OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #427 February 10, 2015

Highlights include:   OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials (TM) Training for Toronto and Brantford; Ontario Mental Health And Addictions Alliance Pre-Budget Submission; Collaborative Conversations (Registration Info); Assisted Suicide; CPP Disability Benefits; Trauma and Mental Health; News; and More.


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1. Announcement of Brantford OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials ™ Training

See the attached poster and registration form for exciting details about a March 2015 training program taking place in Brantford.  Please note that we must have a minimum of 10 people to proceed with the training.  For more information or to register please email opdi@opdi.orgThe deadline date for registration is Friday, February 27th.

2. Announcement of Toronto OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials ™ Training

See the attached poster and registration 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. 
For more information or to register please email opdi@opdi.org The deadline date for registration is Friday, February 27th.
3. Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Alliance Pre-Budget Position Paper

Attached is a 2015 pre-budget submission from the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Alliance, a coalition of organizations from across the province (OPDI is a member):

Alliance 2015 Pre-Budget Submission

The paper echoes the positions that the Alliance made in the 2014 election, and is supportive of the second stage of the mental health strategy that the Ontario government announced in the fall.

4. Ontario Government Offers Open Democracy Exercise:  A Online Budget Discussion

You still have time to participate in the "Budget Talks 2015" online consultation.  Please read this press release to find out how:

Ontario Launches Online Consultation Tool:  Ontarians Invited to Have Their Say on Provincial Priorities

5. Assisted Suicide and Persons with Chronic Severe Depression
This article offers the possibility that persons with depression may be able to take advantage of the recent Supreme Court ruling on assisted suicide:

Possibility that Incurable Depression Meets Criteria for Doctor-Assisted Suicide Raises Ethical Concerns

Another media citation notes that the Supreme Court decision did not speak out on persons with severe mental illness:

Four Issues Surrounding the Supreme Court Ruling on Assisted Death

6. Getting CPP Disability Benefits An Arduous Process

For some individuals seeking social assistance for a mental disability, the Canadian Pension Plan Disability Benefit may be an option.  However, the wait for benefits, especially if initially rejected, can be lengthy:

Some Seriously Sick and Broke Appellants Denied Speedy Social Security Hearings

7. Increase in Youth Clients Putting Pressure on Community Mental Health Clinics
This is in part possibly due to less stigma in seeking help, more pressures affecting youth, and knowledge gained through social media:

Ontario Youth Seeking Mental Health Care Options

8. A Solution to Homelessness -- Homes

This feature article from Mother Jones lays out the case for the "Housing First" approach now taking hold in the United States:

Room for Improvement

Coincidentally this past week, the city of Toronto received an infusion of money from the federal government, part of which will go towards keeping the "Housing First" initiative going:

Feds Offer Toronto $86 Million Over Five Years to Fight Homelessness

9. Police Body-Worn Cameras and Privacy Issues

Toronto will soon be testing the use of cameras worn by police.  This practice is already happening in the Ontario cities of Hamilton, London, and Thunder Bay.  Privacy commissioners have concerns and want to regulate the evolving practice:

Privacy Commissioners Draw Guidelines for Police on Body-Worn Cameras


10. Ketamine and Treatment-Resistant Major Depression

This 2013 report of a clinical trial suggests that this drug is safe, effective, and works rapidly when compared with a placebo:

Ketamine Shows Significant Therapeutic Benefit in People with Treatment-Resistant Depression

It has a bad reputation according to the government of  Canada:


Limited studies are taking place in Canada, but those who want treatment have to go elsewhere:

Ketamine a "Very Promising Depression Drug", But Unavailable in Canada

Now there is pressure to ban this drug in Great Britain:

The UK Needs Common Sense About Ketamine

11. What Happens When A Country Ends "The War on Drugs"

Understanding addiction from a perspective that is not about punishment, but rather about the human need for connecting, offers insight on how to curb substance use:

Portugal Cut Addiction Rates in Half

12. A Health Care-Focussed Guide to Using Twitter

Still not convinced that Twitter is right for your organization?  Let this resource published by the B.C. Patient Safety and Quality Council nudge you into action:


13. A Four-Part Series on Trauma and Mental Health

This series of stories help to understand the connection between trauma and the behaviours they seem to create:

The Long Reach of Childhood Trauma

Changing Courses

From Brain Science to Stop and Shop

Recognizing Trauma and Isolation


14. Register Now for Collaborative Conversations

Seven knowledge exchange events are taking place in February through May 2015 on topics related to systems change in mental health and addictions.  They are taking place in Ottawa, Toronto, London, and Thunder Bay.  Details and registration information can be found in the full bilingual email that can be accessed here:

Systems Improvement Through Service Collaboratives:  On the Road

15. Charity Village Job Postings
PARC in Toronto is hiring for its Edmond Place Food Service (Part-time Cook).

CAMH is looking for an Information Officer.

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.