Sapphire Medical Clinics (“Sapphire Medical”), the UK’s first CQC-registered medical cannabis clinic, will mark this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May 2021), an annual event organised by the Mental Health Foundation to encourage UK residents to focus on achieving good mental health, by launching a video series on several mental health issues, the potential benefits of medical cannabis for individuals with these issues, and Sapphire Medical’s initiatives to improve medical cannabis access and education for patients and medical professionals.
Mental health problems are prevalent across the UK with 25% of the population experiencing a mental health problem of some kind each year1 and almost 17% of the population reporting a common mental health problem in any given week.2 While mental health challenges can affect anyone, there are certain groups that experience problems at a higher prevalence, such as ethnic minorities, people with physical health problems, the LGBT+ community, and carers.3 Mental health challenges have been exacerbated during COVID-19, with psychological distress worsening more than 8% on average.4
Mental Health Issues & Medical Cannabis
Since November 2018, when cannabis was moved to Schedule 2 of UK Misuse of Drugs Regulations by the Home Secretary, allowing for prescription, doctors have been prescribing medical cannabis for a variety of conditions, including psychiatric conditions such as anxiety disorders, insomnia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Medical cannabis is also prescribed for persistent pain, which is defined as pain that has lasted more than three months. Persistent pain impacts 25% of the UK adult population5 and can have significant impact on wellbeing, psychological, social and economic health.6 For example, almost half of those with persistent pain also suffer with depression and people with persistent pain are three times more likely to develop anxiety.
Sapphire Medical Video Series
This video series has been created to highlight some of the mental health issues (including anxiety, insomnia and the wider impact of persistent pain) individuals are living with, how medical cannabis has helped, and information on Sapphire Medical’s initiatives; such as the Sapphire Foundation and Access Scheme, Sapphire Institute and Sapphire Registry; for improving medical cannabis access and education for patients and medical professionals.
Dr Mikael Sodergren, Managing Director at Sapphire Medical, comments, “The continued conversation around mental health is progressing and starting to destigmatise the topic. Whilst having a conversation is a good starting point, much more needs to be done because mental health issues are not only debilitating for the individuals who suffer from them but also their loved ones and society overall. This is why, with this video series, we endeavour to educate everyone about the potential benefits of medical cannabis for mental health so that patients can make informed and educated choices about the treatment they wish to use.”
If you would like to understand if you or a loved one is eligible for treatment with medical cannabis, please fill out the Sapphire Eligibility Assessment.
To learn more about Mental Health Awareness Week, please visit the Mental Health Foundation website.