OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #358 – August 9, 2013

Highlights include: Police Shooting Updates; Bill C-54 and the Federal Prison Watchdog; Canadian Harm Reduction Network Best Practices Guidelines; Betty-Lou Kristy’s Views on Research; 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.  Mobilizing Peer Support – the 2013 OPDI AGM and Conference


Please find enclosed the draft conference agenda and registration form. Please note – the conference is open to all.

Click HERE


2.  Upcoming OPDI Internship Webinar


Our next Internship webinar date is August 20, 2013 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm.  If you have completed the OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials™ Program and have received a level 1R you are invited to join if you wish.  If this time does not work for you there will be other webinars offered.  If you would like to attend the Internship webinar please email opdi@opdi.org<mailto:opdi@opdi.org> and the information to login will be sent to you.



3.  Toronto Police Shooting Update


In light of the Sammy Yatim shooting, the Ontario Ombudsman has begun an inquiry into police de-escalation techniques:


Ombudsman Says Incidents are a Systemic Problem http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/08/08/like-groundhog-day-ontarios-ombudsman-says-incidents-like-sammy-yatim-shooting-are-a-systemic-problem/


This columnist considers the frayed relationship between the Ombudsman and police forces:


Ombudsman Steps into Yet another Hornet’s Nest http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/08/09/ombudsman_steps_into_yet_another_hornets_nest_dimanno.html


A management professor looks to other jurisdictions for a “best of” approach:


Global Practices in Police Intervention http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/08/08/sammy_yatim_innovation_that_could_have_saved_his_life.html


Meanwhile, inquests into three earlier deaths with police intervention are starting October 15th:


Inquest into Three Police Shootings Set for October 15<http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2013/08/08/inquest_into_three_police_shootings_set_for_oct_15.html>


The final and wisest words on the matter comes from Pat Capponi who knows well about policing and mental health, in this guest post on John Stapleton’s openpolicyontario.com blog:


Here is Your Diagnosis and Your Bullet-Proof Vest – Wear in Poor Health<http://openpolicyontario.com/here-is-your-diagnosis-and-your-bullet-proof-vest-wear-in-poor-health-guest-blog-by-pat-capponi/>



4.  Bill C-54 Criticism from Federal Prison Watchdog

Global News continues to track the Not Criminally Responsible Reform legislation, with an interview with Howard Sapers, the Correctional Investigator.  He makes the point that incarceration doesn’t work for the most severely mentally ill:

Get Severely Mentally Ill Out of Prison into Secure Hospitals<http://globalnews.ca/news/770460/get-severely-mentally-ill-out-of-prison-into-secure-hospitals-prison-watchdog/>


Global earlier broke the news that inaccurate data, lack of stakeholder consultation, and lack of sound policy were behind the crafting of the legislation:


Bill under Fire for Lack of Evidence<http://globalnews.ca/news/709007/not-criminally-responsible-opponents-prepare-to-implement-bill-under-fire-for-lack-of-evidence/>



5.  Canadian Harm Reduction Network Best Practices Guidelines


We have a blog entry from EENet that draws attention to the Canadian Harm Reduction Network and its release of part 1 of Best Practice Recommendations for Canadian Harm Reduction Programs:


EENet Blog Entry<http://eenet.ca/news/best-practice-recommendations-for-canadian-harm-reduction-programs/#.UgJSTaYyrOc.twitter>



6.  Anti-Malarial Drug Lariam (Mefloquine)


An anti-malarial drug, Lariam, produces neurological side-effects according to this personal narrative:


Crazy Pills<http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/08/opinion/crazy-pills.html?smid=tw-share>


Its effects might be as strong as this court case suggests:


Warning of Anti—Malaria Drug Cited in Sentencing<http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/warning+antimalaria+drug+might+cited+sentencing+Afghan/8726117/story.html>



7.  Lived Experience and Research in Addictions and Mental Health


Betty-Lou Kristy, who has shared her story in person about her experience with addiction, furthers the case for lived experience and researchers working together:

Bringing It Home -- One<http://eenet.ca/bringing-it-home-one/>



8.  A Schizophrenia Diagnosis, A Stay in Hospital, and Loss of an Apartment


It’s a familiar story, but not often do you read about it:


Man Loses Apartment during Hospital Stay<http://www.thetelegram.com/News/Local/2013-08-08/article-3342175/Man-loses-apartment-during-hospital-stay/1>





9.  U.S. Study Shows 300% Rise in Stimulant-Related ER Visits by Young Adults


Although this is a data compilation of American emergency departments, the trend of using legal stimulants is likely in this country also:


Stimulant-Related Emergency Department Visits Rise 300% among Younger Adults<http://www.newswise.com/articles/stimulant-related-emergency-department-visits-rise-300-percent-among-younger-adults#.UgUhK2F08Wo.twitter>


10.Youth Violence Lowers IQ

Horseplay, or schoolyard fights, can permanently damage your IQ – and we are not even talking about contact sports:

Teen Fights Destroy IQ<http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264356.php>


11.Treating Heroin and Opioid Addictions Properly

Research led by a B.C. professor suggests that detox and abstinence approaches typical of short-term treatments have very high failure rates, and that long-term treatment is needed for substance users:

Don’t Treat Heroin and Opioid Addiction as Short-term Conditions<http://globalnews.ca/news/765398/dont-treat-heroin-and-opioid-addiction-as-short-term-conditions-paper/>


12.Guidebook to Facebook Safety and Privacy (repeat)

This pamphlet was sourced from an American agency dealing with victims of domestic abuse; however the instructions on how to safeguard your Facebook identity are a lesson applicable to many:

Facebook Safety and Privacy:  A Guide for Survivors of Abuse<https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-safety/safety-and-privacy-on-facebook-a-guide-for-survivors-of-abuse/601205259900260>


13.Stay Smart – Have a Cuppa Chocolate

Buried deep in this press release, we find that the Mars Company (surprise, as in Mars Bars) provided the cocoa for this research:
Mars Provides Cocoa to Scientists: They Discover Drinking Chocolate Found to Keep Brain Healthy<http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-08/aaon-cmh073113.php#.UgOkK6zcD0M.twitter>


14.Sleep and Weight Gain

We are told a good night’s sleep is essential to good mental health.  And lack of sleep, well it can make you fat – and it’s not just by visiting the refrigerator at night:

How Sleep Loss Adds to Weight Gain<http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/06/how-sleep-loss-adds-to-weight-gain/?smid=tw-share>




15.Police Records Check Information Session


PARC, The Empowerment Council, and Parkdale Community Legal Services present


Mental Health Police Record Checks:  An Information Session for Clients


How Police Record Checks Work

What Happens to Your Record when you have a Mental Health Interaction with Police?

When Mental Health Information is or is NOT allowed in a check


GUEST SPEAKER:    Ryan Fritsch Chair of the Ontario Mental Health Police Record Checks Coalition


Wednesday August 14th, 2013 2:30 to 4:00pm

1001 Queen St. West

Training Room A


Please RSVP with Diann 416-535-8501 Ext. 33520 or email ec.volunteer@camh.ca.



16.PSR/RPS Canada 2013 Conference


PSR Canada 2013 Conference is taking place in Winnipeg, Manitoba September 23-25 with a housing symposium September 26-27.  For more information and to register (extended deadline is August 23rd for the early-bird rate), please go to:





17.Psychiatric Survivors of Ottawa Recovery Connections Project (Hiring)


PSO writes:


I'm hoping that the attached job descriptions could be freely shared across the OPDI member organizations through the weekly newsletter, with the OFCMHAP membership and via CMHA Ontario, as well as within your own professional networks.  As some of you are aware, this is the implementation phase of our Recovery Connections project, which involves implementing peer support workers and family support workers in two hospital inpatient units, as well as one emergency department here in the City of Ottawa.  This is a Champlain LHIN funded initiative.  The positions sit within Psychiatric Survivors of Ottawa, one of our local consumer-survivor initiatives, but the process has been, and will continue to be, a very collaborative process with family and hospital partners


The job postings are available through Charity Village here:


Peer Support Worker:




Family Support Worker:





18.Gerstein Centre Looking for New E.D.


Kudos and future happy trails to Paul Quinn (the founding co-director) who has led this unique community mental health institution for so long:






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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.