OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #385 – March 14, 2014

Highlights include: Ontario Ombudsman to Get New Powers; Self-Harming Teens; Police Records Check Coalition Update; Harm Reduction; National Network for Mental Health Membership; News; 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.   Ontario Ombudsman Gets New Powers in Proposed Legislation

The office will tentatively be allowed to investigate universities, school boards, and municipalities (but not hospitals).  The government’s press release:

Strengthening Accountability and Increasing Transparency

The Ombudsman’s press release:

Ontario Ombudsman’s Oversight to be expanded to MUSH

A media report on the real-world implications:

Ontario Ombudsman to be Given Powers to Investigate School Boards and Municipalities


2.   Self-Harming Teens Filling Emergency Departments Across the Country

Doctors from four separate provinces are quoted in this media report:

Mental Health Services Being Stretched as Self-Harming Teens Seek Help


3.   Police Records Check Coalition Update

As we indicated earlier, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) has followed the stand suggested by the PRCC with respect to non-disclosure of non-criminal records.  This is their statement:

OACP LEARN Guideline for Police Record Checks

For an example of what this means “in the field”, we have media coverage from Woodstock:

People shouldn’t be penalized for Wanting or Needing Crisis Help


4.   Is Canada’s Drug Policy Misguided?

This Op-Ed article by an United Nations official clearly thinks so with respect to the recent direction away from harm reduction and the consequences of HIV prevention:

Canada’s Drug Policy with Wrong Crowd


5.   CNN and Marijuana

With the recent legalization of marijuana in two U.S. states, the popular media is starting to take a serious look at the benefits of the drug:

Medical Marijuana and the “Entourage” Effect


6.   A Flemish Town and Its Psychiatric Community Care

This CBC documentary about foster care and how it is improving the lives of those with mental health issues has been widely circulated in social media:

Belgian Town Sets Gold Standard for Psychiatric Community Care



7.   “Making Evidence Matter in Canadian Health Policy”

This free e-book is downloadable in a variety of formats.  It is published by the people behind the EvidenceNetwork.ca website and includes chapters on mental health and social determinants of health.  It can be accessed here:



8.   Teens, Energy Drinks and Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Are teenagers self-medicating when they reach for that energy drink?  The evidence suggests something along that line:

Energy Drinks Linked to Mental Health and Substance Abuse Problems Among Teens



9.   National Network for Mental Health Membership Drive

This Canada-wide voice for persons with lived experience of mental health issues has a newly redesigned website:


Individuals, supportive individuals and partner organizations are eligible to become members.  You can find out more here:



10.Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression, and Service Delivery

Across Boundaries, the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Centre for Research on Inner City Health invite you to a presentation and discussion around how to measure anti-racism and anti-oppression (AR/AO) principles and practices in the context of service delivery.  For more information on this March 28th Toronto event, please Click here for more information and to RSVP.


11.MHCC Webinar on Peer Support (Wednesday, March 19 at noon EST)

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.