OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #384 – March 7, 2014

Highlights include: Charles McGillivray Inquest; CAHO ARTIC Showcase Includes TDM (Peer Support); Many Webinars of Note; NCR Bill; Pot Laws; 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.   Charles McGillivray Inquest Declares Death an “Accident” (follow-up)

The Empowerment Council had standing at the inquest.  This is their released statement in reaction to the verdict (co-signed by other local organizations):



2.   Not Criminally Responsible Bill Now at Senate Committee Hearings Stage

With doubts being raised about the constitutionality of the legislation, the Justice Minister intends to take it to court if necessary:

Justice Minister Peter MacKay Prepared to Go to Court

CAMH’s head of Forensic Services has his own viewpoint to share:

The Wrong Way to Handle Mentally Ill Criminals

Incidentally, people who have been found not criminally responsible are NOT CRIMINALS.  The headline from the source is inaccurate and misleading.


3.   A Broader Range of Penalties for Pot Possession?

Is Canada headed for a broader range of penalties for marijuana possession?  If so, how can one claim that pot laws are being “loosened”?

Looser Pot Laws May be on Horizon


4.   CAHO ARTIC Showcase

This past week, OPDI attended the CAHO (Council of Academic Hospitals) ARTIC (Adopting Research to Improve Care) showcase, where current researchers presented on their projects.  OPDI is a collaborator in the peer support initiative with academic hospitals.

Here’s a special report of the event:


The Transitional Discharge Model was highlighted; this is what the CAHO website has to say:



5.   An Important Blog Entry from a Volunteer

It’s important for anyone, regardless of their stakeholder status, to read this brave blog entry.  The introduction in her own words:

After 'surviving' a horrendous experience at systems level within the ranks of mental health and addiction, as a volunteer lived experience advocate 'voice'.... I have now taken it and created a teaching moment for others, to validate both the perils and strength of being the 'lived experience/'family' volunteer voice and help minimize the harms for others in this role; currently and to come.

This one is titled: Let's Talk Big Bad Wolves
Re-triggered trauma and negotiating safety for the lived experience/'family' voice




6.   Connecting Between Mental Health and Addictions Peer Communities

This is a very astute look at how peers in addiction and mental health communities can look to each other for common ground:

Building Bridges Between Mental Health and Addiction Communities


7.   The Placebo Effect in Antipsychotic Drug Trials

Why has the placebo effect become so much a part of antipsychotic drug trials?  This article by CAMH attempts to explain:

Scientists aim to reduce placebo effect in drug trials


8.   The Addictive Gambling Machine

Do you know why gaming machines make people addictive? It’s by design:

How Gambling Machines and Digital World Put Us into the “Machine Zone”


9.   John Stapleton, YouTube Star on Low Income Retirement

If you want to watch John Stapleton’s presentation on “Retiring on a Low Income”, the Toronto Public Library has put up his talk with Ellen Roseman (Toronto Star financial columnist) on YouTube:


Don’t forget his toolkit available here:



10.PsyberGuide – A Resource to Check out Mental Health Apps

The website description says it all:   “PsyberGuide is a consumer-friendly resource for finding out about the software and apps available for help in managing mental health conditions, and the research and views of experts on the usefulness of these products”:



11.Voices of Hope Spring Newsletter

The latest issue of the always interesting newsletter from Waypoint Patient/Client and Family Council has some updates on the hospital as well:


And here’s a video clip of the hospital’s new Atrium opening:

The Patient/Client & Family Council celebrates along with Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care the Grand Opening of the new Atrium building. Here is a link to the local newscast that features very prominently our friend and former Peer Supporter, Deana Abbott with Health Minister Deb Mathews cutting the ribbon




12.York Region Addictions and Mental Health Conference with Dr. Gabor Maté

Dr. Gabor Maté is the guest speaker at the York Region Addictions and Mental Health Conference April 7 and 8.  Full registration details are here:



13.National Conference on Peer Support Tentative Schedule Now Available (repeat)

The tentative conference schedule of the first National Conference on Peer Support in Halifax is now available.  Registration can be accessed on the left-side menu on the webpage:


Please note the related webinar that is mentioned elsewhere in this issue.


14.Webinar on Lived Experience and Mental Health and Addictions (repeat)

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’re organizing for social change and peer support.
·          The key principle of “nothing about us without us.”
·          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‐Help 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



15.MHCC Webinar on Peer Support (NEW)

The MHCC (Mental Health Commission of Canada) has scheduled a free webinar (English Only) on the value of their Guidelines for the Practice and Training of Peer Support:



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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.