OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #413 October 28, 2014

Highlights include: October 29th OPDI Internship Webinar; Ontario Government Announcements; Federal Anti-Drug Campaign; Off-Label Use of Antipsychotics; Trauma Resources; 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.  Upcoming OPDI Internship Webinar
Our next Internship webinar date is tomorrow, Wednesday, October 29th @ 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 and the information to login will be sent to you.

2. Ontario Government Announcements

The Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure has announced that the former Lieutenant Governor, David Onley, will be a special advisor in championing employment opportunities for persons of all abilities:

Former Lieutenant Governor to Champion Accessibility in Ontario

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has let it be known that the flu shot is available now, free, and to get it early.  This is especially important since it was reported in September that one of the manufacturers has having difficulty manufacturing it and there would be a shortage.  The right-hand side of the webpage has a link to searching for your local clinic:

Get Your Flu Shot and Get it Early

3. Ottawa Shooting Incident and a Mental Health Diagnosis

With so many explanations swirling around the rationale of the gunman in the Parliament Building incident, this psychiatrist has an even-handed take on the speculation:
“Not Every Person Who Feels Lost is Mentally Ill”
Yet against a background of observations about that individual’s behaviour, incarcerations, and substance use, at least one commentator asks an obvious question:
The Enemy is Neglect of Mental Illness

4. Canadian Government Launches $7 Million Anti-Drug Campaign

The press release explains the ads are focussed on teen drug use and can be found here.
As has been earlier reported, three top medical groups decided not to endorse this endeavour and its possible political overtones:
Government Anti-Drug Campaign Created without Help from Medical Groups

5. Inappropriate Off-Label Prescription Use of Anti-Psychotics

Seroquel, a second-generation antipsychotic medication, for example is normally prescribed for a schizophrenia diagnosis but seems to be used for what one expert calls a “sleep aid”:
Off-Label Prescribing of Antipsychotics Raises Concerns

6. Big Tobacco, Big Lawsuits; Big Pharma, the Same?

The overwhelming problems that come with the misuse and overprescribing of opioids may boomerang on the manufacturers by hitting them where it hurts – the balance sheet, as this U.S. story shows:
Drug Maker Warns that OxyContin Suit Could be “Crippling”

7. The Mind-Body Fitness Connection
This Globe and Mail feature looks at the possibilities of improving mental health through exercise:

Outrunning Depression:  Exploring the Link Between Body and Mind

8. Rezoning By-Law Change in Hamilton:  The Epilogue

Despite the efforts of the municipal government, the discriminatory request for land use by applying a by-law was overruled.  Subsequently, this facility for vulnerable young women is almost ready for use. This is a reminder of the positive consequences of the work of the Dream Team and other advocates:

Hamilton’s Lynwood Charlton Centre Wrapping Up Renovations

9. Smartphone Addiction

This article explores the parameters of overusing technology and social media:  how do we know we are addicted?

Smartphone Addiction?  It’s Hard to Diagnose

In a related development, this past week the Ontario government re-introduced a bill that would increase penalties for distracted driving (i.e. using a phone and operating a motor vehicle):

Distracted Driving Punishments to Rise in Ontario

10. A First-Hand Account of a Developing Psychotic Episode

This is a very well-written autobiographical retelling of a person’s descent into a first-episode case of what turns out to be a schizophrenia diagnosis:

This is What Developing Acute Schizophrenia Feels Like

11. Porticonetwork.ca and Trauma Resources

The Porticonetwork.ca is CAMH’s latest iteration of its online knowledge exchange on a website that is more social media-friendly.  One of its most helpful webpages is a summary of the resources available in the area of trauma-informed care.

12. Online Game Educates About Problem Gambling and Video Gaming
The development of a website and accompanying video game to raise awareness of and educate people about online addiction is the focus of this story:

Soul Crush Story Aims to Educate Gamers about Healthy Limits


13. CAHO and HQ Ontario Announce Call of Interest in ARTIC Research Projects
The Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario and Health Quality Ontario are looking for research evidence that can be tested across multiple sites and/or sectors across the province.  OPDI is grateful to be a partner in a current project that uses peer support in a TDM (transitional discharge model) setting at various academic hospitals throughout Ontario. You can read their call for proposals here.

14.  Call for Proposals:  Bills of Clients’ Rights, Madness, Addictions, Law and the Future of Advocacy

The deadline to respond to the call is October 31st.  The event takes place Saturday November 22, 2014 and is presented by the Empowerment Council of CAMH.

Call for Proposals

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.