OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #376 – January 3, 2014

Highlights include: Best Wishes for the New Year; Ashley Smith Coroner’s Inquest; Police and Mental Health; Supreme Court Rules on Police Notes; Medical Marijuana and Heroin Updates; 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.  More Commentary from the Ashley Smith Coroner’s Inquest

The entire report including the 104 jury recommendations can be found here:

Ashley Smith Verdict

Newspapers also speculate about implications for the justice system:

Ashley Smith Homicide Verdict May Wreak Change in 2014

Shocking Prison Videos Central to Ashley Smith Inquest

A couple of noted professors bring their thoughts through a letter to the editor:

Ashley Smith:  Who is Guilty of Homicide?


2.  Police and Mental Health

This article suggests that we may be at a turning point in how police deal with those having mental health issues:

The Way Police Deal with the Mentally Ill at a Turning Point

This backgrounder to the upcoming March 2014 conference co-sponsored by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the Mental Health Commission of Canada that will deal with police interactions with the mentally ill:

De-escalation Training of Police to Deal with Mentally Ill

Conference information for this Toronto conference is here:


3.  Canadian Supreme Court Rules on Police Notes

In case you missed it:  the nation’s highest court ruled that police officers who are being investigated by a civilian watchdog can no longer have their notes prepared by a lawyer:

Supreme Court:  Police Notes Can’t be vetted by Lawyers


4.  Whither the Federal Position on Medical Marijuana?

It’s a very confusing world out there:

Cannabis and Cat Litter Don’t Mix

B.C. Cities Aim to Dig Out Medical Marijuana Home Growers

Media, Police Not Talking Straight on Pot

Confronting the Stigma of Medical Marijuana


5.  Prescription Heroin Still Up in the Air

CMAJ:  Ambrose Breached International Ethics Standards with Heroin Ban

BC Patients Still Waiting for Controversial Prescription Heroin

6.  HSJCC Conference Presentations Now Available Online (suggestions)

Presentations from the November 2013 Biennial Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee are now online:

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

MOHLTC staff presented a snapshot of the Ontario Forensic Mental Health System:

The Changing Landscape of the Forensic Mental Health System in Ontario

Ministry of Children and Youth Services provided a survey of the overlapping mental health and addiction issues of those youth who are involved with the justice system:

A Snapshot of Mental Health and Addiction Issues within the Youth Justice System


7.  Postpartum Depression and City Living

Researchers at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto believe that the diagnosis of postpartum depression is more frequent in urban areas:

City-Dwelling Women at Higher Risk of Postpartum Depression


8.  An Innovative Practice in Mental Health and the Justice System

Here’s a British example of a promising practice in mental health and justice – it involves putting mental health nurses in police stations:

Mental Health Nurses in Police Stations Pilot Scheme


9.  National Conference on Peer Support Early Bird Registration (repeat)

The long-awaited April 30 – May 2, 2014 Peer Support Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has now begun early-bird registration:

PSACC Conference Early Bird Registration

Full details can be found on the Peer Support Accreditation and Certification Canada website:

National Conference on Peer Support


10.National 2014 Collaborative Mental Care Conference

The 2014 Collaborative Mental Health Care conference takes place in Toronto Friday June 20 – Saturday June 21. The call for Conference papers is due January 31.  More information is available 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.