OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #355 – July 19, 2013

Highlights include: Federal Cabinet Shuffle; Ontario Ombudsman’s Annual Report; Public Health and Children and Youth Mental Health; Peer Support Specialists in Nova Scotia; Mad Pride; Addiction in the News; News; and More.

Editor’s Note: Please be aware that many online newspaper sites are now behind pay-walls. Not all articles with hyperlinks may be accessible due to circumstances beyond our control; we apologize for the inconvenience.




      1.  Canadian Cabinet Shuffle


      Rona Ambrose is the new Minister of Health.


      Peter MacKay is the new Justice Minister.  For those who are looking for clues on his position on Bill C-54 (the high-risk designation of the criminally mentally ill), his Wikipedia entry notes his early career as a Crown Prosecutor and that “the major impetus for his entry into federal politics was his frustrations with the shortcomings in the justice system, particularly his perception that the courts do not care about the impact crime has on victims”.



      2.  Ontario Ombudsman Annual Report


      This year’s report features a press release that has a highlights link (use it to find the section detailing provincial inmates and their issues, including accessing psychiatric care):


      Ombudsman Urges Province to Tackle Unfinished Business<http://www.ombudsman.on.ca/Newsroom/Press-Release/2013/Ombudsman-urges-province-to-tackle--unfinished-bus.aspx>



      3.  MH Peer Support Specialist Funding for Nova Scotia


      Here’s a complimentary blog entry (written from an insider’s perspective) of the recent provincial government announcement:


      One-on-One Intentional Peer Support<http://ssnsc.blogspot.ca/2013/05/one-on-one-intentional-peer-support.html?spref=tw>



      4.  Mad Pride Toronto 2013 Wrap-up


      Here’s an account of the Bed Push:


      Crazy One and All<http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=193602>



      5.  Mad Pride Hamilton


      It’s great to see a “big-city” newspaper freeing up space for a full write-up of the first Mad Pride Hamilton event:


      Mad Pride Coming to the Hammer<http://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/3890891-mad-pride-is-coming-to-the-hammer/>



      6.  Addictions in the News


      We have a roundup of stories about addictions since one prominent overdose death made headlines in the past week.


      This author makes the point that healthcare professionals need education and familiarity with patients to overcome stigma and discrimination:


      Undergraduate Medical Education Aren’t Meeting the Needs of Those Suffering From Addictions<http://healthydebate.ca/opinions/undergraduate-medical-education-why-we-arent-meeting-the-needs-of-those-suffering-from-addictions>


      The lack of addiction services and maintenance treatment is a common theme in these two stories:


      How the Drug Treatment System Failed Cory Monteith<http://healthland.time.com/2013/07/17/viewpoint-how-the-drug-treatment-system-failed-cory-monteith/>


      A Wakeup Call<http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/michaela-montaner/cory-monteith-overdose-addiction_b_3607845.html?utm_hp_ref=tw>


      Abbotsford police (a city neighbouring Greater Vancouver) have warned of a deadly heroin-fentanyl mix that can cause deadly overdoses:

      Police Warn About Heroin Spiked with Fentanyl<http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/07/17/bc-abbotsford-heroin-overdose-spike-fentanyl.html>



      7.  Fiction in the News


      The editorial editor of the Calgary Herald wrote this “opinion” piece and the online commentators were not amused by her take on the issue of addiction:


      Vancouver’s Easy Drug Access<http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/columnists/corbella+vancouver+easy+drug+access+have+helped+kill/8678866/story.html>



      8.  Mental Health Commission of Canada Website Updates


      The Peer Support webpage has been revised:


      MHCC Peer Support Webpage<http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/issues/peer-support?routetoken=aabaf97fa6cfa6fa3af63bc59a15a962&terminitial=25>


      The MHCC’s Youth Council was recently formed – their new webpage is here:


      MHCC Youth Council<http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/mhcc-youth-council>





      9.  Extreme Heat Safety Tips


      Toronto Public Health offers these tip sheets that are available here;


      Beat the Heat<http://www.toronto.ca/health/heatalerts/beatheat.htm>


      10.Knowledge Exchange of Mental Health in Canada

      The Caledon Institute of Social Policy has produced a commissioned report on the state of Knowledge Exchange in Mental Health in Canada.  It is a “simple language” document with active hyperlinks and is recommended as a refresher for those wanting to read a summary of Ontario’s recent multi-sector efforts in this area.  An introduction and link to the PDF document is at:

      Knowledge Exchange of Mental Health<http://www.caledoninst.org/Publications/Detail/?ID=1015>


      11.Public Health and Children and Youth Mental Health

      The EENet.ca website features a news report highlighting the work that Ontario’s public health departments do around children and youth mental health.  The item is here and includes a report, recorded webinar, and the slide presentation:

      How Public Health is Addressing Child and Youth Mental Health<http://eenet.ca/news/new-report-on-how-public-health-is-addressing-child-and-youth-mental-health-goes-public/>




      12.Opening Doors Project (CMHA Toronto)


      The Opening Doors Project is continuing to offer workshops on mental health, stigma and migration throughout the year!  This includes our popular workshops: "Mental Health & Wellness 101", "BREATHE: Self-Care in Stressful Times" and "Journeys to Canada: Stories of Migration."


      These workshops are Free and will continue to be available all over Ontario. You will find these workshops suitable for your clients, community members and team.


      We encourage you to check us out.  You can find us at:




      Watch our video here:




      Email us at openingdoors@cmha-toronto.net<mailto:openingdoors@cmha-toronto.net> or call (416) 631-9896 to book a workshop.


      Please feel free to share this with your colleagues, programming/training manager and/or agencies you believe will benefit from our workshops.


      Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to hearing from you soon.




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      Thanks for reading!


      The Staff of OPDI


      NewsToGo is OPDI’s e-mail update providing timely and meaningful information to its stakeholders. The ideas expressed are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of OPDI. We welcome your submissions; please direct them to opdi@opdi.org. Preference will be given to material which directly relates to OPDI member affiliates and issues of concern to consumer/survivors throughout Ontario. We reserve the right to edit the length and style of all materials submitted. The current and back issues of NewsToGo can be found at http://www.opdi.org or our archive.