OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #433 April 4, 2015

Highlights include:   Homelessness Funding; First-Time Suicide Attempts; Social Assistance Reforms; Medical Reviews; 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 Puts $587 Million Towards Homelessness Initiative

Ontario has announced funding towards the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative for the next two years:

Ontario Allocates $587 Million to Help End Homelessness

We have a news article with Opposition reaction:

Ontario Puts $587 Million Toward Goal of Ending Homelessness

2. Legal Aid Clinics, ODSP Medical Reviews, and Misplaced Use of Resources

Legal Aid clinics have recently received increased funding.  The Ministry of Community and Social Services are increasing their medical reviews of social assistance recipients.  How do these issues connect?

Clinics Bogged Down by Disability Support Applications

For an updated resource sheet on how to handle medical reviews, we share this from the Income Security Advocacy Centre:

ODSP Medical Reviews

3. Ontario Launches Review of Solitary Confinement Policy for Prisons

The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services is reviewing its policy of solitary confinement as posted on its website:

Yasir Naqvi Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Made the Following Statement Today

Here’s an article to put the mental health aspect into further focus:

Ontario Launches Review of Solitary Confinement in Prisons

4. Social Assistance Changes Are for the Worse

Carol Goar of the Toronto Star takes care to invite the views of those affected by the new ODSP Employment Benefit changes:

Welfare Recipients Treated Like Guinea Pigs

5. Innovative Practice:  Postpartum Mood Disorders Project

Postpartum Strategy to Address Gaps in Mental Health Care

6. Mental Health in the News

NewsToGo doesn’t have room for the tsunami of stories related to the Germanwings incident, but refers you to the Twitter feed and our Facebook page Ontario Peer Development Initiative for noteworthy citations you can explore on your own.  This piece in The New Yorker probably sums it up best:

No, Psychiatry Could Not Have Prevented the Germanwings Disaster

For an editorial that puts everything into perspective, the Kitchener-Waterloo Record reprinted this Winnipeg Free Press piece:

Another View:  Time to Talk About Mental Health

7. Music and Mental Illness

The creative meshing of musical talents with people with an artistic bent and a mental health diagnosis is explored in this English collaboration:

The Music of Mental Illness

8. Addictions in the News

Bill C-2 has moved on to the Senate for hearings.  Advocates explain why the situation is dire for harm reduction sites in Canada:

Insite Defenders say Conservatives Bill C-2 Threatens to End Supervised Injection Sites

Meanwhile, in Kenora, the local hospital is talking about harm reduction:

Hospital Opens to Talks on Safe Injection Site

The closing and resultant opening of another methadone clinic has spurred reaction in Thunder Bay:

Drug Clinic Causing Some Jitters

9. CTV London's Mental Health Series

CTV London has a four-part series on mental health; they dwell on familiar themes, and have both a local and provincial focus:

Mental Health Calls Straining Resources of Emergency Responders

Few Options for Those Dealing with Mental Health Crisis

Fire Department Ill-Equipped to Deal with Mental Health Issues (hoarding)

Some Help Available for Emergency Services handling Mental Health Calls (CONNEX)


10. A Shout-Out to the South East LHIN

This is a superb infographic by the South East LHIN detailing what it does.  Please note health planners and communications folks out there!

Better Experiences in the South East LHIN

11. People Who Have Attempted Suicide Need Aftercare

This new study suggests that the 40x risk of suicide for people who have made first-time attempts means that long-term supports is a necessity for this target population:

Suicide Prevention Efforts after First Attempt Must Last Longer

12. ICES Newsletter:  Psychiatrists Treating HIV Patients and the Burden of Youth Mental Health and Addictions

This ICES e-newsletter has two reports of interest to mental health and addictions stakeholders:  one on the incidence of psychiatrists treating Ontarians with HIV, and a summary of the burden of youth mental health and addictions:

March 2015 Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences Research Findings for Stakeholders

13. Can Heavy Drinkers Be Moderate?

What is the evidence for moderation in drinking as a practice for current heavy drinkers?  This NPR story explores the evidence:
Rethinking Alcohol:  Can Heavy Drinkers Learn to Cut Back?


14. Charity Village Postings

CAMH is looking for an equity and engagement coordinator for its Provincial System Support Program.

15.  Hong Fook and Partners:  Diversity and Equity in Mental Health Conference (Toronto)

Hong Fook Mental Health Association with other partnering organizations is presenting this “cross-cultural perspectives on recovery and resilience” themed event in Toronto on Friday May 15th.  For more information, please refer to the webpage for a link to the registration.

16. Patients and Health Education Conference (Vancouver)

 This UBC conference in Vancouver explores the topic of how patient involvement enriches health education:

Where’s the Patient’s Voice in Health Professional Education 10 years On?

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.