OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #381 – February 7, 2014

Highlights include: Mental Health Lead Agency; Employment and Disabilities; ER and Peer Support in the News; Tasers; Corrections Canada; Lithium; Psychiatric Medications; Psychosis 2.0 Conference; 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.   Upcoming OPDI Internship Webinar

Our next Internship webinar date is February 14 from 1:30pm to 2:30pm.  If you have completed the OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials™ Program and have received a level 1R you are invited to join if you wish.  If this time does not work for you there will be other webinars offered.  If you would like to attend the Internship webinar please email opdi@opdi.org and the information to login will be sent to you.


2.   Mental Health Lead Agency at Work in Guelph and Wellington County

Is this a model for other LHINs?  Read this and find out more:

Initiative to Make Mental Health Services Easier to Access in Guelph and Wellington County


3.   Ontario Creates Council for Employment and Disabilities

The Toronto Star got a jump on this upcoming announcement and a critical reaction as well:

Ontario Convenes New Partnership Council to Boost Jobs for Disabled People


4.   Emergency Departments in the News

Healthcare professional insensitivity and lack of access to psychologists are two themes arising from this reported incident:

More Psychologists would limit emergency room visits, group says

The phenomenon of “frequent flyers” in emergency departments is discussed here:

Chronic Visitors to Local ERs Often Leave Before Treatment


5.   Medical Records and Privacy Concerns

Ontario-based stories recently have been focused on U.S. Border checks and the effect on mental health consumers.  Now B.C.’s privacy commissioner has drawn attention to the consequences of police background checks on prospective employees:
Background Checks for Jobs Raise Privacy Concerns

A reminder that the Police Records Check Coalition website is your resource on such matters:



6.   Waterloo Regional Police Seek Public Input on Tasers

This item showed up in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record:  a police consultation regarding Tasers.  This may be become the norm for Ontario municipalities:

Police Turning to the Public for Input on Tasers and More


7.   Stand Up for Mental Health Comedy Group

David Granirer’s work was featured during Bell’s Let’s Talk:

Comedy Workshop helps People with Mental Illness Heal Through Humour


8.   Corrections Canada Won’t Respond to Ombudsman Reports

This doesn’t look promising especially after last week’s report on the federal agency spending millions to stonewall testimony at the Ashley Smith inquest:

Corrections Canada won’t respond to Reports, Watchdog Says


9.   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


10.The State of Home Care in Ontario

The Toronto Star’s Queen’s Park columnist had nothing good to say about home care, and the Minister herself replied:
Kathleen Wynne Fails to Act on Growing Healthcare Mess

The response from the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care is this:
Ontario is Expanding Home Care for seniors


11.Canada’s Armed Forces and Homelessness

It may come as a surprise that at least one shelter has dedicated beds for discharged veterans who do not have a place to live:

No Way Home:  Canada’s Armed Forces and Homelessness



12.Health Canada Updates Profile on Lithium

Health Canada has issued an update for healthcare professionals who prescribe lithium.  We have a plain-language account from the mainstream media; the article has a direct link to the Health Canada bulletin at the end:

Health Canada Updates Safety Profile of Bipolar Drug Lithium


13.Peers Help Those Waiting for Mental Health Services

You may have mixed feelings about this innovation, but peers are useful in helping those who are on waitlists for care:

Mental Health Patients Waiting for Care Get Help from Peers


14.Racism, Mental and Physical Stress and the Need for Support

The complex outcomes of racism are underlined in this study:

Racial Discrimination Takes Biological Toll on Body for Some


15.Psychiatric Medications in the News

Newsweek has a feature article on psychiatric medications.  One takeaway quote:  “We have more deaths in emergency rooms now for prescribed psychiatric medication than we do for street drugs”.

A Pill for Every Ill


16.What Happens When We Exercise (and When We Sit Around)

Here’s a very detailed graphic of what happens to your body when lying on a chair:

The Health Hazards of Sitting

This article details the psychological benefits of exercising:

What Happens to Our Brains when we Exercise and How it Makes Us Happier


17.Teenagers, Sleep and Depression

There’s a fourfold risk of depression for teens who do not get enough sleep:

Less Sleep, More Time Online Raise Risk for Teenage Depression



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

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):



19.George Brown Conference on Mental Health

It’s hard to believe that the George Brown College Mental Health Conference is now in its 15th year.  This year’s topic:  post-secondary mental health – and the agenda and registration form can be found here:



20.Psychosis 2.0 – Save the Date

The flyer for the June 13 Toronto conference 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.