OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #421 December 23, 2014

Review of Health Professional Regulations around Sexual Abuse; CPSO Consultations (Topics Include Informed Consent to Treatment); “The Agenda” Broadcasts Two Shows on MH & A; National Pharmacare; Reporting Medical Incidents and Side Effects; CAHO ARTIC TDM Event; 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. Ontario Appoints Task Force to Review Regulated Health Professionals Regulations
The intent is to look at the current legislation that deals with the prevention of and disciplining of those who have been found guilty of sexual abusing patients:
The press release is here:
Protecting the Safety and Well-Being of Ontario Patients
A news article referencing the Toronto Star series that incited the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to take action can be found here:
Task Force Appointed to Review Sexual Abuse by Health Professionals

2. College of Physicians and Surgeons Will Hold Consultations

The College (the governing body of Ontario doctors) wants to know the public’s opinions on the subjects of:  human rights, end-of-life care, and most importantly for those in the mental health and addictions field, consent to treatment.  The press release is here:
College Launches Consultations on Policies and Transparency By-Laws
Two media mentions offer a sense of the issues on the table:
Doctor Needs Patient or Family Consent Before Stopping End-of Life Treatment
Anti-Abortion Doctors in Ontario Must Refer Patients to Another Physician

3. TV Ontario’s December 10th Episode:  “Taking the Pulse of Ontario’s Mental Health”

You can watch it here (procrastinators will be pleased that it is available until January 2099):
Treating Ontario’s Mental Health
Following the Tweeter feed of the broadcast, a few commentators noted with surprise that there is a Tele health service for mental health in the province.  We found a couple of references:
Ontario Shores provides psychiatric assessments and group programming:
Ontario Telemedicine Network
The Chief of Staff at Ontario Shores, Dr. Ian Dawe, explains further in this article:
Expanding Tele-Mental Health Care
NewsToGo would like to share news of other initiatives in this area.  Write to us at opdi@opdi.org and let us know!

4. TV Ontario’s December 15th Episode:  “Three Looks at Addiction”
The program that looks at e-cigarettes, food addiction, and the OxyContin addiction in a small Ontario town can be viewed here:
Three Looks at Addiction
One of the segments refers to oxycodone addiction in the Chatham-Kent area.  The originating article is available here:
Oxy Town
5. A Forensic Psychiatrist’s View of Mental Health and Violence
Recent news headlines can be judged in the context of this CAMH blog entry:
Understanding Mental Illness and Violence

6. Ashley Smith Inquest Recommendations Inaction Angers Former Corrections Official

The lack of follow-up since the inquest is recorded in this story:
Former Official Dismayed Over Lack of Government Response on Ashley Smith Recommendations
Furthermore, the practice of solitary confinement is not going to end:
Corrections Canada Won’t End Solitary Confinement
The government response is posted on the Correctional Service Canada website.

7. Ontario Health Minister Op-Ed:  The Time Has Come for National Pharmacare
Eric Hoskins amplifies the Ontario government’s position on a national drug plan to address inequity of access and reduce provincial costs in buying these  drugs:
The Time for National Pharmacare Has Come
8. Realtors Donate to Affordable Housing in Hamilton

While a heartwarming gesture, the quote from the president of the association is especially worth repeating:
“Realtors have an interest in building better communities, and purpose-built, affordable apartments are an important part of a complete community.
Realtors don't just sell houses; realtors sell communities — the same communities in which they live and work. Everyone wins when we can build safe, decent and affordable housing."

The story is here.
9. Lawyer Says Police Not Acting Fast Enough on Inquest Findings After Shootings
The last meeting of the year of the Toronto Police Services Board  provided news coverage on the lack of actions in the past year despite two reports with recommendations:
Lawyer Wants Police Action After Inquest into Fatal Shootings
In a related development in the United States, the Supreme Court will consider the issue of comparative police actions; a knife-wielding woman who was mentally ill was shot but believes backup should have been called to try to calm her:
U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Precedent Case on Police Mental Health Interventions


10. MHCC Seeks the Case for Diversity in Mental Health – A Call for Promising Practices
This is a direct quote from the accessible online form:
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) believes a case can be made for investing in culturally and linguistically diverse and competent services. Evidence suggests that investing today in culturally appropriate mental health services for immigrants, refugees, ethno-cultural and racialized (IRER) groups makes long-term sense both economically and socially. To help build the case, the MHCC is looking for promising programs and practices of mental health services that address the needs of IRER groups. This material will be reviewed and highlighted in our research. Please share what you know and help us build a strong case for diversity.
11. Twitter Can Be Used to Track Information About Mental Illnesses
Mining the data from words and language patterns in tweets may offer scientists the means to estimate mental health trends:
Shining a Fresh Light on Mental Health with the Help of Twitter Posts

12. Two Ways to Report a Medication Incident

If you or someone you know might have been in a medication incident (where there was an error in receiving the medication or the dosage, or a confusing label), you can report it at this website using the online form:
Help Prevent Harmful Medication Incidents
This website also advises that you can report to Health Canada if you have an adverse reaction to a medication (i.e. report side effects of a drug) here:
Canada Vigilance Program

13. Coping with Holiday Stress

CAMH offers some advice from its blog:
Coping With Holiday Stress

This Kid’s Help Phone counsellor offers advice for children who are stressed out during the holidays:
Supporting Your Child During Not-So-Happy Holidays
The Ontario Brain Institute has an infographic on 10 ways to give your brain a holiday:
Ten Ways to Give Your Brain a Holiday
But look, the holidays are not actually too bad for depression or suicide rates, according to the scientific evidence:
True or False:  Depression and Suicide Rates Rise During the Holiday Season
And on a related topic, here is a factsheet on seasonal affective disorder (SAD):
Seasonal Affective Disorder
14. Ontario Offers Information on Extreme Cold and Winter Driving
Advice on what to do at home and preparing your car are some of the tips offered on the government webpage:
Extreme Cold
A separate press release on winter driving and links to tips is available:
Winter is Here – Be Prepared.  Plan Ahead.


15.  EENet Seeks Survey Responses on Finding Evidence in Mental Health and Addictions (repeat)
Here is a link to a request for respondents to the e-survey:
Help improve the Mental Health and Addictions System!
16. A Hint for Holiday Shoppers
Caversham Bookstore, which specializes in mental health, has a physical location at 98 Harbord Street in Toronto, but also has an online store:

17. Canadian Collaborative Mental Health Care Conference
The 2015 Conference in Calgary has been announced; please view this webpage for details:
Jump on the Bandwagon!
18. Charity Village Job Postings
A Peer Outreach Worker is needed for Stonehenge Therapeutic Community in the Kitchener/Waterloo/Guelph area.
This may be related to our item last week on ODSP Medical Reviews; the ODSP office is looking for Disability Determination Adjudicators.

19. Ethnoracial Mental Health Consumers Wanted for Focus Group (repeat)

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 attachedflyer for more information.

20. CAHO ARTIC Transitional Discharge Model Project Event

Please refer to this poster for the January 13, 2015 event in London, Ontario. You are encouraged to RSVP by January 5.
Contributions and comments are welcome.  Please email to Raymond@opdi.org. “News to Go” in the Subject line: 

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