OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #356 – July 26, 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. Highlights include:  Canadian Crime Rate Lowest in Decades; Saskatchewan Psychiatric Medication Use Study; Taser-Related MH Death Inquest; Marijuana in the News; Peer Support Research from the U.K.; 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 Crime Rate Lowest in 40 Years


      Not unnoticed under the recent wave of “tough on crime” legislation spearheaded by the federal government is this Statistics Canada report on national crime rates:


      Canada’s Crime Rate Lowest in Decades<http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/07/25/canada-crime-rate-lowest-decades.html>



      2.  Saskatchewan Snapshot of Psychiatric Drug Use


      Their provincial study discloses that despite a 54% increase in psychiatric medication (from 1983-2007), the evidence base is uncertain on whether the population’s mental health improved during this time:


      Use of Psychiatric Drugs Increasing Substantially, Saskatchewan Survey Shows<http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/health/psychiatric+drugs+increasing+substantially+Saskatchewan/8688876/story.html>



      3.  MH Peer Support Specialist Funding for Nova Scotia (reader comment)


      A reader made a good point about last week’s story on peer support and intellectual property:

      I just have to say that it irks me to see the term "Intentional Peer Support" misused again, this time in the heading of the blog entry about peer support in N.S.  Lest we forget, IPS is the model of practice developed by Shery Mead and unless all the individuals referred to have done the IPS certification, they should not claim to be providing Intentional Peer Support.  If "intentional" is just used as an adjective in this instance, it's rather redundant since the alternative would be "accidental" peer support.

      With all the new models, programs and trainings appearing on the scene, I think it is important to make an effort to protect the integrity (and the intellectual property) of one of the originals.

      Just my two cents worth.



      4.  Schizophrenia, Taser, Death, and an Inquest


      This inquest took place as a result of a Taser-linked death of an individual with a schizophrenia diagnosis.  The inquest and jury recommendations are not unfamiliar – we have two reports:


      Taser Contributing Factor in Aron Firman Death<http://barrie.ctvnews.ca/taser-contributing-factor-in-aron-firman-s-death-jury-finds-1.1379523>


      Coroner’s Jury Rules Taser Not Direct Cause of Collingwood Man’s Death<http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/2013/07/24/coroners-jury-rules-taser-not-direct-cause-of-collingwood-mans-death>



      5.  Marijuana in the News


      Justin Trudeau speaks out in favour of marijuana legalization:


      Trudeau Makes Headlines in Call to Legalize Marijuana<http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/trudeau-makes-headlines-for-calls-to-legalize-marijuana-1.1383738>


      The National Post picks up this story prominently:


      Marijuana Use by Teens Linked to Brain Abnormalities Later in Life<http://life.nationalpost.com/2013/07/25/marijuana-use-by-teens-linked-to-permanent-brain-abnormalities-later-in-life-u-s-study/>


      As usual, those with a little time to check out the online comments will gain even more insight.



      6.  Fiction in the News (update)


      The editorial editor of the Calgary Herald’s “opinion” piece on her perception of addiction resulted in close to 1,000 responses and a follow-up interview:


      Calgary Herald Columnist Defends Opinion Piece<http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Calgary+columnist+defends+column+which+links+Insite+Cory+Monteith/8688481/story.html>


      The chief medical health officer for the B.C. jurisdiction that operates Insite sets the record straight:


      Health Expert Stamps Out Idea that Insite Worsens Heroin Problem<http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/no-link-between-supervised-injection-and-glee-stars-death-health-expert-says/article13336474/?cmpid=rss1&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter>



      7.  Rural Telepsychiatry Helps Kids


      Here’s a mainstream media story on the development of mental health services for children and youth in geographically isolated areas:


      Telepsychiatry Services Help Rural Kids<http://www.windsorstar.com/health/Tele+psychiatry+service+helps+rural+kids/8699419/story.html>





      8.  Peer Support Papers (U.K.)


      We have two articles:  Peer Support Workers Theory and Practice; and Peer Support in Mental Health:  Is it Good Value for Money?  Both are accessible through this blog entry (click on each title to access the download):




      Both publications are attached to more detailed summaries at these webpages:


      IMROC-Briefing PS Workers Theory and Practice<http://www.nhsconfed.org/Networks/MentalHealth/projects-and-resources/imroc/imroc-briefing-series/Pages/Peer_Support_Workers_Theory_and_Practice.aspx>


      UK Health and Social Care Blog (Value for Money)<http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/healthandsocialcare/2013/07/15/peer-support-in-mental-health-care-is-it-good-value-for-money/>


      9.  App Helps You Remember to Take Your Meds

      Sometimes, technology takes itself too seriously and forgets about the simple stuff.  This Huffington Post blog entry describes an app for the IPhone and IPad that has been downloaded over 10,000 times and comes from a coalition of Canadian healthcare providers:

      Can’t Remember Your Meds?  There’s an App for That<http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/russell-williams/health-care-technology_b_3639690.html>

      MyMedRec App (ITunes Store)<https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/mymedrec/id534377850?mt=8>


      10.Guidebook to Effective Convening

      The Tamarack Institute points to a resource by the lead Rockefeller Foundation on “Gather:  The Art and Science of Effective Convening<http://tamarackcci.ca/resource-library/communities-collaborating/gather-guidebook-effective-convening>”.

      This is a handy reference, but equally useful is reading it as a screening tool to help assess the potential of any working meetings (and to make decisions on time management accordingly).




      11.Peer Support Accreditation and Certification – Canada Conference


      PSAC-Canada has a bilingual website:




      The English announcements of next April’s conference in Halifax and the invitation to submit an abstract are here:








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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.