OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #397 June 14, 2014

Highlights include: Health Care as an Election Issue; Barbara Hall on Police Records Checks; New Medical Marijuana Regulations; “Family Guide to Mental Health Recovery” Website; 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. To minimize the impact of pay-walls, consider regularly clearing your browser cookies.



  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 next Monday, June 23.  For more information, please email opdi@opdi.org. (CORRECTION -- attachments now included).
  1. Health Care Not an Election Issue ?

Even as the election that took place last Thursday was winding down, there was no shortage of articles that challenged the idea that health wasn’t worth mentioning in the party leaders’ debate:
Why No One is Talking Health Care on the Campaign Trail
Mental Health and Recovery are the Missing Election Issues
Politics through the Health Lens
Health care the Forgotten Issue in Ontario’s Election
For those who missed the response from the Liberal Party to the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Alliance to the five questions we gave all major parties, here it is:
The NDP’s platform included a bold plan to reduce ER wait lists by half; critics were skeptical:
 NDP Plan to Cut ER Wait Times in Half Questioned

  1. Ontario Human Rights Commissioner Interviewed about Police Records Checks

Commissioner Barbara Hall is quoted in the interview as saying the Human Rights Code needs clearer legislation to protect the rights of those with non-convicted records:
Human Rights Code gives Convicted Ontarians More Rights than the Innocent

  1. CoI in Racialized Populations in Mental Health and Addictions Releases Promising Practice

The Community of Interest has released a paper that documents how an innovative nurse practitioner clinic can provide primary care to a target population associated with an Ethnoracial mental health agency that finds it hard to get a GP and who would otherwise go to the ER:

Reducing Emergency Department Visits and Increasing Access to Primary Care for Racialized People with Mental Health Issues

  1. Anderson Cooper of CNN in Mental Health Simulation Designed by Pat Deegan

Anderson Cooper of CNN takes part in a simulation arranged by Pat Deegan; there are two videos in this story:
Anderson Takes Part in an Experiment to Help Understand Mental Illness

  1. Federal Government Announces New Medical Marijuana Regulations

Stricter tracking of what might be considered information that is covered under patient-doctor confidentiality rules appear to be among the rules on medical marijuana that are on their way:
New Rules Will Force Pot Producers to Turn Over Patient Info

  1. Homelessness, the Mentally Ill, and Violence

A combination of these factors may explain the street violence and hospital admissions associated with such attacks:
Is Neglect of the Mentally Ill Leading to Violence on Vancouver Streets?

  1. A Heroin Epidemic – with Prescription Opioids as the Gateway

This five-part series examines aspects of the heroin epidemic in the United States; USA Today reports from various locations:

Communities across USA Scramble to Tackle Heroin Surge

  1. “The Family Guide to Mental Health Recovery”

The Family Guide to Mental Health Recovery is a brand new website that is full of resources for families helping them on their journey to recovery.  With videos and guides, it is a fresh and comprehensive resource.  A short intro with a link is here: 

  1. Brain Science and Poverty

Working on the understanding that the constant stresses of poverty “hijack” the brain and impede good decision-making, scientists are retraining people’s brains (literally) to lift them out of their economic circumstances:
Can Brain Science Lift People Out of Poverty?

  1. Robert Whitaker and The Serotonin Theory of Depression

In this CBC interview, the noted author explains some recent findings on why people on antidepressant medication don’t often show a route to recovery:
Antidepressant Drugs May Not Be Best Treatment

  1. Waypoint Peer Publication Features Borderline Personality Disorder

Please enjoy the Summer Edition of the Voice of HOPE newsletter found here.  Dr. K. (psychiatrist-in-chief at Waypoint) explains BPD, and there’s a peer's account of lived experience as well:
Voice of Hope June 2014

  1. Improve Messaging with your Non-Profit Organization

This (and the embedded links to earlier blog posts) is very helpful to non-profits who are interested in improving their messaging and communications portfolios:
7 Tools in the Non-Profits Messaging Toolkit


  1. In Memoriam:  Leonard (Len) M. Wood (1938-2014)

Len Wood was a wise and inspired peer (with poetic leanings) to all who had the pleasure of knowing and working with him throughout his productive life. As OPDI’s past president, peer support trainer, and board member of too many organizations to list, he will be remembered for his perpetual good cheer and mischievous gleam in his eyes by his many friends. He passed away this past week.  Please refer to this attachment for more information.

  1. AMHO Conference Presentations Now Available (repeat)

The recent two-day conference had a wide range of PowerPoints and they are now posted here:
The ARTIC Transitional Discharge Model Research Project presentation (using peer support in a hospital setting) can be viewed here:

  1. Consumer/Survivor Initiatives Coordinator at Across Boundaries
The ad can be viewed at Charity Village:
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.
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.