OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #374 – December 13, 2013

Highlights include: “The Welfarization of Disability” Report; Mental Health and the U.S. Border; Co-Op Housing at Risk; Montreal’s Proposed Supervised Injection Sites; HSJCC Conference Presentations; 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 (repeat)

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 (update)

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

The Law Times, an online journal for the profession has a reaction from a lawyer in the field:

LAO Seeks Better Way on Mental Health Matters


3.  The “Welfarization of Disability”

In another paper by the “retired” John Stapleton, he has researched and written on findings that strongly suggest that due to decreasing access to other social assistance and employment insurance programs, ODSP has become unintentionally a last resort for many people:




4.  Mental Health and the Canadian Military

This article cuts to the chase:  does admission of mental health issues while in the military lead to dismissal and return to civilian life?

Admission of Illness in Military Leads to Civilian Life


5.  Focus on Mental Health Diagnosis and Problems at the U.S. Border

We have another report of an individual refused admission at the U.S. border, a reaction from the Ontario Privacy Commissioner in conversation with the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and an Op-Ed that appeared originally in the New York Times:

Woman with Bipolar Disorder Refused Entry into US

Ontario Privacy Commissioner Wants New Criteria for Entering Health Information in Police Database

Shameful Profiling of the Mentally Ill


6.  Toronto Police Board Approves New Mental Health Crisis Teams

Alongside the continuing police shooting inquests, this important decision was reached in the past week:



7.  Co-Op Housing Funding at Risk

This approaching problem – where co-op buildings have their mortgages paid off but where eligible tenants still need a rental subsidy is explored here:


The position of the national co-op federation is explained here:

Co-Op Housing Federation of Canada Website


8.  Wellbutrin Abuse Profiled

This CBC article is one of several tackling the issue of a psychotropic medication that is being misused by injection (more articles can be found on the sidebar):

Abusing Wellbutrin Can be Deadly


9.  Montreal Plans to Open Supervised Injection Sites

This is interesting:  in the face of proposed federal legislation to stiffen regulations governing supervised injection sites, Montreal proposes to open four new ones:

Four Supervised Injection Sites to Open in Montreal


10.Betty-Lou Kristy Blog Entry:  “A Tale of Two Rabbits”

In this journal entry for EENet, Betty-Lou Kristy compares the journey of addiction, mental health and grief/loss with the tale of the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.  Strangely enough, it is also a story about another kind of “white rabbit”:


11.CMHA Warns of Fraudulent Fundraising in Kitchener and Guelph

Incidents have been reported in Toronto as well:

CMHA Warns Public about Fraudulent Solicitation Campaign



12.HSJCC Conference Presentations Now Available Online

Presentations from the November 2013 Biennial Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee are now online.  If you were curious about what people were saying about Bill C-54, Emergency Department Protocols, and Addiction and Mental Health Records, you have to check this out:

4th Biennial Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee Conference Presentations


13.Ontario Student Drug Survey Released

The Ontario Drug Use and Health Study’s findings are summarized in this media story:

More Ontario Students Drive After using Marijuana than after Drinking


14.MHCC’s Latest Newsletter

The current edition of the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s newsletter is now available:



15.“Addressing Trauma is Part of Recovery”

This CAMH guest blog entry by the Empowerment Council’s Jennifer Chambers and the ensuing comments are worth reading:

Addressing Trauma is Part of Recovery


16.A Mainstream Media Perspective on Early Psychosis and Prevention

Here is a mainstream media depiction of early psychosis intervention as a means of preventing mental illness:

Can Schizophrenia be stopped?


17.Find Out How to Get Your Inaugural Copy of a New Mad Zine

This is the offshoot of the nascent Hamilton Mad Pride Event:

Mad Zine Collective and Mad Pride Hamilton’s First Zine



18.Waypoint Patient/Client and Family Council Seeks Representatives

We are currently recruiting members to sit on our Board of Directors in a Volunteer capacity.

Our Nominating Committee is inviting applications for membership on our Governance Board.  In accordance with our bylaws, the Corporation shall strive to have the Board of Directors reflective of its regional diversity and interests, as well as Directors whose experience, skills, background and interests are of particular benefit to the promotion of the Corporation’s objectives.

To qualify, applicants must have personal experience with the Mental Health and/or Addiction System, or be a family member of someone who has accessed Mental Health and/or Addictions services. (Due to insurance purposes, this position is not available to current in-patients.)

Our current skills and diversity mix would ideally be enhanced by recruiting someone with previous board experience who is in the 20-29 age range, has a non-Caucasian background or has forensic experience.  Possessing transferable knowledge, skills, or experience, in fundraising, public speaking, proposal development, special events planning or legal/financial expertise, would be most helpful.  We are however looking for a variety of experiences, so if you do not fit this mix please do not let this deter you from applying.
Elected officers hold a term of three years (renewable by election for a maximum of two terms) and the board may hold ten meetings per year, with no regular meetings scheduled for July or August.   These meetings are held on location at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care.  In addition, all Board members are expected to sit on at least one sub-committee that may, from time to time, be established to focus on a particular task.

If you are interested in guiding an organization in providing a voice and supporting the recovery journey of people affected by mental health and addiction challenges, we invite you to send us a SHORT Letter of Intent, describing your skills, knowledge and work/volunteer/board experience.  Be sure to include a description of your passion and conviction for this illness!

Preference will be given to persons with previous board experience.

Note: This is a Volunteer Position.  A minimal honorarium plus travel expenses will be paid.

Please submit your Letter of Intent to:
Cyndi Rowntree, Executive Director
C/o Patient/Client & Family Council
500 Church St., Penetanguishene, ON   L9M 1G3   (705) 549-3181 Ext. 2181


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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.