am Grateful for… Activity Page.