OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #395 May 30, 2014

Highlights include: OPDI’s Peer Support Core Essentials (TM) Training Set for Toronto in July; Niagara Region Mental Health and Addictions Charter; Police Records Checks; Data for Hospital Stays for Mental Health; Psychosis Conference Organizers' Letter; News; and More.


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  1. Announcement of Toronto OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials ™ Training

Please see the attachment for exciting details about the July 2014 training program taking place in Toronto.  For more information, please email opdi@opdi.org.

  1. Call for Abstracts:  OPDI 2014 Conference (repeat)

SAVE THE DATE - Ontario Peer Development Initiative’s PEER SUPPORT CONFERENCE will be held October 6 & 7, 2014 in Toronto.
We are inviting you to submit a workshop abstract for the Conference scheduled for October 6 & 7, 2014.  Based on the results of the “Burning Issues” session at the 2013 conference, we welcome workshops in the following areas of interest, but submissions are not limited only to these areas:

  • Recruiting and engaging a diverse membership
  • Training staff and board for effective organizations
  • Accessibility of peer support groups and organizations
  • Accountability: getting the work done and telling the real story
  • Empowerment and authenticity: maintaining a member driven and person centred program
  • Advocacy: loss of voice and rights
  • Integrations, mergers, absorptions. How to work IN the system but not be OF the system
  • Challenges of Rapid Growth
  • Staffing Challenges

We are looking for the most innovative workshop topics that you believe will be beneficial to Consumer/Survivor Initiatives and Peer Support Organizations, and will be positively received by those attending this conference.
Workshop Formats: Each workshop will be 90 minutes and should include a presentation, interaction and discussion. Proposals should address the following:
• Session Title
• Objectives/Intended Outcomes for Participants
• Presenter(s) Biography
• Contact Details
• Audio-visual needs
• Workshop description (this will be used in advertising materials, 100 words or less)
Please submit your abstract by e-mail to opdi@opdi.org or fax to 416- 484-9669.
All abstract must be received by June 11th, 2014.
For further information please contact Allyson Theodorou at 416-484-8785 ext. 2 or by e-mail at allyson@opdi.org

  1. Niagara Region Launches Mental Health And Addictions Charter

The Charter, which 65 area organizations have signed onto, is available here:

Niagara Mental Health and Addictions Charter
This news story describes what the Charter aspires to be:
Niagara Mental Health Charter Launched

  1. Could This Happen to Your Area?

This perceptive Op-Ed by a London-area food bank director and former MPP speaks of the overworked police involved with mental health cases and the broader picture that exemplified a system struggling to cope with demand for services:
Political Will Needed to Fix Mental Illness Care Model

  1. Toronto Star Police Records Checks Investigation

You are advised to go to the Toronto Star website and look up “police records” to see the whole series of articles.  There is a letter to the editor that stands out, and is contributed by David Simpson, formerly of the PPAO, which goes to the heart of the issue – that police are not mental health professionals:
Police aren’t Psychiatrists in Blue

  1. CIHI Details Repeat Hospital Stays for Mental Health Clients

This interactive graphic by CIHI (Canadian Institute for Health Information) provides data on hospital stays for mental health clients across Canada.  At the bottom of the screen, you can click on the maps of the provinces and even within regions to find out the data on the percentage of patients who have three visits in a year: 
Repeat Hospital Stays for Mental Illness

  1. A Video Report and Story on Hoarding

This news report/story looks at the issue of hoarding and the Hamilton-area clinic that helps people:

Hoarder slowly learns to stop clinging to the past

  1. Advocates Urge Toronto Police to Carry Overdose Antidote

Medical authorities are among those who state that Toronto police should consider naloxone kits to stop opioid overdoses by users:
Toronto Police Should Carry Antidote for Drug Overdoses

  1. The Case Against Drugging Seniors in Nursing Homes

This Op-Ed makes it clear that administering antipsychotic medication is a dangerous practice that has little to do with good nursing home care:
Nursing Home Seniors Being Drugged Needlessly

  1. What is Violence?

This psychologist believes that angry people commit violence, not persons with mental illness:
How to Stop Violence

  1. A British Perspective of Mental Health in Prisons

This may already have the potential to happen in Canada:
We are recreating Bedlam – Mental Health Prisons Crisis?

  1. Prescription Opioids a Gateway to Heroin Use

A study based on a study of patients at drug treatment centres has found a link between prescription drug use and heroin:
Opioids Leading to New Class of Heroin Abusers

  1. Music Heals Addiction, Depression and Alzheimer’s

This Globe and Mail feature looks at music therapy and some findings:

The Power of Music to Heal

  1. An Announcement from the Organizers of Psychosis 2.0
You are urged to read and act on this statement from the organizers of the upcoming June 13th event.  The program is attached:
Greetings all:
This is an appeal letter in respect of increasing registration numbers at the Friday, June 13 conference - Psychosis 2.0.
The Leadership Project has been organizing important and successful recovery conferences since 2003.  We pride ourselves in the quality of the events, and their impact in getting people excited and engaged with recovery and service culture transformation.
We are however rethinking our involvement in large, financially risky conferences, and we would like your help in completing our work as recovery conference organizers and recovery educators on a financial grace-note.
We are asking you to help us get the word out to people who may be interested in this conference.
We are asking old friends and colleagues to come out to an event that will be as memorable as it will be cutting-edge relevant.
If you are already coming we ask you to persuade a colleague to join you in attendance.
If you want to register but cannot afford the full registration rate then write or call regarding a reduced rate. 
If three people from an agency register the fourth can register for free.
As a reminder, this conference provides a valuable opportunity to hear from six awesome recovery speakers. They are critical thinkers, peer leaders, and innovative clinicians, all of whom bring unique perspectives and inspiring stories to bear on the topic of the day. They will add to your understanding of how psychosis manifests in society, and how it can be better understood, and potentially, resolved.  Do not miss this one chance to hear and learn from some of the most impressive and inspiring workers in our field.
We hope to see you on Friday, June 13. 
All the best. 
Brian McKinnon for the Leadership Project
Contributions and comments are welcome.  Please email to Raymond@opdi.org. “News to Go” in the Subject line: 
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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.