OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #426 February 3, 2015

Highlights include:    OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials (TM) Training in Toronto March 2015; Health Minister Announces Updated Healthcare Plan for Province; Aboriginal Health; Homelessness and Mental Health; "Tough on Crime"; Mental Illness and the Police; 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. Announcement of Toronto OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials ™ Training

See the attached poster andregistration form for exciting details about a March 2015 training program taking place in Toronto.  Please note that we must have a minimum of 10 people to proceed with the training. 
If you are interested in learning more about OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials ™ Training please join us for a free webinar on Wednesday, February 18th @ 12:00pm Toronto time.  The topic is related to the process and expectations of training, and potential  training participants (or their sponsoring employers) are welcome to attend and have all questions answered.  To register please email opdi@opdi.org.

2. Ontario Health Minister Announces Updated Plan for Healthcare

Minister Eric Hoskins announced the updated Health Care plan at a speech at the Empire Club in Toronto.  The press release, actual report, access to a video recording of the speech, and media reaction are in the following links:

Ontario Launches Updated Plan for Health Care

Patients First:  Action Plan for Health Care (a highlights summary:  the right-hand menu has the link to the report PDF)

The video of the Minister’s speech (those interested can go to the 24-minute mark where he talks briefly about mental health and addictions)

A commentary addressing current issues facing the Ministry contrasting with the rhetoric of the speech is worth reading:

Already Fighting with Doctors and Nurses, Province Pledges More Health Care Reforms

In a prelude to the announcement, the Toronto Star obtained an interview with the Minister:

Why Our Health Ministry is Following Doctors’ Orders

3. Systemic Racism and Aboriginal Health

The worst outcomes in healthcare are experienced by the aboriginal population in Canada.  This report explores the impact of racism on the health and well-being of indigenous peoples:

First Peoples, Second Class Treatment

A companion media article offers some highlights and a personal story:

Racism against Aboriginal People in Health Care System “Pervasive”:  Study

4. Homelessness and Mental Health

Dr. Sylvain Roy, a neuropsychologist based at CAMH, has written a blog entry about the recent provincial panel on homelessness that was formed. In a companion piece for the Ontario Psychological Association (its January 2015 News Brief), he goes into greater detail about the research, such as the fact that 80% of this vulnerable population have cognitive impairments for many reasons:

5. Ontario Social Assistance Software in the News

This week's roundup of updates:

Internal memo Shows Welfare Computer Problems Drag On

Ontario's New Welfare Computer System a "Disaster" (with video)

Kenora Struggling with New System

6. Conservative Party of Canada Unveils New "Tough on Crime" Website

In anticipation of a dialogue on justice in the coming federal election, one party has made it stance known on the "Not Criminally Responsible" legislation.  Just so you know:

Tough on Crime?  Not Criminally Responsible?

7. Mental Illness and the Police

Global News has been periodically updating news about the intersection of the justice and mental health systems.  The point of this particular report is that police budgets are substantially affected in unanticipated ways:

Mental Illness Overwhelms Prisons, Police

A related report by the Institute for Urban Research Studies at Simon Fraser University (B.C.) examines the subject:

Economics of Policing:  Complexity and Costs in Canada, 2014

Please refer to page 19 of the PDF file for their examination of mental health.

8. How Not to:  The Police and the Mentally Ill in Albuquerque, New Mexico
This New Yorker feature examines a city with the highest rate of police-involved shootings of persons with a mental health diagnosis:

Your Son is Deceased

9. Innovative Practice:  Legal Clinic Creates ID Bank for Clients

Access to services and having a safe place to keep IDs and documents are problematic for vulnerable people.  This Thunder Bay legal aid service office has a solution:

Kinna-Aweya Legal Clinic Creates ID Bank in Thunder Bay

10. "Justice Delayed is Justice Denied" -- A Talk by Chris Summerville
Chris Summerville, nationally-known mental health advocate who is with the Schizophrenia Society of Canada and active with the Mental Health Commission of Canada, gives this talk on the reason why a recovery-based mental health system is needed in this country. Note: the closed-captioning offered by YouTube (activated with the cc option) works fairly well on this video.

11. Further Thoughts on Stigma and Discrimination in the Workplace
CAMH gave an opportunity for researcher Dr. Carolyn Dewa to offer a summation of her recent survey on workplace discrimination:

Redefining Stigma in the Workplace

The summary of the study can be found here:

Would You Tell Your Manager You Had a Mental Health Problem?

12. Yoga and Mental Health

A family doctor, psychiatrist, and a yoga enthusiast are among those interviewed in this news report (note:  there is one video highlighted in the story, but four others can be accessed on the side menu):

Healing the Mind

13. PDAC (Psychiatric Disabilities Anti-Violence Coalition) Seeks 10 Good People -- via Empowerement Council Facebook Page
The Psychiatric Disabilities Anti-Violence Coalition (PDAC)
PDAC is working on a research project exploring violence in the lives of people with psychiatric disabilities & consumers/survivors/ex-patients.
We would like to consult with you if you are a mental health service user and have something to say about violence in the institution
We are specifically looking to speak with ten individuals to discuss what needs to be said that has not already been said about violence in the system . Do you have something unique to say?
We are only speaking to 10 people
Friday February 6th, 2015
416 535-8501 Ext. 33013

14. The Value of Peer Support in A Hospital Setting
"Grand Rounds" is the regular meeting of doctors, residents, and others in training to hear a speaker.  On this occasion at Ontario Shores (formerly Whitby Psychiatric), Fiona Wilson, a peer worker at St. Joseph's in Hamilton, spoke.  Here's a nice write-up on what she said:

The Value of Peer Support

15.  An American Perspective:  Solutions to Mental Illness

The national paper USA Today has been featuring a series of stories on mental health.  In the most recent one, they have profiled several promising practices that have the ability to improve outcomes:

Promising Strategies Gather Dust

16. HSJCC Conference (Call For Abstracts)

The call for abstracts is here

The biennial conference takes place November 16-18 in Toronto.

17. Oak Centre (Niagara Falls) Golf Tournament

This psychosocial clubhouse agency (and very consumer/survivor friendly also) is fundraising through its May 2015 golf tournament.  Full details are attached: poster, registration form, and a request and sponsor form.
18. Charity Village Job Postings
Psychiatric Survivors of Ottawa is hiring a Peer Support Worker.

CMHA Vancouver-Burnaby is looking for a Peer Navigator Program Manager who would launch their new program:

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

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NewsToGo is OPDI’s e-mail update providing timely and meaningful information to its stakeholders. The ideas expressed are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of OPDI. We welcome your submissions; please direct them to opdi@opdi.org. Preference will be given to material which directly relates to OPDI member affiliates and issues of concern to consumer/survivors throughout Ontario. We reserve the right to edit the length and style of all materials submitted. The current and back issues of NewsToGo can be found at http://www.opdi.org.