OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #414 November 4, 2014

Highlights include: New Care Leaves for Ontarians; More Legal Aid Access; Pat Capponi’s Open Letter to John Tory; A Call for Peer-informed Care in Vancouver; CAHO TDM ARTIC Project in Thunder Bay; News; and More.

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1. Parliamentary Assistants to Ministers Also Receive Mandate Letters
Similarly as with each government minister, the parliamentary assistants with each Ontario Ministry have received mandate letters describing their priorities for the upcoming year.  The two Health parliamentary assistants have roles relating to developmental disabilities, palliative care, scope of care for healthcare professionals, and collaborative care. These letters can be read here:
Parliamentary Assistant Mandate Letters 2014-2015

2. New Leaves to Help Families Now Available Under Employment Standards Act

Ontarians have the option of taking unpaid leave for three reasons:  taking care of a family member with a serious health condition; taking care of a child that is seriously ill; or when faced with the disappearance or criminal death of a child.  The press release is here:
Caregiver Leaves to Help Families Now in Effect
A further explanation can be found in the Ministry of Labour website:
Family Caregiver Leave
Of interest to mental health and addictions stakeholders is the fact that being a caregiver in offering psychological or emotional support is a valid reason to obtain leave. A range of caregivers as relatives is listed.  A medical certificate may be required.

3. Legal Aid Access to Low-Income Individuals and Families Increased

For the first time since 1996, the eligibility threshold (which is the income level of the individual or household) has been raised.  The press release is here:
Giving More Ontarians Greater Access to Affordable Legal Services

We have a companion story including reaction from the opposition parties.

4. An Open Call to Toronto`s Mayor

Pat Capponi wrote this letter to the mayor-elect asking him to take a new perspective on the homeless and marginalized people of Toronto.  This article resonates with all communities, though:
Open Letter to John Tory:  Listen to the Voices of Homeless and Marginalized

5. Vancouver Mayoral Candidate with Frontline Experience Calls for Peer-Informed Care

While the incumbent has called the current situation a mental health crisis, this candidate believes that those people with lived experience are missing from the system when it comes to program development and staff training:
COPE Mayoral Candidate Calls for Peer-Informed Care

6. Some More Thoughts on the Ottawa Shooting

This news report revealed that the gunman had sought  mental health treatment unsuccessfully three years ago:
Why Didn`t Ottawa Gunman Get Treatment Three Years Ago?
From a CAMH blog, we get a sense of the ambiguity and anxieties that re-emerge whenever mental illness enters the public conversation as in this incident:
The Ottawa Shootings:  Sensationalism, Terrorism or Mental Illness?

7. Psychiatric Drugs and the Risk of Strokes and Heart Disease
Coverage from the recent Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Vancouver highlighted the various medical ailments associated with the use of psychiatric medication:
Some Psychiatric Drugs Triple the Risk of Stroke
8. A Multi-Nation Effort to Reduce Suicide Among Aboriginal Youth in the Attic
Governments are studying ways to reduce the high rates of suicide in this target population.  Among the efforts being tried is peer support through social media:

Canada Leads Global Suicide Prevention Study

9. CAHO Transitional Discharge Model (TDM) ARTIC Write-up
The Thunder Bay site of the research project that uses peer support as a bridge in discharge planning is profiled.  PACE is the Thunder Bay CSI involved:

Smoother Transitions for Patients Living with Mental Illness

10. Activity-based Funding Formula for Ontario Hospitals – Study Suggests Caution Ahead

Activity-based funding has been implemented in Ontario for certain surgical procedures, and there are plans to expand this method of payment to institutions with the goals of increasing efficiencies and decreasing wait times for patients.  A new study suggests that it isn`t a sure thing:
New Hospital Funding Model a Shot in the Dark

11. Conference Report on Meetings between Peer Supporters and Diabetes Educators

This five-page report looks at the roles, challenges, and limitations associated with peer support in diabetes education.  A reminder:  OPDI and CMHA Ontario`s collaborative work together to develop a diabetes module for peer support can be found on this website:

12. Photographing the Dual Realities of Mental Health
This photographer uses the technique of two pictures of an individual in different states of mind, and also includes the written captions of their own self-assessments to make powerful impact on the viewer:
The Secret Dual Lives of People Living with Mental Illness


13. Newsletter from an OPDI Member Organization and the Dream Team’s 15th Anniversary Blog Entry
NISA from Sudbury reminds you they have a new address as well:
Fall 2014 NISA Newsletter
Congratulations to the Dream Team on their 15 years of advocacy and simply sharing the word about the importance of affordable housing.  Here is their latest blog entry:
A Dream is Hope

14.  Call for Proposals:  Waypoint Third Annual Conference in Knowledge Translation in MH & A

The call for abstracts is here with a deadline of January 15, 2015.  The conference takes place July 17 – 19, 2015.

Contributions and comments are welcome.  Please email to Raymond@opdi.org. “News to Go” in the Subject line: 

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