OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #391 – April 25, 2014

Highlights include: CAMH and Smoking Ban; Not Criminally Responsible; Child Abuse and Mental Health; More on Housing First; World Health Organization Seeks Certified Peer Support Workers for Diagnostic Manual; Journalists’ Guide to Mental Health and Addictions; Peer Navigator Posting; 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.   Smoking at an Ontario Psychiatric Hospital

Toronto Star columnist (and smoker) Rosie DiManno had strong words on the strengthened tobacco ban at CAMH effective April 30th:

Removing Psychiatric Patients Cigarettes Deepens Their Trauma

The CAMH CEO responded:

The Evidence for CAMH Going Tobacco-Free

A commentator made his points:



2.   Medical Marijuana:  New Legislation, Growing Pains

This story of one of the new commercial growers licensed by Health Canada quickly going out of business because of an unsafe product is problematic:

Another Road Bump after New Medical Marijuana Rules Rolled Out


3.   Not Criminally Responsible – Two Feature Articles

This Toronto Star reporter has written two features.  One deals with a retrospective look now that the Not Criminally Responsible bill – C-14 – has now become law:


Not Criminally Responsible Law Misses Point:  Critics

An interesting point of emphasis is the belief expressed that even after someone with an NCR designation receives an absolute discharge, there may be a need for ongoing treatment.

The other story is a profile of a conflicted family, where a son has killed his mother:

What Michael Did:  How Does a Family Cope When One Member Kills Another?


4.   Recapping Mental Health and the Law

With the recent multiple stabbing murders in Calgary, the question of mental health and the law has risen again.  This reporter has offered a recent article that outlines what’s involved:
Mental Illness and the Courts – Some Context


5.   TV Ontario’s “The Agenda” On Police and Mental Health Records

The public affairs program does a summary of the Privacy Commissioner’s actions last week and also contacted stakeholders for feedback in this blog entry:

Suicidal Pasts Preventing Future Movements



6.   Canadian Study Shows One Third of Canadians Suffered Child Abuse

The survey found a correlation between reporting of physical and sexual abuse and exposure to domestic violence with mental health issues:

One in 3 Canadians Suffered Some Form of Child Abuse Linked to Mental Disorders

The Canadian Medical Association Journal article can be retrieved here:



7.   Housing First and Youth and a Final Summation

In the afterglow of the positive results from the Housing First study, a researcher looks at the implications for youth and the transition-aged population.  We have a media report that seems pessimistic, and a follow-up blog entry by the author:

Housing First Approach May Put Homeless Youth Last

Does Housing First Leave Youth Behind?

For those who wish to have a Cole’s Notes of the findings, Nick Falvo’s blog post does the job admirably:

Ten “Takeaways” from the At Home/Chez Soi Study


8.   An Inspirational Blog Entry:  From Peer to Certified Practitioner

This blog entry not only tells the story of a peer supporter who went on to higher education and becoming a psychiatric rehabilitation practitioner, but shares an example of individualized support and success in her work with a peer:

More Than a Job, Peer Support is a Calling


9.   New Media Charity Organization Launches Mental Health Guide for Journalists

The Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, with active Facebook and Twitter is now up and running.  With the combined forces of individuals from broadcast and print media, post-secondary education, and mental health, its stated goals are to “promote the physical and emotional safety of journalists in Canada and abroad”.  It does indeed track, report on, and gives opportunities for journalists to train on how to report in danger zones.

The other high-profile goal and which we will be following keenly is to “study the effects of news gathering on those we cover and on news consumers”.  The opening salvo is the just-announced launch of “Mindset:  Reporting on Mental Health”.  This resource is featured on its own website with English and French versions.  There are also Facebook and Twitter links.



10.Peer Navigator Position at Cambridge Memorial Hospital

Please refer to the attachment for further details.


11.World Health Organization Seeks Certified Peer Support Workers for Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders

Dear Colleague

The World Health Organization’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse is forming a global network of mental health professionals to help inform the development of the classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders for the next version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), currently planned for publication in 2017.

WHO is encouraging certified and credentialed Peer Support Workers, working in the mental health field, to lend their professional experience to help develop the ICD-11 by registering for WHO’s Global Clinical Practice Network (GCPN). As a part of this international group of health professionals, you will be asked to provide information and feedback, to WHO, based on your clinical expertise, experience, and knowledge as they develop the new classification of mental and behavioural disorders.  This is of vital importance to ensuring that the new classification is clinically useful, easy to use, and accurate.

As of April 2014, the GCPN has over 10,039 members from 127 countries, representing all global regions. WHO is committed to engaging mental health and primary care professionals from a wide range of disciplines. Your participation in the GCPN and global field studies of the ICD-11 chapter on mental and behavioural disorders is essential to evaluating the new diagnostic system’s clinical utility, applicability and acceptability in varied service contexts and by diverse mental health professionals.

If you choose to participate, you may be asked to review materials, offer feedback about ideas or concepts that we are developing, or participate in specific types of field studies.  The information you provide will inform our decisions about the content and structure of the new classification system, as well as how that information will be presented to different users.  The surveys that we send to you will be based on your own professional interests and areas of expertise.
Once registered in the GCPN, you will receive survey requests no more than once a month and each survey will take approximately 20 - 30 minutes to complete.  You participation will be completely voluntary, and your responses will be kept confidential, secure, and will not be released to anyone else.  We will never ask you to provide information that could be used to identify you or any of the people you support.  Data are to be analyzed in aggregate form and used exclusively for the purpose of ICD revision.  The first studies have already begun.

From the main link below, you can choose to register in any of nine languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish).

To register for WHO Global Clinical Practice Network, please click on this link or paste it into your Internet browser:


If you have any questions about the Global Clinical Practice Network or about your participation, please contact Dr. Tahilia Rebello, GCPN Project Coordinator, at gcpn@who.int.


12.Free Webinar:  Using Health Equity Impact Assessments in Community Mental Health

Join CMHA Ontario, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), and Health Nexus for a free training webinar on how to use the MOHLTC Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) tool in community mental health. The session will take place on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 from 10 a.m. to noon.



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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.