OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #359 – August 16, 2013

Highlights include: Lighthouse Awards Nominations Now Open: Mobilizing Peer Support – OPDI AGM and Conference 2013; Upcoming Internship Webinar; Police Shooting Updates; OPDI ED and Policy Analyst Interviewed on CTV News Channel;  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 in one package. Please note – the conference is open to all.



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.  OPDI Lighthouse Awards


We are pleased to attach the poster, brochure and nomination forms for the fourth annual OPDI Lighthouse Awards.  Please forward these on to your staff, board, members, clients and others in your network of people involved in the mental health & addictions system throughout Ontario.

Nomination Forms

2013 Award Nomination for Individuals

2013 Award Nomination for Organization


 Download the Lighthouse Award Brochure HERE


Download Our Conference Promo Package HERE:


Download Our 2013 Poster HERE


Please feel free to print off a copy or two and post to your bulletin boards.


We look forward to another successful awards dinner and hope to see you there!



4.  Toronto Police Shooting Update


In the latest development, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair announced the appointment of a former Justice to review internal police protocols and to make those findings public.  There was also a public demonstration the next day in front of police headquarters:


Sammy Yatim Rally in Toronto<http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2013/08/13/toronto-sammy-yatim-rally.html>


Filmmaker Laura Sky of “Crisis Call” and other mental health and addiction-themed documentaries is interviewed in this piece:


Are Police Equipped to Deal with Mental Health Crisis Situations?<http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/08/09/f-police-sammy-yatim-mental-illness.html>


This editorial is making the case for more mental health intervention:


Mental Illness Not a Police Matter<http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/Mental+illness+police+matter/8791380/story.html>


OPDI Executive Director Deborrah Sherman and Policy Analyst Raymond Cheng were interviewed separately on CTV News Channel:


Deborrah Sherman Interview<http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=983375>


Raymond Cheng Interview<http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=983330>


We will be monitoring this weekend’s conference of Association of Police Boards to see what happens:


Police Conference Tackles Mental Health<http://globalnews.ca/news/783074/police-conference-tackles-mental-health/>



5.  U.S. Signals Shift Away from “Tough on Crime” Approach


We have two Canadian reports of a significant speech by the American Attorney General that by calling for reduced sentencing in order to reduce prison populations is diametrically opposed to what the federal government has been legislating recently:


U.S. Attorney General Calls for Reduced Sentences to Reduce Prison Overcrowding<http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/08/12/us-drug-crime-sentences-treatment-community-service.html>


Broken Criminal System Too Harsh and Expensive<http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Broken+criminal+justice+system+harsh+expensive+attorney+general/8781963/story.html>



6.  U.S. Investigating Use of Antipsychotics in Children and Dementia Patients


Children who are covered under the Medicaid insurance program seem to be receiving more psychiatric medication, and the U.S. government wants to know why; they have also been investigating their use in nursing homes, where 88% of dementia patients are on antipsychotic meds:


U.S. Reviewing Use of Antipsychotics in Children<http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/Medicaid/40982>



7.  OxyContin Manufacturer Kept List of 1800 Overprescribing Doctors


So, the manufacturer of an addictive and abused opioid knew of these American doctors who were inappropriately giving out prescriptions but took no action:


OxyContin Manufacturer Kept List of Overprescribing Doctors<http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-rx-purdue-20130811,0,1420977.story>



8.  The Case of the Uncurious Mainstream Media and Addiction


Dr. Gabor Maté, well-known addictions expert, shares his mainstream media experience in the aftermath of Cory Monteith’s death:


Cory Monteith Death Reflects Media’s Lack of Curiosity about Causes of Addiction<http://www.straight.com/news/408841/gabor-mate-cory-monteith-death-reflects-medias-lack-curiosity-about-causes-addiction>



9.  Ontario Medical Association Stakes Position on Housing


Ontario Medical Association has taken the stance that good health requires good housing:


Good Patient Health Requires Housing Investments<http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1210371/investments-in-housing-are-investments-in-health-ontario-s-doctors>



10.Politicizing Harm Reduction


Here’s an insight into how the current governing federal party is justifying Bill C-65, the proposed legislation that sets stricter rules on how supervised injection sites require community approval before being accepted by the Health Minister:


Keep Heroin Out of Our Backyards<http://www.conservative.ca/?page_id=3190>




11.A Glut of Antidepressants

A recent study highlighted in the New York Times discloses, among other findings, that two-thirds of patients supposedly diagnosed as depressed examined did not meet the criteria for the D.S.M. (diagnostic psychiatric bible) of depression:

A Glut of Antidepressants<http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/12/a-glut-of-antidepressants/?smid=tw-share>


12.Soda Pop Consumption and Aggression in Children

It seems getting in fights and destroying other people’s possessions are associated with drinking sugared fizzy beverages:

Soda Pop and Aggression in Children<http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/08/15/pop-behaviour-problem-children.html>


13.Too Much Coffee for Young Adults May be Harmful

This study that links earlier deaths in young people to higher coffee consumption does have limitations, but is worth reading nevertheless:

Heavy Coffee Drinking<http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/news/20130815/heavy-coffee-drinking-tied-to-shorter-lives-for-younger-adults-in-study>


14.Sleep Aids and their Effect the Next Day

People take them to get to sleep; now the American drug watchdog wants to know if people can safely drive the next morning:

Sleep Aids and Driving the Next Morning<http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/14/business/to-judge-sleep-aids-us-looks-at-drowsy-driving-in-the-morning.html?_r=0>


15.A Doctor’s Perspective:  Will My Patient Sue Me?

This article gives tips to healthcare professionals who want to avoid being sued:

How Doctors Can Spot Patients Who are Likely to Sue<http://www.amednews.com/article/20130204/profession/130209992/4/>




16.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.  Note:  Deadline to apply is August 21.


The job postings are available through Charity Village here:


Peer Support Worker:




Family Support Worker:






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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.