OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #411 October 10, 2014

Highlights include: November OPDI Core Essentials (TM) Peer Support Training; CAMH Cannabis Policy Framework and Stakeholder Reactions; Dream Team Wins Another Zoning Battle; Hospital Suicides; Opioids; Peer Support in the U.K.; 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. November OPDI Core Essentials (TM) Peer Support Training (Limited Spaces Available)

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

2. CAMH Releases Cannabis Policy Framework

The evidence-informed framework suggests a pathway to legalization but with strict controls on availability and a government sales monopoly.
A follow-up news report is here:

CAMH Calls for Legalization of Marijuana

The Justice Minister is steadfast:

MacKay Unmoved by Addiction Centre Call for Marijuana Legalization

For more background on the issue, the TVOntario "The Agenda" has a blog entry with hyperlinks:

CAMH Backs Legalized Marijuana

3. Human Rights Victory for the Dream Team

We have two news stories about the success of this advocacy speaker group in changing the zoning by-law in Smiths Falls, after earlier winning challenges in Sarnia, Toronto and Kitchener:

Smith Falls Votes to End Group Homes Bylaws

Ontarians With Disabilities Free to Live in Communities of their Choice

4.  Three Approaches to Taking on Stigma

A psychologist writes that maybe healthcare professionals are the greatest enablers of stigma:

Stigma and Mental Health Problems

A consumer's perspective:  let's call out stigma for what it really is -- discrimination:

"Stigma?" -- Time to Call it by its True Name

And finally, a member of the Dream Team blogs about the responsibility of journalists:

It's Not Just About the Blues

5. CTV W-5 Investigative Report on Hospital Suicides

You can find the news video, a written summary, and on the sidebar menu, related articles including a summary of inquest recommendations from several provinces that remain relevant in the face of this ongoing crisis.

6. Globe and Mail Feature Article on Opioids

This is a must-read on the state of opioid prescriptions in Canada.
7.  New Drug Approved for U.K. To Reduce Problem Drinking
This special medication (not readily available as far as one can tell yet in Ontario) is designed to support people who are already motivated by seeking help to reduce their drinking.  As this article notes, it is still controversial (and is licensed for use along with psychosocial support):

Drug Recommended to Cut Alcohol Dependence
8. New Comprehensive Report on Peer Support in the U.K.

"New Ways of Working in Mental Health Services" from the British National Institute for Health Research is a comprehensive 244-page document that examines the emergence of peer support workers and their new roles in the mental health system. The blog entry with a link to the report can be found here.

9. Bookmark This Page:  A Basic Online Guide to Resources

The CAMH library put together and designed a single webpage that offers a handy guide to information about mental health and addictions.

10. Indepth Analysis -- Ontario Ministers' Mandate Letters
For those interested in all things respecting Ontario healthcare, this analysis of the recently disclosed "mandate letters" for each minister is worth reading.  The author suggests that with 27 "priority initiatives", perhaps the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care should prioritize them first.

11. Personalized Medicine and Schizophrenia

We are hearing more about personalized medicine and its applications in psychiatry.  Dr. Robert Zipursky from McMaster University explains briefly how it works when it comes to dosing patients with injectables for a schizoprenia diagnosis:

A Personalized Medicine Approach for the Long-Term Treatment of Schizophrenia


12. Mind Your Mind Website
On the eve of "Mental Illness Awareness Week", a shout-out goes out to one of the preeminent websites aimed at children and youth mental health:  mindyourmind.ca

13. Paul Garfinkel's Words:  A Patient's Suicide

Another portion of his forthcoming memoir is excerpted in the Toronto Star:

A Patient's Suicide, a Doctor's Devastation

14.  Children's Mental Health Ontario Conference

The 2014 CMHO Conference takes place at the Toronto Eaton Marriott November 23-25.  For more information, please go 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.