OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #402 July 21, 2014

Highlights include: New -- November 2014 OPDI Core Essentials (TM) Peer Support Training in Brantford; Ontario Throne Speech and Budget; Ontario Association of Police Chiefs Releases New Police Records Checks Guideline; OPP Commissioner on Mental Health; More on the Anti-Spam Legislation; OPDI’s Lighthouse Awards; Peer Support Survey (Repeat); 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 OPDI Core Essentials (TM) Peer Support Training

Please see the attached poster and application form for full details about the November 2014 training program taking place in Brampton.  Registration deadline is Friday, October 10.  For more information, please email opdi@opdi.org.

2. Upcoming OPDI Internship Webinar (repeat)
Our next Internship webinar date is this coming THURSDAY, July 24, 2014 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm.  If you have completed the OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials™ Program and have received a level 1R you are invited to join if you wish.  If this time does not work for you there will be other webinars offered.  If you would like to attend the Internship webinar please email opdi@opdi.org with your name, the date and city of your training and the information to login will be sent to you.

3. Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police Issues New Guideline on Police Records Checks

The OACP has posted a press release with the link to the guidelines on their website:

New Police Records Check Guideline from OACP

Here's a summary of the recent developments on this subject in this CBC News report:

Police Chiefs Push to Limit Release of Non-Offenders' Private Info

We have commentary from the Ontario Premier:

Sharing Police Data Should be Fair, Standardized, Kathleen Wynne Says

4. Ontario Budget Follows the Throne Speech

The Speech from the Throne usually provides guidance on the government's intentions in the coming legislative session.  Now that the returning Liberals have a majority government, there is a greater likelihood that the expressed intentions may actually happen.  With this in mind, the re-commitment to more funding for the mental health and addictions strategy and a mention again of the anti-poverty strategy are two points of notice for stakeholders in the field.

In the Budget, the government made a commitment to increase social assistance rates by 1%.
As well, those working in justice and mental health would have been heartened by the increase in the income eligibility cutoff limit for access to Legal Aid, which would be good news for low-income individuals.

You can read the Speech from the Throne here via a government press release.

The Ontario Budget 2014 (a re-introduction of the original budget that was voted down and led to the past election) is here.

A summary of the budget highlights through the media can be found here:

What's in the Ontario Budget

5. First Responders and Suicides:  A Troubling Trend

Global News reports on a recent rash of suicides in the helping professions of the frontlines, who are often exposed to trauma on the job:

13 First Responders, 13 Suicides, 10 Weeks

6. New OPP Commissioner has Much to Say on Mental Health

It appears that training OPP officers to interact with those individuals having experience with mental health and addictions issues will be a focus:

Mental Health Issues a Priority for OPP,  New Commissioner Says

7. A Speculative but Thoughtful Analysis on Healthcare Reform in this New Government

This writer believes that with new blood in the form of a new Health Minister (a doctor, nevertheless, but still more amenable to the patient perspective) and a new Deputy Minister, more than incremental change is possible -- and perhaps necessary.  Please read the July 18th entry for this blog:

Ontario's New Health Leadership and Disruptive Innovation


8. Difficulties in Accessing Mental Health Services Not Linked to Numbers of Psychiatrists

How psychiatrists practice, their payment fee schedule, and where they are located are among the factors that determine the ratio of patients seen in the comparison of LHINs in this study:

More Psychiatrists Not Answer to to Boosting Patient Access to Care

9. Mental Health Providers' Perspectives on LGBT Access to Services (Research Snapshot)

In this plain English summary reporting on a peer journal article that appeared in 2011, the conclusions from the study are that standardized services, the limited number of such customized services, and the concomittant stress placed on those LBGT-positive practitioners who choose to work in mental health and who face limited funding all contribute to lessened access for this marginalized population.

System Barriers for LGBT Access to Mental Health Services

10.  More Information about Anti-Spam Legislation

For those of you who are concerned about the new anti-spam legislation, our colleagues at our office have been sharing information and resources:

a)  Here's an article from MailChimp, the program most associate with direct e-mailing:


b)  Techsoup, the non-profit that distributes software to other non-profits, has a walkthrough here,with some webinar content.  As the contributor explains, there is no easy "quick-and-dirty way" through it, but this is the closest we can get:


c)  Another resource:  http://micrometrics.co/blog/need-know-conquer-casl/

The legislation has a lot of parts, but distills it down to two things:

  • Anyone on your email lists must consent (actively opt in) to receiving the messages
  • Any future messages must contain instructions on how to opt out

Keep reading NTG -- we will try to provide updates.


11. A Survey for Peer Supporters, Peer Volunteers, and Employers of Peer Supporters (repeat)

TaylorNewberry Consulting is conducting for OPDI a survey of Ontario peer support workers and volunteers in order to inform our representation of the voice and needs of peer support.  Please share this link (by forwarding this issue of NewsToGo) with anyone you know who is working in a peer support role, whether paid or volunteer, IN ONTARIO ONLY:

We have enclosed a letter to explain the purpose of the survey to those individuals as well.  Thank you.
A separate survey for employers of peer workers is here:

You can also save the above message in the form of a PDF attachment and forward it as well (with the links and letter).  Thank you for your assistance.

12. OPDI Lighthouse Awards

We are pleased to attach the poster, brochure and nomination forms for individuals and organizations for the Fifth Annual OPDI Lighthouse Awards.  Please forward these on to your staff, board, members, clients and others in your network of people involved in the mental health and addictions system throughout Ontario.

Please feel free to print off a copy or two and post to your bulletin boards.

13. OPDI Seeks Board Members (repeat)

OPDI is currently seeking Board members.  In accordance with OPDI's by-laws, Board members must be a member in good standing of an OPDI member organization. If you are interested, please see the attached nomination letter and application.  Please forward this email to consumer members, staff or directors of your organization whom you think would be interested and whom you can support as excellent board candidates.

The deadline for nominations is August 1, 2014.

14.  Self-Help Resource Centre (Toronto) has Peer Support Coordinator Posting

You can find the ad here:


 15. CMHA York and South Simcoe (Peer Support Worker Posting)

You can find the ad here:


Contributions and comments are welcome.  Please email to Raymond@opdi.org. “News to Go” in the Subject line: 

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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.