OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #424 January 19, 2015

Highlights include:   OPDI PS Internship Webinar; Funding Postsecondary Mental Health Services; Psychiatric Wait Times for Jails; Legal Challenge to Solitary Confinement; Peer Support Cooptation; 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. OPDI Peer Support Internship Webinar (this Wednesday)
The next OPDI Peer Support Internship Webinar will be held Wednesday January 21st from 10 - 11 am.  If you have completed the OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials (TM) Program and have received a Level 1R you are invited to join if you wish.  Please e-mail opdi@opdi,org and the information to login will be sent to you.

2. CAHO ARTIC Event Publicizes Transitional Discharge Model (TDM) Research Project Involving Peer Support and OPDI (repeat/update)

We have news coverage of this event that happened Tuesday, January 13th:

London-Led Study Shows Small Changes in Care for Patients Leaving Psychiatric Hospitals can Save Money -- and Lives

Supporting Those Suffering a Mental Health Crisis (note:  OPDI Executive Director Deb Sherman is on the far right of the photo)

Project Aimed To Ease Transition From Mental Health Facility

Those of you who are on Twitter can follow that day's feed using the hashtag #TDMOnt.

Update:  University of Western Ontario’s newspaper also published an article:
Initiatives Weaves a Stronger Mental Health Safety Net
The Thunder Bay TDM team was also featured recently in this article:
Thunder Bay Transitional Discharge Model Team
We will offer more updates in the coming weeks.

3. Ontario Newsroom:  More Postsecondary Mental Health Services

14 projects with the intent of assisting the mental health needs of university and college students have been announced:
Improving Mental Health for Postsecondary Students
4. Ontario To Release Report on Psychiatric Care in Jails
The Correctional Services Minister Yasir Naqvi made the promise following a Toronto Star investigation.  We have the initial story and the follow up report:
Ontario Review of Psychiatric Wait Times for Inmates Kept Secret
Ontario to Release Report on Psychiatric Care in Jails

5. Durham Police Revise Police Records Checks Guidelines
It is worthwhile to note that the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, John Howard Society, and the Canadian Mental Health Association were consulted:
Durham Police Unveil New Guidelines for Criminal Background Checks

6. A Coalition Takes Legal Action to Stop Solitary Confinement
Stopping this practice in federal institutions is the goal of this legal challenge led by the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and the John Howard Society of Canada.  This comes after Correctional Services Canada said they would not discontinue the practice even after the recommendations of the Ashley Smith inquest were released:
Group Launching Legal Challenge to Limit Use of Solitary Confinement in Canadian Prisons

7. Ontario Social Assistance News Updates
Higher additional costs to set up the latest computer system for Ontario social assistance have been reported:
MPPs Unaware Costs for Computer System Hit $16 Million
John Stapleton is among those quoted on the advisability of offering an annual income exemption for provincial social assistance recipients, to help ease the pressures of monthly reporting and create more incentive for people to work:
Annual Earnings Exemption Urged for Ontario Welfare Recipients
8. Toronto Star Investigation:  Over the Counter Codeine (No Prescription Needed)

In this extended feature, the reporters look at the availability of this opioid (contrasting it with stricter controls south of the border), and also question its risk benefit analysis (i.e. high risk of addiction):
Canada’s Invisible Codeine Problem
9. A Big-Picture Appraisal:  Why Modern Life Can be Mentally Unhealthy
This excerpt from the book “The Organized Mind:  Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload” discusses whether our overdependence on technology is causing us a form of neural addiction:
Why the Modern World is Bad for Your Brain


10. Recommendations for Health Advice on the Internet:  Best Websites

For a more sophisticated and evidence-based approach to finding the health information you want and need, keep this article handy after reading it:
Stop Googling Your Health Questions.  Use These Sites Instead.

11. Knowledge Translation Opportunity -- MHCC SPARK Workshop

The June 10-12, 2015 workshop by the Mental Health Commission of Canada will be held in Ottawa.  Full details (application guide and form) can be found here:
SPARK 2015 Application Guide
12. An Op-Ed on a British Paper on Psychosis and Schizophrenia
A summary of the British Psychological Society paper "Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia" is published here:
Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia (click on link under the cover picture to download the PDF)

The NYT Opinion author summarizes the British viewpoint and contrasts that with the absolutist American psychiatric perspective that still holds on this continent:
Redefining Mental Illness

13. Peer-Reviewed Article:  The Cooptation of Peer Support Staff

This Rehabilitation Process and Outcome journal article summarizes the survey results taken in the United States in 2013 and speaks to the likelihood of acculturation into professional cultures when peer support workers are working in traditional service provider organizations, whereas peers in standalone PS agencies do not experience this:
The Cooptation of Peer Support Staff:  Quantitative Evidence

14. Tele-psychiatry Profiled

This US News and World Report piece considers some of the advantages of using this means to provide care to underserved areas in a timely manner without waiting, and from the familiar comfort of one’s home by choice:
Tele-Psychiatry:  The New Frontier in Mental Health
15. Adolescence, Sleep and Mental Health
Difficulty sleeping and tiredness are linked to binge drinking, driving under the influence, and risky sexual behaviour in this U.S. study of teens:
Sleep Difficulties in Adolescents Can Predict Alcohol, Drug Problems

16. George Brown College (Toronto)Training (Mandatory Information Session)
Come join us for an exciting training and employment opportunity!
George Brown College will be hosting an Information Session for each
of our programs:
Our final two info sessions before the deadline are as follows:
Construction Craft Worker EXTENDED TRAINING (CCWET)
Date 1:  Tuesday, January 27th, 2015
Date 2:  Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
All of these sessions at:
Room:  C536
Time:  3:00pm
At:  Casa Loma Campus, 146 Kendal Ave
Application Deadline is February 6, 2015
Please RSVP at auged@georgebrown.ca or
(416) 415-5000 x 6790
Please give us your name, phone number, indicate which info session you’ll be attending and number of people attending.
Attendance to the information session is mandatory
17. Call for Papers:  Critical Approaches to Harm Reduction
Please see the attachment for full details and note that the deadline for submitting an abstract is February 13th.
Should you have any additional questions about the book or would like to discuss your ideas prior to submission, please direct inquiries to: CriticalHarmReduction@gmail.com
Alternatively, should you wish to discuss you ideas prior to submission, please feel free to contract either of the co-editors directly:
Zack Marshall: marshall.zack@gmail.com
Christopher Smithcbrs1977@gmail.com / csmith13@mun.ca
Finally, kindly distribute this Call For Papers (CFP) far and wide, to anyone and everyone who you reckon might be interested in the possibility of contributing, i.e.  through your professional/activist/academic networks, listservs etc.

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

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