OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #406 September 2, 2014

Highlights include: MHCC Report on Police Training and Education; Marijuana News; Peer Support in the ED (Promising Practices); A Change Model for Peer Support; 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. Training and Education about Mental Illness for Police Organizations (TEMPO Report)

The Mental Health Commission of Canada released this report with its 16 recommendations for police training and education in order to improve their interaction with persons having mental health issues.  The press release and report can be found here:
MHCC Report Outlines Training and Education Recommendations
This CBC story with related links offers an extensive background into the issues:
Mental Health Commission Calls for More Experts in Police Training

2. Justice Minister May Consider Ticketing for Marijuana Possession

The federal Justice Department is “studying” this issue and may take action in the next six months:
More Lenient Marijuana Laws Still on Table, MacKay Says

3. American Anti-Marijuana Advocates in Pay of Painkiller Drug Companies

If marijuana is indeed “dangerous, risky, and untested”, as some academic researchers have said, their drug companies ties should be disclosed, as this article points out:
Leading Anti-Marijuana Academics are Paid by Painkiller Drug Companies

4. Toronto Life Feature on the Sammy Yatim Shooting

The article can be found online:
The Killing of Sammy Yatim
This media critic has an interesting blog entry in reaction to the story:
Toronto Life’s Troubled Defence of the Cop Who Killed Sammy Yatim

5. San Antonio Police Take a Lead Role in Mental Health Partnership

Not only are officers in this Texas city required to take 40 hours of mental health training, they proactively take people in need to an integrated centre where physical and mental health needs can be taken care of instead of cyclical incarceration in jail or waiting in the ER:
Mental Health Cops Help Reweave Social Safety Net

6. Community of Interest for Racialized Populations and MH & A:  Promising Practices Paper
This paper explores how peer support is being used (a Community Support Worker in an urban hospital setting and Peer Navigators in the Central LHIN at two sites) and briefly considers its broader implications:
The Value of Peer Support for Improving Emergency Department Experiences for Racialized People with Mental Health Issues

7. Is Peer Support Transformative, Exploitative or Both?

In  this short essay, the author (a professor and early advocate of peer support) takes a look at the pros and cons of how peer support is being used in the American context:
Peer Support in Mental Health:  Transformative, Exploitative, or Both?
8.  A Change Model for Peer Support
In this blog entry from “Peers for Progress”, the author describes how researchers have created a possible “change model” for peer support – i.e. positing the systemic changes that lead to positive outcomes:
Why Does Peer Support Work?

9. The Stomach and Psychiatry

“The stomach is your second brain” – and what it means:
Gut Feelings:  The Future of Psychiatry May be Inside Your Stomach

10. Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee E-Newsletter

The August 2014 edition is now available. This issue is particularly useful because of its links to recent policing, corrections, and addictions media sources that have recently made news:
August 2014 HSJCC E-Newsletter


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 (Updated)

You can find the latest version for the October 6th and 7th conference here.  Look for our updated package coming soon.  Deadline is this coming Monday -- September 8, 2014.

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
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.