OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #414 November 4, 2014

Highlights include: New Smoking Regulations and a Minimum Wage Law for Ontarians; Police Records Checks Resources; London Rooming House Fire Raises Questions; Hearing Voices; Aboriginal Health System Navigators; Job Postings ; News; and More.

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1. Ontario Government Announcements
Stricter smoking regulations will be introduced; they will affect patios, playgrounds, and govern the sale of tobacco on post-secondary campuses:
Smoking to be Prohibited on Patios, Sports Fields, and Playgrounds
The minimum wage will now be linked to the Ontario Consumer Price Index and announced every October 1; other provisions in the bill will strengthen the rights of students and workers:
Province Passes Legislation to Improve Minimum Wage

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

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. One Year Later – An Ashley Smith Inquest Update

The poor response a year later after the Ashley Smith inquest recommendations is documented here:
Canada’ s Correctional Service Drags Feet on Response to Ashley Smith Inquest

4. London Fire Fatality in Unlicensed Rooming House Raises Questions

This story of a fire in an unlicensed rooming house in London has drawn attention to the issue of inadequate housing for mental health and addiction clients.  More related stories are linked in the sidebar to the left of the column:
Agencies Failed to Act Together on Concerns
Another report states that services promised by the organization that provided housing didn’t actually exist nor monitored by funders:
Group Home Resident Signed Over Cheque

5. Opioids Users Deaths Continue to Rise

Opioids continue to be a provincial addictions problem if coroners’ data is to be believed:
Opioids Killing More Ontarians Than Ever

6. A Harm Reduction Strategy for Party Drugs Urged by ER Doctor

Nobody knows the contents of party drugs, and treatment in the ER is affected.  A doctor says we need to do things differently:
Nobody Knows Contents of Party Drugs

7. Hearing Voices – a Mainstream Media Story
Slowly, but surely, the idea that “hearing voices” has more meaning for voice-hearers is reaching a broader audience, as this transcript of a workshop demonstrates:
Learning to Live with the Voices In Your Head
8. Analogy Between  End of Prohibition of Alcohol and Future Marijuana Legalization
A writer looks at the similarities between the end of Prohibition (and the legalization of alcohol) and sees a parallel route for marijuana:

How to Legalize Pot?

9. Police Records Checks – Two Resources for Employers and Affected Individuals

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the John Howard Society of Ontario have issued two guides to police checks.  We have attached the one for employers and prospective referrers; and also the one for individuals who stand to be affected.

10. Report Suggests 1 in 5 ED Visits are Preventable

A CIHI (Canadian Institute for Health Information) study shows that up to 1 in 5 emergency department visits may be unnecessary; the report offers hints to the diversion strategies that would reduce wait times.  The report and media story can be accessed here:
Sources of Potentially Avoidable Emergency Department Visits
One in Five Emergency Department Visits Could Be Treated Elsewhere

11. Mood Disorders Association of Ontario Offers “Families Matters Guide”

On its website, the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario offers a free “Families Matters Guide for Families” informational tool when one signs up for their newsletter.  The offer can be accessed here:

12. Systems Navigators for Aboriginal Health
The concept of aboriginal health navigators and its funding by the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN is described here:
Navigating the Special Demands of  Aboriginal Health
13. Seasonal Affective Disorder Explained
It is the time of the year when SAD makes its presence felt.  A psychiatrist explains:
SAD Suffering Grows as Seasons Change


14. Complex Mental Health of Children and Youth Training Project
The Ministry of Children and Youth Services, in conjunction with CMHA Ontario, is offering an integrated training project to assist staff in the field in dealing with the complex mental health needs of children and youth.  As such, they are offering a series of online archived webinars.  The webpage with links to these sessions is here:
Complex Needs Webinars

15.  Charity Village Advertised Positions

A concurrent disorders peer support worker is needed in the Brantford area.
An Administrative Assistant is needed by the Family Council at CAMH.
16. Two Events by the Empowerment Council and Partners
Please refer to this poster for more information about a film screening and a symposium this month:
Cheap and Crazy Symposiums
17. “Gaining Autonomy and Medication Management” Training for Peer Support Workers

Please refer to the poster for the December 11th event in Toronto.

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

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