OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #398 June 20, 2014

Ontario Human Rights Commission Policy Guidelines for Mental Health and Addictions Rights; Police and Training to Deal with the Mentally Ill; Canadian Public Health Association Position Paper on Illegal Drugs; Collaborative MH & A Care Best Advice Paper; News; and More.


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  1. Ontario Human Rights Commission Introduces Policy Guidelines for MH & A

The Ontario Human Rights Commission this past week launched its policy that addresses human rights issues around mental health and addictions. The press release with a link to the policy paper is here:
New OHRC Paper Addresses Human Rights for People with Mental Health or Addiction Disabilities
The archived webcast is available here:
OHRC Policy Launch Webcast
OHRC Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall was interviewed on the radio as well:
Metro Morning Interview on Mental Health and Addiction Rights
Here’s a Canadian Press article:
Ontario Issues Human Rights Policy for the mentally ill to Help Fight Discrimination

  1. Sammy Yatim Police Shooting will go to Trial

The policeman accused of shooting Sammy Yatim has been committed to trial:

Cop Committed to Trial in Streetcar Death
On a related note, this feature-length article in the Walrus looks at the recent spate of Toronto police shootings, and considers an American solution:
Stand Down
And this radio documentary from NPR in the United States on police and the mentally ill has a written transcript:
When Cop Calls Involve the Mentally Ill, Training is Key

  1. Police Records Checks (update)

The Toronto Star keeps up the pressure with another article on the damaging effects of police records checks:
No Judgement, No Discretion:  Police Records that Ruin Innocent Lives

  1. Canadian Public Health Association Position Paper on Illegal Drugs

The Canadian Public Health Association has called for a new drug policy that stresses evidence-based strategies to reduce harm, while de-emphasizing criminalization and stigma. The press release is here:
The War on Drugs Has Failed:  It is Time for a New Approach
The related discussion paper is here:
A New Approach to Managing Illegal psychoactive Substances in Canada
Joe Fiorito of the Toronto Star talks with a user who also works with peers in this column to discuss this issue:
Decriminalization of Illegal Drugs Recommended by Public Health Group

  1. Waterloo Region to Allow Naloxone

The Region of Waterloo’s public health department has become one of the first jurisdictions in Ontario to hand out Naloxone as a means to reduce deaths resulting from opioid overdoses:
Waterloo Region to Hand out Naloxone to Reduce Opioid Deaths
In a related story, opiate overdose deaths are trending upwards across Canada as a result of prescription drug use:
Opiate Overdose Deaths Rising Across Canada

  1. Quebec Hospital Permits Medical Marijuana Use in Patients’ Rooms

Doctors and other health professionals at Sherbrooke University Hospital Centre have approved the use of medical marijuana in patients’ rooms:
Marijuana use OK’d for Hospital Patients in Sherbrooke Quebec

  1. Antidepressants, Media Warnings, and Suicide Rates

Is there a connection?  Two separate articles have nuanced differences in their reporting:
Antidepressant Drug Warnings May have Actually Contributed to More Attempted Suicides
Harvard Study Shows Antidepressant Warnings Coincided with More Suicide Attempts

  1. Doctors Have to Vouch for “Gun Competency” in the United States

Thanks to the unique gun laws in the United States, doctors find themselves having to screen for and sign “competency permits” to allow people to carry a concealed weapon:
Docs Uncomfortable Judging Patients’ Competency to Carry Guns

  1. Sunnybrook Hospital (GTA) Has Family Navigator Project

This story has a link to the Family Navigator Project out of Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto that serves parents of youth between the ages of 13 to 26 who have mental health and/or addiction issues:
Helping Families Navigate the Mental Health System
As this related news article shows, it is only for the GTA:
Toronto Hospital Launching Project for Youth Mental Health Services


  1. “Collaboration for Mental Health and Addictions:  Best Advice”

This is a brand-new publication by a partnership including the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse:
Collaboration for Addiction and Mental Health Care:  Best Advice

  1. Charity Village eLearning Centre

The website charityvillage.com offers eLearning courses in a variety of subjects related to board governance, fundraising, volunteering, and events planning, just to mention a few.  You can check it out here:
Charity Village eLearning Courses

  1. How to Improve Your Service in the Emergency Department

Read this insider perspective of how to improve your chances of getting quicker treatment in the ED:
Improve Your Chances of Prompt Treatment in the Emergency Department

  1. Summer Heat Tip Sheets

With the start of summer underway, this information about handling the heat can be useful:
Multilingual Summer Heat Tips


  1. Job Postings

The Peer Navigator Position at Cambridge Memorial Hospital has been posted in Charity Village:
Peer Navigator Position at Cambridge Memorial Hospital Deadline is July 2, 2014.
A Concurrent Disorders Peer Supporter Worker is needed in Brantford:
Concurrent Disorders Peer Supporter Worker (Brantford)  Deadline is July 3, 2014.

  1. Peer Support Groups in Ontario
For OPDI organizations, go here:
Some of our member organizations are affiliated with the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario.  Their membership list is here:
Mood Disorders Association of Ontario Peer Support Groups
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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.