OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #373 – December 6, 2013

Highlights include: MHCC Guidelines for the Practice and Training of Peer Support; Legal Aid Ontario Mental Health Strategy Paper; Canada’s Military and Mental Health; Ashley Smith Inquest; Mental Health Records; 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.  Mental Health Commission of Canada Releases Guidelines for Peer Support

The Mental Health Commission of Canada is pleased to share with you the Guidelines for the Practice and Training of Peer Support, which was released this week. Developed in collaboration with peer support workers across the country over the last two years, each set of Guidelines is focused on the empathetic and supportive role of a peer support worker in fostering hope, empowerment, and recovery.  
Guidelines for the Practice of Peer Support outlines the key elements of peer support, provides values and principles of practice to guide a peer support program, and specifies the related skills and abilities required by a peer support worker.
Guidelines for the Training of Peer Support outline the skills and knowledge to be included in peer support worker training programs.
To download the Guidelines, access a one-page overview of the Guidelines, or learn more about our work in the area of peer support, please click here.


2.  Legal Aid Ontario Releases Mental Health Strategy

Legal Aid Ontario has produced a consultation paper on how to improve legal aid services to individuals with a mental health diagnosis.  This document will also be used in public consultations in the next months.

The press release is here:

Mental Health Strategy Paper Press Release

The paper can also be downloaded and a webpage offers room for written submissions here:

LAO Mental Health Strategy Section

3.  Suicide and the Canadian Military

The question of mental health in the military has been a high-profile issue this week:

Canadian Solider an Apparent Suicide would be 4th in Days
Soldier Attempts Suicide After being told PSTD Would End Career

Much of the Cost of War Comes After


4.  Focus on Police and Tasers

This past week’s inquest focused on the testimony of the police officer involved in the Michael Eligon shooting:

Toronto Officer Feared for His Life

On a related note, in a bizarre judicial proceeding, an indictment has been filed against an emotionally disturbed individual who was shot at by New York Police Department officers.  He wasn’t hit, but two bystanders were wounded.  Now he’s been charged with assault:

Man Charged with Assault After Police Shoot Bystanders


5.  Ashley Smith Inquest Drawing to a Close

The Ashley Smith jury has begun deliberations:
Ashley Smith Inquest:  Jurors Begin Deliberations


6.  Update:  Mental Health Records and U.S. Border Admissions

We have follow-up stories to the incident where a woman was refused admission to the U.S. when border officials disclosed mental health information to her:

Canadians with Mental Illness Denied U.S. Entry

Accusations that Private Health Details of Canadians Being Shared with U.S. Border Agents

RCMP Collect Suicide Attempt Reports and Share with U.S.

For more information, please check out the Provincial Psychiatric Advocate Office information sheet:

PPAO InfoGuide:  Personal Health Information

The Ontario Mental Health Police Records Check Coalition website has a relevant webpage here:

Cross-Border Travel


7.  Medical Suspensions of Drivers’ Licences

This Toronto Star columnist takes us into a forum where people discussed the arbitrary loss of driving privileges.  We also have a tipsheet frm the PPAO:

Summary Suspension of Drivers’ Licences Unfairly Targets People with Psychiatric Disabilities

PPAO InfoGuide:  Drivers’ Licence Suspensions


8.  Federal Government Drug Approval Guidelines Questioned

The approval of the generic form of the opioid oxycodone is the focus of this article:

Canada’s Drug Approval Process Questioned



9.  A Critical Opinion of Peer Support in Mental Health

This piece pulls no punches in asking some hard questions about the model of peer support and its sustainability:

4 Challenges for the Model of Peer Support in Mental Illness Care


10.Housing First/Chez Soi Updates

Once again, the Montreal site of “Housing First/Chez Soi” faces a loss of funding.  Two Nova Scotia professionals write about the benefits of housing in mental health:

Housing First Approach Program in Jeopardy

Decent Housing a Cornerstone of Mental Health



11.Ontario Human Rights Commission – Online Course “Duty to Accommodate”

Duty to accommodate: what does it really mean?

Under Ontario’s Human Rights Code, employers, housing and service providers have a legal duty to accommodate. Accommodation usually involves needs linked to disability, beliefs and practices related to a person’s creed or religion, family responsibilities or gender. But what does this really mean? The OHRC’s new eLearning module, The duty to accommodate, provides some answers.

This new module of the HR101 eLearning series can help you learn:

  • What accommodating means and why it’s important to remove barriers
  • How to apply the duty to accommodate at work, in services and in housing
  • Rights and responsibilities for accommodating


Getting started is easy! Human Rights and the Duty to Accommodate is available on the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) website at www.ohrc.on.ca/en/learning/human-rights-and-duty-accommodate.

Need more information? For more information, or if you need help connecting to the module, email us at info@ohrc.on.ca.


12.PSR Conference 2013 Presentations Now Online/2014 Conference “Save the Date”

The 2013 presentations are available on the PSR Canada website:

Link:  http://members.psrrpscanada.ca/conference/files/2013/
Login: conference
Pw: psrm3mbers


September 22nd - Institute Program
September 23rd - 24th, 2014 - Conference Program
September 25th - 26th, 2014 - Housing Symposium


Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel 525 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario

Join us in Toronto for opportunities to learn, share and network.
Meet some of our Keynotes & Institute Presenters

Jennifer Poole from Ryerson University
Meaghan Buisson, BodyWhys

Jakki Petricca - S TALK: Suicide prevention
Dana Martel - OSI & Treatment Modalities with VAC Rehabilitation Program


13.Voices of Hope Winter 2013 Issue (Waypoint Patient Client and Family Council)

The December 2013 issue can be accessed here:

Voices of Hope December 2013

14.MHRC (Hamilton) Computer Trainer

Please see the attached ad for a computer trainer for this Hamilton-area CSI.


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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.