OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #382 – February 21, 2014

Highlights include: PREFER Summit; Mental Health Lead in Algoma; Provincial Politics; Federal Budget and Reactions; Police Shootings Roundup; Antipsychotic Use in Seniors; Police Records Check Coalition Asks You to Take Action; Webinar on Lived Experience; 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 Lead Agency In North East LHIN – Algoma

As an example of a practice spreading across all LHIN$B!G(Bs, we have another media report of a centralized mental health and addictions access point, this time in the North East LHIN Algoma region:

North East LHIN Launches Centralized Access for Algoma


2.   The Provincial Legislative Pulse

What$B!G(Bs the deal about the Ontario legislature after the recent by-elections and a possible election with the fall of the minority government?  This news report sums up what$B!G(Bs happening:

Possible Election Looms as Ontario Politicians Return from Break


3.   The Federal Budget and Reaction from Mental Health and Addictions Stakeholders

The federal budget came down last week.  Here$B!G(Bs the webpage:


For reaction from stakeholders, please see the following:

CAMINH (Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health)

Canadian Psychiatric Association


4.   Police Shootings Inquest Finale and Reactions

This Toronto Star wrap-up (with a paragraph of commentary by Jennifer Chambers of the Empowerment Council) is quite comprehensive:

Police Shootings Inquest Rules Deaths as Suicides

Other stakeholders were interviewed here:

Jury Recommends De-Escalation in Police Confrontations with Mentally Ill

The ED of the Self-Help Resource Centre chips in on YouTube with his look at how a peer-based perspective would work to break down stigma instead:


Here$B!G(Bs CMHA Toronto CEO Steve Lurie$B!G(Bs take on the inquest:

Inquest Recommendations were $B!H(BFabulous$B!I(B

Finally, a sober reflection on all the inquests we$B!G(Bve had previously:

Thousands of Inquest Recommendations Never Carried Out


5.   The Provincial Forensic System in Focus

This feature around the death of a mental health consumer in jail takes a good look at the provincial forensic system:

Better Care Sought for Mentally Ill Inmates

In a related story, the opening of a new corrections facility in Etobicoke suggests new programming and services:

Etobicoke$B!G(Bs Cutting-Edge Jail Opens to Mixed Reviews


6.   Children$B!G(Bs Mental Health in Hamilton – A CBC Series

The CBC$B!G(Bs Hamilton bureau is doing an excellent series on children$B!G(Bs mental health.  In the first two segments released, they discuss the connection between poverty and mental health, and the outreach of mental health services into the school system:

Kids, Poverty and Mental Health:  Hamilton Fights Back

Kids, Poverty and Mental Health:  How Hamilton Schools Reach Kids


7.   Toronto Public Health Distributes Lifesaving Drug to Volunteers

Volunteers in Toronto are being given naloxone kits – a drug that can counteract opiate overdoses:

Program Gives Volunteers Kits to Stop Fatal Drug Overdoses



8.   Placebo and the Brain

The premise of this kind of healing astonishes – the idea that a placebo can stimulate the production of dopamine in the brain and relieve symptoms – just like medications – and do it just as effectively:

The Medicine in Our Minds


9.   Chronic Pain, Youth, and Mental Health Diagnoses

Youth with chronic pain are more likely to have a mental health issue, suggesting this may be an underrated consideration in diagnosis:

Physical Pain Linked to Depression and Anxiety in Youth


10.Gays, Lifespan, and Social Prejudice

Who knew?  This American study is profiled as evidence that gay people who live in jurisdictions that show high levels of social prejudice don$B!G(Bt live as long:

LGB Individuals Living in Anti-Gay Communities Die Early


11.Psychiatric Medications in the News

This news report suggests that greater awareness is driving changes to the way that antipsychotics are being prescribed to seniors (in this case in the Champlain LHIN):

Programs Reduce Antipsychotics Use to Control Dementia



12.Your Chance to Speak Up about Privacy and Medical Records

Please take action this week as the PRCC (Police Records Check Coalition) seeks people to write letters to the Ontario Associations of Chiefs of Police regarding recommendations on the non-convictions release of information.  The action bulletin is here with suggestions for a form letter:



13.Webinar on Lived Experience and Mental Health and Addictions

Webinar: Lived Experience and Family Advocates, Peers, System Planners, and Speakers: Embedded from Community to Systems

Evidence Exchange Network (EENet)
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM (EDT)

People with lived experience of mental health and addiction and family members are enacting social change and working to improve systems like never before.
Join a FREE webinar about:
·          Diverse roles that people with lived experience in Ontario are taking on and ways they$B!G(Bre organizing for social change and peer support.
·          The key principle of $B!H(Bnothing about us without us.$B!I(B
·          Strategies to create meaningful partnerships.

About the presenters:

Betty-Lou Kristy is a lived- experience/ family provincial systems-level advisor/consultant and advocate who additionally provides peer support and outreach at a community level for mental health, addiction, trauma, and bereavement.

Allan Strong is Team Lead at Skills for Safer Living, the Centre for Excellence in Peer Support, Self$B!>(BHelp Alliance. For the past 25 years, Allan has held various positions in the mental health and addiction system, ranging from front-line staff in a supportive housing program to coordinator of the Ontario Self-Help Network.

Who should attend: Service providers; clinicians; individuals involved in systems-level governance, policy, and planning; persons with lived experience/self-identified family; and peer support workers.

Sign up for this webinar today! Registration is FREE but space is limited.

You will receive the login details once youve registered.
For more information contact rossana.coriandoli@camh.ca



14.PREFER Summit

PREFER SUMMIT - Saturday, March 8, 2014
Time:  10:00am-5:00pm
Location:  Branson Site -- North York General Hospital, Auditorium (lower level) Toronto, ON (Finch Ave. W. west of Bathurst Street)

This exciting upcoming Provincial event requires that you MUST REGISTER for this event if you would like to attend.  

This is a FREE provincial conference open to the community focused on Innovation in Peer Support.  Everyone is welcome to attend, so please share/post/distribute/forward the flyer and invite friends, family, peers, people you are supporting, or your supporters to attend.  

Spaces are limited!  We expect to be sold out before the event.  

Registration can be done directly online by visiting: http://prefersummit2014.eventbrite.ca.
The poster is available here (check the end of the February 21st entry):



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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.