OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #404 August 8, 2014

Highlights include: Marijuana as a Political Football; Non-Criminal Record Checks in the U.K.; A Legal Primer on Marijuana Possession; Fact Sheet on Suicide; Webinar on “Not Criminally Responsible Reform” Bill; 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. Health Canada, Doctors, Marijuana and Politics

The Conservatives have been attacking the leader of the federal Liberal Party constantly for his stance on marijuana:
Trudeau’s Pot Plan
Health Canada sought the endorsement of Canada’s doctors on an anti-marijuana campaign aimed at youth:
With Trudeau Under Attack Health Canada Enlists Doctors in Anti-Pot Campaign
Justin Trudeau had this to say about the $5 million anti-pot advertising initiative, as did Justice Minister Peter MacKay:
Budding Words of War Over $5 Million PSAs
The doctors declined to endorse Health Canada’s potential “education” endeavour:
Canada’s Doctors Decline to Join Anti-Marijuana Campaign
Health Canada issues this response on a Saturday of a summer weekend:
Health Canada Statement on the Health Risk to Youths of Marijuana and Prescription Drug Use
2. The British Debate on Non-Criminal Records Check

This police official would like expanded access to medical records without individual consent:
Police Right to See Medical Records?
In response, this writer makes the point about whose mandate it really is to help those with mental health and addictions – and that those agencies are equally starved for funding:
Police Access to Records Will Not Help Vulnerable

3. The Legal Consequences of Marijuana Possession

This lawyer in his blog entry explains clearly the legal consequences of being caught with marijuana in one’s possession:
Up in Smoke

4. Deadly Combination of Fentanyl and Heroin Reported in Hamilton

This combination can create a “super-high” – and also kill:
Overdose Deaths Linked to Superdrug Heroin and Fentanyl Mix

5. One in 6 Canadian Soldiers Have Alcohol or Mental Health Issues

The survey of the Canadian Armed Forces was conducted last year; depression was the most common disorder, followed by PSTD, panic disorder, and alcohol use:
1 in 6 Soldiers Affected by Alcohol or Mental Health Issues

6. A Fact Sheet on Suicide

In light of last week’s major media event, we offer a FYI from the Canadian Psychological Association:
What Every Canadian Needs to Know About Suicide
OPDI has gathered some critical commentaries about the reportage of Robin Williams as shared through social media; you can follow our coverage by checking our Twitter feed @OPDI.

7. Youth Employment and Mental Health
Youth unemployment creates stress and heightened vulnerability to individuals’ emotional states.  That is the takeaway from this message from the International Labour Organization:
The Mental Health of Young People Matters to Us All


8. EENet and North Bay Regional Health Centre Present Webinar on Bill C-14

The “Not Criminally Responsible” Bill is now law.  This webinar held last month and now available as an archived webcast walks the viewer through the bill and has a roster of presenters.  You can find out more here:
Meeting of the Minds:  Bill C-14:  The Not Criminally Responsible Reform Bill

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

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

10.  Backgrounder on Mental Health and Addictions in Canada

This is a must-read backgrounder on the current issues around mental health and addictions in Canada, with hyperlinks to references and a list of experts that can be reached:
Backgrounder:  Mental Health and Addictions in Canada

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 everything you need for the October 6th and 7th conference here.  Look for our updated version coming soon.  Deadline for registration is September 8, 2014.




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