OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #390 – April 18, 2014

Highlights include: NCR Bill Becomes Law and Mental Health Community Responds; Privacy Commissioner Speaks Up On Police and Mental Health Records; Nursing Homes and Antipsychotics; Federal Ombudsman Finds Overmedicating Among Female Inmates; 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.


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. To minimize the impact of pay-walls, consider regularly clearing your browser cookies.


1.   Bill C-14 Passed by Senate and Receives Royal Assent; MH Community Reacts

Bill C-14, the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act, passed in the Senate and received Royal Assent last week, meaning it is now law.  A coalition of mental health organizations (including OPDI) that opposed the bill put out this press release (do note that “Ontario” was omitted from our full name in the press release):

Bill C-14 Press Release


2.   Ontario’s Privacy Commissioner Speaks Up on Police Mental Health Reporting

Some police forces are posting personal health information about suicide attempts to the Canadian Police Information Centre, which is made available to other police forces and U.S. Border officials.  This has meant that people have been found unfit to enter the United States.  The Ontario Privacy Commissioner has spoken out against this practice:

Stop Automatically Disclosing Suicide Attempts

Her report and press release from the Commissioner’s office is here:



3.   Provincial Budget Due May 1st

In the background of much political intrigue, the Finance Minister made it official:  the Ontario budget will be presented May 1st:

Ontario Budget Date Announced


4.   Ontario Nursing Homes Overusing Antipsychotics

A newspaper report about the “off-label” use of an antipsychotic to keep agitated nursing home patients from becoming restless made its way into the Ontario Legislature’s “Question Period”:

Cansfield Reveals Antipsychotic Drug Use Widespread in Ontario Nursing Homes

Ontario Nursing Homes Prescribing Antipsychotics

Minister:  Drugged Seniors Were Prescribed by Doctors


5.   Federal Prison Ombudsman Investigating Systemic Drugging of Female Inmates

A similar story is emerging about Canada’s correctional institutes for women. The Federal Corrections Ombudsman, Howard Sapers, is looking into the systemic use of antipsychotics for “off-label” purposes, namely to chemically calm female inmates:

Prisoners Given Powerful Drugs Off-Label

More information about the drug (Seroquel) in question

Powerful Psychotropic Drug Used in Canada’s Federal Prisons

A third story has quotes from stakeholders about this practice:

Quotes About Rate of Psychiatric Meds Prescribed to Federal Women Prisoners


6.   Mental Health and the Military

Global News has been doing a series of stories on mental health issues in the military.  This one is a gateway to the whole series (check out the sidebar):

More Than 200 Soldiers Volunteered to Share Stories of Mental Illness Treatment


7.   Urgent Psychiatrist Shortage in London Area

The London Health Sciences Centre is caught in a situation between heightened demand for mental health services and a lack of physicians to provide treatment:

London Hospital Puts Out Urgent Call for Temporary Doctors



8.   Resource for Ontario Renters

This MPP has made it a yearly tradition to produce an updated tenant guide that is applicable to Ontario legislation.  You can download it here:



9.   Concussions Leave to Mental Health Consequences in Youth

Further data mining into the Ontario Drug Use and Health Survey (a survey conducted by CAMH) has found a connection between concussions and other mental health issues:

Teens Who Have Concussions Face Higher Risk of Self-Harm and Bullying


10.Free Mental Health (Psychiatry) Resource App

This app made available by Global medical Education while aimed at mental health professionals is a useful resource for anyone interested in learning in depth about this subject.  It is available for Apple iPhone users here and Android users here.



11.Dr. Cheryl Forchuk Named Distinguished University Professor

Congratulations to Dr. Cheryl Forchuk of the University of Western Ontario, a frequent collaborator with OPDI and other CSIs in research on peer support.  She has been named a Distinguished University Professor:

Western Faculty Earn Top University Distinctions


12.Are You Attending the National Conference on Peer Support in Halifax? (repeat)

Are you going to Halifax for National Conference on Peer Support this month? Are you passionate about inclusion, peer support, recovery & employment?  We are hoping to find people who can tell a compelling story on the importance of work, the power of recovery and the value of peer support.  For more information, please contact Neasa Martin neasamartin@primus.ca.


13.Reminder:  Submit a Recovery Resource (Deadline April 23, 2014) (repeat)


Recovery inventory: Submit a recovery-oriented resource

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

General inquiries:

Despina Papadopoulos, Knowledge Broker
Mental Health Commission of Canada
100 Sparks Street, Suite 600
Ottawa, ON K1P 5B7
Phone: 613.683.3733
Fax: 613.798.2989
E-mail: dpapadopoulos@mentalhealthcommission.ca

Submission inquiries:

Lindsay Wodinski, Research Analyst
Charis Management Consulting Inc.
#418, 10123 – 99 Street
Edmonton, AB  T5J 3H1
Phone: 780.496.9067 ext. 231
Fax: 780.408.3229
E-mail: lindsay@charismc.com

The views represented herein solely represent the views of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Production of this document is made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada.


Contributions and comments are welcome.  Please email to Raymond@opdi.org. “News to Go” in the Subject line: 
To subscribe to this e-mail update, please e-mail opdi@opdi.org.  Or visit our website here:  http://opdi.org/ to fill out the newsletter sign-up box.
We are also on Twitter: @OPDI.

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.