OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #404 August 8, 2014

Highlights include: Police Records Checks; Iacobucci Report Commentaries; Peer Support Success in New Zealand; Marijuana Legalization in the News; SSO Medication Survey; November 2014 OPDI Core Essentials (TM) Peer Support Training in Brantford; OPDI Conference Registration Package; Lighthouse Awards; Incoming AMHO CEO; 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. An Update on Police Records Check in Ontario

Please refer to this recent CBC report with quotes from a variety of stakeholders on police records checks:
Police Records Checks Under Scrutiny in Ontario
2. More Commentary from the Iacobucci (Toronto Police Shootings) Report

This federal Senator makes a good point -- any meaningful implementation of the recommendations will cost money:
Are Taxpayers Ready to Pay for More Humane Policing?
Another commentator discusses the fact that police culture needs to change:
The Way Forward
Finally, a viewpoint that the Iacobucci Report is colour-blind – and that it shouldn’t be:
The Iacobucci Reports Unwise Colourblindness

3. Peer Support and Reduced Emergency Departments Use

You can learn more here about a successful program in New Zealand:
Collaborative Mental Health Project Cuts Down ED Visits

4. Announcement OPDI Core Essentials (TM) Peer Support Training (repeat)

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.

5. Marijuana in the News

The influential New York Times in an editorial, and followed by a subsequent special news series, has come out in favour of the legalization of marijuana:
Repeal Prohibition, Again
Their look at the link between schizophrenia and marijuana is here:
The Marijuana-Schizophrenia Link
Meanwhile, on our side of the border, medicinal pot is apparently being marketed by drug reps to doctors:
Welcome to Legalized Dope Pushing
Are e-cigarettes another way to ingest pot?  Some people think so:
Teens Using E-Cigarettes to Smoke Pot

6. Social Assistance in Ontario:  A Mixed Picture

Toronto Star columnist Carol Goar has a summary of the real changes that are happening under the guise of an “anti-poverty” strategy in the province:
Ontario Gives with One Hand and Takes with the Other

7. Betty-Lou Kristy on the Importance of Patient Engagement
Betty Lou Kristy has been writing a series of entries in the EENet blog about her experiences as a stakeholder in the Ontario addictions system.  In her final piece, she talks about how to meaningfully engage people with lived experience or family members within addiction and/or mental health systems.


8. Health Equity Impact Assessments in Community Mental Health Webinar

This archived webinar is now available online:

9. Charity Village Offers Non-Profits a Chance to Post Their Website Link

If you are a non-profit or registered charity, take a moment to add your organization to this online directory:

10.  Backgrounder on Prescription Opioids

This is a must-read backgrounder on the current issues around prescription opioids in Canada:
Canada’s Prescription Opioid Crisis


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. "Mobilizing Peer Support in Ontario" 2014 Conference Registration Package

You can find the package for the October 6th and 7th conference here.  Deadline is September 8, 2014.
14. Addictions and Mental Health Ontario Announcement

OPDI offers its warmest wishes to Gail Czukar, who is the new CEO effective September 29:

Addictions and Mental Health Ontario has posted this on their website:

AMHO Announces Gail Czukar as their CEO

15. SSO Has a Survey on Medication

If you use anti-psychotic medications or know someone who does, this survey is for you.  It is offered by the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario:


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.