OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #387 – March 28, 2014

Highlights include: Mental Health and Policing Conference Reports; Disturbing ER Care; Medical Marijuana and Harm Reduction; Zoning By-laws; AA Findings; Peer Worker Position; 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.   National Mental Health and Policing Conference Widely Publicized

It’s a rare occasion when so much press is given to the issue of mental health and policing.  We present a summary of articles on the recent conference co-sponsored by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police:

National Plan Unveiled for Training Police on How to Deal with Mentally Ill

CTV News Report:  MHCC CEO and Waterloo Region Police Chief

Policing the Mentally Ill Now Top Concern for Officers, Chief Tells Conference

The Will to Bring Issues of Mental Health Out in the Open is There

Police and Mental Health Leaders Seek to Prevent Tragedies

Police and Mental Health Leaders have National Conversation on Preventing Tragedies

Police Turn Inward for their own Mental Health

The MHCC website has a bookmark webpage for the conference:

MHCC CACP Conference


2.   Mental Health Consumers Sleeping on Floor in ER

These media reports, originating in the Health Minister’s riding, are quite disturbing:

Mentally Ill Patients Wait Two Days in ER, Sleep on the Floor

Deb Matthews Says She was Very Disturbed to Hear Mentally Ill Were Forced to Sleep on Hospital Floor


3.   Medical Marijuana Updates

For the moment, it remains possible for patients to grow their own, but the federal government may soon close that possibility.  At the same time, the medical profession is at odds on what to do with their newfound authority to prescribe a drug they don’t know much about:

Doobie-do or don’t:  Onus for Prescribing Medical Pot Now on Doctors

Medical Marijuana Patients Lament Tough Choice:  go without or Break Law


4.   Is Canada’s Harm Reduction Policy Justified?

As the legal fight for prescription heroin as treatment reaches the courts, this Op-Ed asks the tough question:  is the federal Health Minister doing the right thing?

Canada’s Health Minister Fails to Explain Ottawa’s Policies on Harm Reduction

Prescription Heroin Fight Reaches BC Courts


5.   Canada’s Soldiers Passing on Mental Health Issues to their Children

Transferring of mental health issues between generations is a new worrisome issue for Canada’s combat veterans:

Returning Soldiers Passing Mental Health Issues to Children Raising Suicide Risk


6.   Policy Alert:  Discriminatory Zoning By-laws Alive and Well

This posting on the Community Living Toronto website reminds us that municipalities (in this case the city of Toronto), despite pressure from the Ontario Human Rights Commission, still feel bound to enact by-laws that restrict the location of group homes and therefore discriminate against persons with disabilities:



7.   Dr. Kwame McKenzie Profiled in New Role as Wellesley Institute CEO

Dr. Kwame McKenzie, well-known as an CAMH expert in mental health of racialized populations and schizophrenia, turns his attention as well to the social determinants of health in his new role as the CEO of the Wellesley Institute:

Doctor Tends to Toronto’s Urban Health in New Role

Here’s the official announcement as well:




8.   Does AA Really Work?  Let’s Use Evidence-Based Science...

Does the 12-step method (also known as AA) really work?  A scientist makes this judgement:

With Sobering Science Doctor Debunks 12-Step Recovery


9.   Resource:  Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs

Will Hall, the American counsellor who’s an integral part of the “Hearing Voices” movement, has posted this guide to coming off psychiatric meds:

Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs and Withdrawal


10.EENet Profile:  Telepsychiatry for Transition-Aged Youth

Here’s an emerging practice:  using telepsychiatry to reach transition-aged youth in the Waypoint Centre for Mental Health (formerly Penetanguishene) area:

Transitional Age Youth Telepsychiatry Consultation Service



11.Mental Health Commission of Canada Online Survey Seeking Recovery Resources

The Mental Health Strategy for Canada (the Strategy) places recovery as a central tenet of its plan to improve the health and wellbeing of people with lived experience of mental health problems or illness.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is committed to encouraging dialogue and resource-sharing of recovery and recovery-oriented policies, programs and practices. Successful recovery-oriented initiatives are underway across the country and the Commission aims to support these efforts by: 
·          Sharing and showcasing leading and promising practices through the development of an online inventory of recovery oriented resources; 
·          Enabling ongoing dialogue on recovery; and
·          Developing recovery guidelines to encourage implementation across the mental health system.

MHCC is seeking your help in developing a publicly-available inventory of recovery-oriented resources. This inventory will be hosted by the MHCC Knowledge Exchange Centre and will benefit the entire mental health community. Your contribution is invaluable. As such, the Commission asks that you to click on the link below to submit a recovery-oriented resource, such as a program or initiative, a policy guideline, a website, or an article about recovery from your community or organization that you may be familiar with. 

Please feel free to collaborate with your colleagues on your response and/or share the link with others. The MHCC has contracted Charis Management Consulting Inc. (Charis) to assist with this process. Following the resource gathering phase, a Charis consultant may contact you to learn more about your recovery resource submission. 

The content you provide will be shared with members of the general public and people involved in the mental health sector. Please note that MHCC will immediately honour requests to withdraw submissions from the inventory.

For the initial information collection phase, MHCC asks that you please submit entries by April 23, 2014. A separate entry is required for each resource submission.

Please note that this will take at approximately 5-15 minutes of your time. Entries must be completed in one seating, as it will not be possible to save the submission and complete it at another time.
Thank you in advance for your support and involvement in this work. 
Please click the link below to submit your recovery-oriented resource.

Submit a recovery-oriented resource


12.CMHA HKPR (Peterborough Area) Peer Support Worker Position

Please refer to the Charity Village advertisement for more information:



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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.