OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #419 December 9, 2014

Highlights include: ODSP Medical Reviews; Police Records Checks Legislation Coming; Auditor General Report; Provincial Ombudsman Gets More Powers and New Patient Ombudsman Position; Ontario Drug Use and Health Survey Infographics; EENet Survey; OCAN Focus Group; 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. ODSP To Increase Number of Medical Reviews in New Year
The Income Security Access Clinic has advised people on ODSP that the Ministry of Community and Social Services will be conducting more medical reviews in the new fiscal year starting April 2015.  A fact sheet has been produced to explain what happens to individuals who are chosen randomly for this procedure:
ISAC Fact Sheet on ODSP Medical Reviews

2. Ontario Auditor General Releases 2014 Report

The main press release with the link to the report  can be found here:
Key Issues of Value for Money and Service Delivery Highlighted in Auditor General’s Report for 2014
There does not appear to be a particular singling out of any issues directly related to mental health and addictions.

3. Ontario Strengthens Accountability; Patient Ombudsman Position Created

Among the highlights in this legislation that was passed this week is increased powers for the current Ontario Ombudsman, although he does not obtain oversight for the healthcare sector, a new Patient Ombudsman will be responsible for complaints about hospitals, long-term care centres, and community care access centres.  The press release is here:
Province Passes Legislation to Strengthen Accountability

4. Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth Releases Annual Report
While the report is of interest in itself, a highlight uncovered in the past year we didn’t know about was the release of a community snapshot based on the feedback of 46 young people’s reactions to the current mental health and addictions strategy.  This is valued reading for the field in understanding their aspirations and expressed needs.
The press release to the Advocate’s report is here.

The “Putting Youth in the Picture” report is available here.
5. John Stapleton’s Op-Ed in the Toronto Star About ODSP Computer Troubles
We have been documenting the computer troubles in the last week. The retired and knowledgeable former policy analyst with the Ministry of Community and Social Services has had close and personal experience with the computer software that has run social assistance programs over the years and has a possible solution:  simplify the 800 rules.
Same Problems Keep Recurring in Welfare Computer Programs

6. Port Elgin Inquest Recommends Considering Stun Guns for Local Police

A man breaks into a house, encounters police, and passed away as a result of an altercation.  Find out more here:
Inquest Jury in Port Elgin Man’s Death Say Consider More Stun Guns for Police

7. Durham Family Requests Reopening of SIU Investigation
Michael MacIsaac was naked and running down the street carrying a table leg, and was shot by police.  His family wants the SIU to review the investigation:
Family of Man Killed by Police Wants SIU to Reopen Case
8. Attention:  Police Records Checks Legislation Expected in the Spring

The Toronto Star has made this subject the topic of one of its exhaustive investigations over the past month.  This is the most recent story:

Social Worker’s Career Doomed by Non-Conviction Record

The Minister responsible for this area has announced that there will be legislation in the New Year:

Province to Legislate what Police can Disclose about Innocent Ontarians

9. CAMH Offers Program to Integrate Discharged Patients Into Community
Outpatients who have been staying a long time at this facility are given additional assistance as they move back into the community:
New CAMH Program Helping Discharged Patients Integrate into Community


10. Highlights from the Ontario Student Drug Use and  Health Survey
Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) and the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre (CAMH HPRC)  developed infographics highlighting data from the Ontario Student Drug Use & Health Survey (OSDUHS): Mental Health and Well-being report. A provincial infographic, as well as LHIN-specific infographics, and one focusing on the Ontario school setting are available in both English and French.

11. Procrastination – a Mood Swing?

Procrastination apparently creates a positive mood because you are diverted to something that makes you feel good – and then you feel shame and guilt – and on and on…:
Why Your Brain Loves Procrastination

12. Globe and Mail Series on Solitary Confinement

The newspaper has focussed its attention on profiling the cruel punishment of solitary confinement in a series of articles (use Google Search to find them behind the paywall).  It has focussed its attention on the case of Eddie Snowshoe, who had mental health issues but was held in solitary confinement for more than six months prior to his suicide.
13. Vermont Peer Support Using Social Media
Whether it is with YouTube, blogs, listserv, Facebook, or other means, social media has many ways to provide individuals with the means to give and receive peer support:
Vermonters Using Social Media as Peer Support


14.  EENet Seeks Survey Responses on Finding Evidence in Mental Health and Addictions
Here is a link to a request for respondents to the e-survey:
Help improve the Mental Health and Addictions System!

15.  TVO’s The Agenda (Wednesday December 10):  Taking the Pulse of Ontario’s MH

From their website:
Episode for Wednesday December 10
16. Mood Disorders Association of Toronto Offering Winter WRAP Sessions
It is necessary to attend information sessions taking place on Monday December 15 and Tuesday December 16 (two time slots).  More information here:
Toronto Recovery Group:  WRAP Information Sessions
17. Ontario Non-Profit Network Newsletter Subscription
The ONN e-bulletin is a monthly compilation of news, updates on legislation, grant application deadlines, and other information.  Here is a link to complete to subscribe:
ONN Newsletter Subscription

18. Ethnoracial Mental Health Consumers Wanted for Focus Group

Please share this with your networks.  A focus group is taking place in Toronto in January for people who have filled an OCAN (Ontario Common Assessment of Need).  Please see the attached flyer for more information.
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