OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #379 – January 24, 2014

Highlights include: Police Shooting Inquest Winding Down; Rob Ford’s Addictions Considered; News; NCR in the News; Peer Support Conference; Research Findings; 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.   Police and Mental Health

The Toronto Police shootings inquest of three people with mental health issues this week began deliberations.  We have links to stories:

Police Should Respond to Mental State not Behaviour, Shooting Inquest Told

More Tasers Needed Police Chief Tells Shooting Inquest

Closing Arguments Under Way


2.   Media Commentary on Latest Rob Ford Relapse

A brave admission from a senior writer at the Toronto Sun, and the Toronto Star quotes some experts on how and why Rob Ford needs real help:

It’s Okay not to be Okay

Addiction Experts Urge Rob Ford to Get Help


3.   Not Criminally Responsible in the News

This week’s flashpoint came with an inflammatory column by the Toronto Star’s Rosie DiManno:

Kachkar’s Mysterious Return to Normal

Two responses were soon online:

Column Discredits Mental Health System

What Rosie DiManno gets wrong about Mental Illness


4.   Peer Support in Nova Scotia

We announced last year that the Nova Scotia government provided peer support funding for the first time.  This interview appears to describe the work of such a peer support group:

Peer Support in Nova Scotia


5.   Correctional Services of Canada Spent $5 Million on Ashley Smith Inquest

This Global News report takes up on how Correctional Services of Canada spent at least $5 million on “legal and administrative costs” with regards to the Ashley Smith inquest.  This under-reported exclusive deserves wider distribution:

CSC Spent at Least $5 Million on Ashley Smith Inquest


6.   Toronto Social Agency Uses Social Media to Juxtapose Celebrity Culture with Poverty Issues

This ad campaign asks us to consider our priorities:

Canadian Social Services Campaign Satirizes Celeb Culture Challenge


7.   EENet Profiles Mental Health Academic and Peer Researcher

This profile of Jijian Voronka and her work with the MHCC’s At Home/Chez Soi as well as championing the role of peer researchers is well-deserved:

A Profile of a Mental Health Peer Researcher


8.   Mentally Ill and in Jail in the United States

This radio documentary and website report is indeed stark:

Mentally Ill are Locked Up in Jails that Can’t Help



9.   How to Quit Smoking

January seems to be a popular month to quit smoking. Health Canada has guides for the adult and young adult on how to do just that:

On the Road to Quitting Guides to Being a Non-Smoker


10.Inactivity Leads to Brain Changes

This article explains some of the problems created when an individual remains inactive:

How Inactivity Changes the Brain


11.The Emergence of Income Inequality as a Medical Diagnosis

In Nova Scotia, there is a movement afoot to raise patients’ awareness of their income levels and to point them towards appropriate supports – the comments on these articles were unsurprisingly snarky in questioning the high incomes of the physicians themselves:

How Much Do You Make?  Nova Scotia doctors want to know


12.7 Dangerous Email Habits

This article suggests how seven habits involving your email can be dangerous to your mental health:

Ubiquitous Work emails may harm mental health


13.A Canadian Psychiatrist’s Perspective on Antidepressants

We recently posted a link to a story that Canadians were among the highest users of anti-depressants world-wide.  Here’s a Canadian psychiatrist’s perspective on this finding:

Psychiatrist warns against trying to cure ordinary sadness



14.National Conference on Peer Support Postcard

The postcard for the eagerly-awaited National Conference on Peer Support has been made available through a hyperlink:


The organizers suggest contacting them for copies to distribute or to self-print as needed.  Early-bird registration is now open!


15.“Flip Your Wig for Justice” Campaign

This is a consciousness-raising and fundraising campaign where on one special day (March 6) participants are encouraged to wear a wig of choice to show their advocacy of increased access to justice programs in Ontario:



16.Police and Mental Health Training Conference

The Toronto Star did a write-up on this upcoming March 2014 Toronto conference:

Police Chiefs’ Conference to Tackle Mental Health and Training

The Conference registration information is 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.