OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #396 June 6, 2014

Highlights include: OPDI Core Essentials ™ Training (updated); Ontario Leaders’ Debate Reaction; Ontario MH & A Alliance Get Responses from Parties; Police Records; AMHO CEO posting; News; and More.; News; and More.


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

Please see the revised attachments (poster and registration form) for full details about the July 2014 training program taking place in Toronto.  Registration deadline is June 23.  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. Ontario MH & A Alliance Receives Responses to Questions from Parties

The Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Alliance received responses to five questions it asked the four major parties prior to the leaders’ debate and they are posted on the website:


  1. Roundup of Reaction to the Provincial Leaders’ Debate

The Ontario Nonprofit Network has this analysis:
Analysis of Provincial Party Platforms in Provincial Leaders’ Debates
The lack of healthcare discussion was noted by media:
Ontario Leaders’ Debate:  Where was the Discussion of Healthcare?
90 Minute Leaders’ Debate and No Health Care:  What Gives?

  1. Ontario Privacy Commissioner Launches Legal Action Against Toronto Police

On the heels of the Toronto Star investigation into police records check and reports by the Canadian Civil Liberty Association and the John Howard Society on this issue, the Ontario Privacy Commissioner is going to court to force the Toronto Police Service of stopping the practice of forwarding such information to a Canadian-wide database where it could be accessed for example to prevent people from crossing the border:
Privacy Commissioner Files Legal Motion against Toronto Police
In a related story, this blog entry reveals the real-life problems that an addictions counsellor with lived experience faces when going through a police records check:
Structural Societal Stigma of Police Record Checks Ruining Lives

  1. Health Records Privacy

When someone looks at a heath record of a patient that is not related to business, it is an invasion of privacy.  This healthcare lawyer explains in this article:
Health Records Snooping a Growing Concern

  1. Toronto Star Series on Mental Health Crisis Response

Familiar names from the Ontario mental health and addictions field are interviewed for these articles:
In Crisis Can Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams End Police Killings?
Why are Police Apprehending More Mentally Ill People?

  1. Ottawa Plans Changes to Mental Health Care in Prisons

These proposed changes are drawing mixed reactions:
Ottawa Delisting Hospital Beds at Treatment Facilities
Ottawa Considers Closing Some Prison Psychiatric Beds:  Watchdog

  1. Opioid Overdoses Reported in Two Parts of the Country

Drug overdoses have been reported in the BC and Montreal areas respectively:
Fentanyl Warning Issued Following Rash of Overdose Deaths
Montreal Health Agency Issues Warning about Tainted Illegal Drugs

  1. Ontario Non-Profit Act in Limbo – A Legal Update

This legal snippet suggests what needs to happen legislatively for the Act to take effect:

  1. Dr. Gabor Maté on Rob Ford’s Addictions

Addictions expert Dr. Gabor Maté’s view of Rob Ford’s addiction is as holistically-based and empathetic as you might expect:
Can Rob Ford Conquer his Pain and Become an Inspiration?

  1. SSIC Newsletter

The latest issue of Systems Initiatives through Service Collaboratives Project (SISC) newsletter is now available.  There are 18 locally-based committees that focus on the needs of children and youth in transition through the mental health and addictions system; find out more here:

  1. CAMH Launches Paid App for Alcohol Consumption

This press release links to the paid app ($1.99) in the ITunes store (for Apple IOS users) which is a version of a paper-based program to modify drinking behaviour that has been used successfully for over 25 years:
CAMH Launches Mobile App to Help People Reduce or Quit Drinking

  1. Antidepressants and Weight Gain

This article summarizes the result of a recent study of people who had been prescribed antidepressants and compared their body mass:
The Latest about Antidepressants and Weight Gain

  1. Resource on Facilitating a Employee’s Recovery and Return to Work

This PDF guide offers assistance in developing a process in the workplace that will enable someone who has had a mental health issue to return to work.

  1. Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse Resource:  Youth and Concurrent Disorders

The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse has a resource sheet and references on the subject on youth with mental health and addictions issues:


  1. MHCC Seminar on Suicide (featuring presenter Allan Strong)

Skills for Safer Living – An innovative approach to dealing with recurring suicidal behaviour
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) invites you to attend Skills for Safer Living – An innovative approach to dealing with recurring suicidal behaviour, the fifth webisode in our free webinar series on suicide prevention, intervention and postvention.

Register here

This hour long webinar will provide an overview of the Skills for Safer Living program – a skills-based intervention for individuals that have made repeated attempts to end their lives by suicide. The presentation will provide an understanding of the reasons as to why the program was undertaken, the program objectives, the experience of implementing the program in Waterloo-Wellington, Ontario area, and what impact the program has had in the community.
The intended audience for this webinar are service providers, policymakers, people with lived experience of mental health problems or mental illness, family members, and clinicians.
What: MHCC suicide prevention webinar series: Webinar #5 
When: Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. ET 
Title: Skills for Safer Living – An innovative approach to dealing with recurring suicidal behaviour 
Speaker: Allan Strong, Team Lead, Skills for Safer Living, CMHA Waterloo-Wellington-Dufferin

  1. AMHO Conference Presentations Now Available

The recent two-day conference had a wide range of PowerPoints and they are now posted here:

  1. AMHO CEO Job Posting
The ad is attached.
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.