OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #380 – January 31, 2014

Highlights include: Many Ontario Government Announcements; Medical Records and Border Crossings; Peer Support News; Research Updates; Peer Support Workers Opportunities; 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.



This past week marked “Bell Let’s Talk Day” on Tuesday, January 28th and resulted in a tsunami of media articles on mental health and addictions. We will have more coverage in next week’s issue as well.


1.   Ontario Government Announcements on Health Care

Ontario announced the Medical Psychiatry Alliance and allocated $60 million dollars in new funding:

Ontario Medical Psychiatry Alliance

Here’s a TV report on the announcement:

Ontario Announces Creation of New Medical Psychiatry Alliance

New investments in seniors’ care were also highlighted:

Helping Seniors Get the Care They Need at Home

Diabetes 2 care also made the news this past week:

Stepping Up the Fight against Type 2 Diabetes


2.   Ontario Increases Minimum Wage

In terms of fighting poverty, it was only a small step, but in the right direction:

Ontario Increasing Minimum Wage

The announcement was made at the Centre for Social Innovation building on Bathurst Street in Toronto in the ground floor café.  OPDI’s “hot desk” is on the second floor of the office building:

Picture of Premier Wynne in Ground Floor Coffee Shop of OPDI Office Building


3.   Nursing Home Operators Ask for Government Assistance

Operators of nursing homes have appealed to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for additional funding to help keep aggressive residents in check:

Ontario Seniors’ Homes Plead for Help with Aggressive Residents


4.   Medical Records and Border Crossings

In the most recent issue of CMHA Ontario’s Mental Health Notes, there is a summary of the developments since revelations of disclosure of mental health records being used to forbid people from crossing the American border:

Border Crossing, Privacy and Persons with a Mental Health Issue

Ontario’s Privacy Commissioner has taken a proactive stance on this issue:

Privacy Czar Seeks Limits on Police Sharing Medical Records with Foreign Agencies


5.   Ottawa Police Go All Out to Publicize Mental Health Unit

Not only have Ottawa police begun a mental health unit partnering with a psychiatrist, they are leveraging the use of social media to spread the word:

Ottawa Police Using Twitter to Raise Awareness of Mental Health Unit


6.   Recreational Xanax Use

A semi-famous Canadian was in the news recently after having marijuana and Xanax found in his blood system after being arrested.  Here’s a description of what having this anti-anxiety medication can do to your mood:

Popping Xanax is more Harmful than you think


7.   Peer Support in the Military (U.S.)

Given the negative publicity around the recent suicides of Canadian armed forces veterans, this Veterans’ Administration profile of peer support seems like an exemplary role model:

Getting By With a Little Help from Your Friends


8.   Peer Support in the Emergency Department

Here’s a write-up of peer supporters and their role in the Emergency Department (with sidebars to other links):

Emergency Room at Maine Medical Center


9.   The Unwelcome Emergency Department (for those in a Mental Health Crisis)

In this perceptive blog entry, Victoria Maxwell (a.k.a. the Bipolar Princess) pipes up about the inappropriate environment that is the emergency department when it comes to consumers with psychiatric crises:

Crazy Not Deaf



10.Childhood Trauma and Psychosis

An aggregate study of 125 papers puts forth the strong case for a connection between childhood trauma and later psychosis:

More Evidence that Childhood Trauma Leads to Psychosis

Here’s the original journal article:

Source Article


11.Mental Disability and Abusive Relationships

The results of a Women’s College Hospital study are laid out here:

Women with Mental Health Disability Face Four-Fold Risk of Abusive Relationship


12.The Subtle Mental Effects of Clutter

Productivity goes down with clutter:

How Clutter Affects Your Productivity


13.Valproic Acid’s Mixed Profile

Prescribed for epilepsy and as a mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder, scientists have positive findings on this anticonvulsant medication after being tested in animals:

Common Epilepsy Drug Helps


14.Caffeine Use and Inadequate Labelling

Here’s a sobering look at the overuse of this common stimulant:

Caffeine Use Disorder Made Worse by Lack of Labelling



15.Krasman Centre (York Region) WRAP Training and Employment Opportunities

This CSI received ongoing base funding from the Central LHIN for peer navigators in the emergency departments of North York General and Southlake Regional Health Centre, taking the warm-line to 24 hours from its present 12 hours per day and lots of WRAP/FRAP courses and facilitator training. Please check their website for all the details (see the sidebar announcements):


PDFs for your information below:

Announcement WRAP2Training

Job Posting WRAP Experienced Co-facilitator 2014
Job Posting WRAP Novice Co-facilitator 2014

16.National Conference on Peer Support Postcard (repeat)

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!


17.Healthy Minds App Created by the Royal Ottawa Hospital

Monitor your mental health with this App for Apple IOS:

The Royal Goes Mobile with Healthy Minds App


18.Peer Support Workers Opportunities (Toronto and York Region)

MDAO Family Peer Support Worker (deadline February 3, 2o14)

Peer Support Specialist, Homes Plus Care (deadline February 6, 2014)

Peer Support Worker, Community Opioid Program


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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.