OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #434 April 15, 2015

Highlights include:   Ontario Budget; OPDI Training Expectations Webinar; MHCC Updates; Mental Health Workers Team with Police; Toronto Police Vulnerable Persons Registry; SSO Survey; 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 Budget Set for Thursday April 23rd

The provincial budget is to be brought down by the Minister of Finance on April 23rd.  We have a press release and a media report speculating on what could be in it:

Ontario Sets Budget Date for April 23

Ontario Budget to Be Introduced April 23

Here is an article that considers the possible budget measure of allowing alcohol to be sold more freely:

Selling Beer and Wine in Grocery Stores Carries Serious Risks

2. Local Poverty Reduction Reduction Fund Announced

This six-year $50 million provincial initiative is designed to spur local partnerships to develop grassroots programs geared to marginalized groups at risk of poverty:

Local Poverty Reduction Fund to Support Community-Driven Solutions

3. Internship Webinar (Thursday, April 30 at 12:00 pm)

The next OPDI Peer Support Internship Webinar will be held Thursday, April 30 from 12 noon to 1 pm Toronto time.  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.

4. MHCC Asks for Participation in Mental Health Survey Plan and Announces New Chair

You are invited to complete the survey to help complete the Mental Health Plan for Canada.

The Honourable Michael Wilson has been announced as the new Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

5. Innovative Practice:  Expansion of Mental Health Workers Teamed with Police for Crisis Calls

We have reports of this happening in at least two LHINs:  Hamilton Norfolk Haldimand Brant and Waterloo Wellington.

We have two reports on the program in Hamilton (its current program and the pilot which was the impetus for new funding):

Hamilton Police Bring Mental Health Workers Along to Frontlines

Hamilton Police Seek to Expand Rapid Crisis Response Team to Cover Whole City

Here's a report of what's happening in Guelph and Fergus:

Mental Health Crisis Workers Join Guelph Police Team

6. Toronto Police to Implement Vulnerable Persons Registry

The intent is to reduce the possibility of a catastrophic interaction between an individual and police.  We have two reports:

Toronto Police Planning Launch of Vulnerable Persons Registry

"Vunlnerable Persons Registry" May Help Prevent More Police Shootings

7. Mental Health Funding Announcement (Central East LHIN)

The press release notes that peer support services will be among the beneficiary of the new funding for 2015-2016:

Durham Mental Health Funding Announcement

8. Tylenol 1 -- An Over-the-Counter Drug Problem

Tylenol 1 is a codeine-acetaminophen combination drug that doesn't require a prescription.  These two articles detail the issues around it:

Manitoba Pharmacists Want Clampdown on Tylenol 1 Sales

Buying a Lot of Tylenol 1 is as Easy as Asking

You can revisit the Toronto Star's January 2015 feature here:

Canada's Invisible Codeine Problem


9. Dr. Cheryl Forchuk Profiled in RNAO Journal

You can read about the work of this distinguished nursing professor (of ARTIC TDM project fame):

RN Researcher Helps Marginalized Populations

10. Humour and the Mental Health Hospital Stay

The positive attitude of the writer reveals the "survivor" mindset of someone who turns the experience of time in a psychiatric ward to good use:

The Psychiatric Ward Taught Me It can be OK to Laugh About Mental Illness

11. A Link Between Heavy Use of Facebook and Depressive Symptoms

Could it be that comparing ourselves with others through Facebook can lead to the likelihood of depression?  This summary of a study explains why that might be:

Scientists Find Link between Heavy Facebook Use and Depressive Symptoms

12. Neoplasticity and the Brain

The notion that the brain can be adaptable in the face of what were previously considered chronic conditions is explored in this episode of TV Ontario's The Agenda (fully closed captioned video):

The Brain's Healing Energies


13. SSO Needs Your Input

Advocating to improve the quality of life for people and families affected by mental illness has always been a priority for the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario (SSO). The advocacy work that SSO does would not be possible without support from people like you. 

To help us determine our advocacy priorities in the coming years we need to hear directly from individuals with mental health issues/illnesses and their families and friends. 

To do so, we created a short survey. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. All information gathered through this survey will be kept CONFIDENTIAL and ANONYMOUS.

To complete the survey, please follow this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MHADVOCACY
Completed surveys will be accepted until April 27, 2015.

Thank you for your assistance and support!

14. Charity Village Job Postings

CAMH is looking for a Knowledge Broker for its SISC Project.

Habitat Services (Toronto) is looking for a Housing Support Worker – Peer Specialist.

Supportive Housing in Peel is looking for a Peer Support Worker – Peel Youth Village.

Sound Times, a Toronto Peer Initiative, is looking for two Community Supports – Case Management staff.

CMHA Peel’s Partnership Place is looking for a maternity replacement Peer Community Support Worker.

15.  NISA (Sudbury CSI) Needs a Programs and Operations Manager

The posting can be found here.

16. Global Mental Health Conference May 6-8 (Toronto)
CAMH and the U of T Department of Psychiatry are co-producing this conference. The website is here.

17. Join the next Canadian iphYs - ‘Keeping the Body in Mind, in Youth with Psychosis’ Satellite Symposium!

During this one-day event on improving the physical health of young people with psychosis, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with world-renowned experts on managing weight gain, metabolic syndrome and diabetes in persons receiving early psychosis intervention (EPI).
Attend this symposium to learn:

  • About the need for early, regular metabolic monitoring and lifestyle approaches to preserve the physical and mental health and wellbeing of individuals with psychosis;
  • How weight gain and metabolic abnormalities develop in youth starting antipsychotic medications;
  • Lifestyle and skills interventions that can help reduce weight gain in people starting antipsychotic medication;
  • Strategies to improve collaboration with primary care providers;
  • Neutraceutical approaches that improve the metabolic status of individuals with psychosis.
Who should attend?

Psychiatrists, nurses, front-line mental health professionals and advocates including social workers, family doctors, patients and families involved with early psychosis intervention.
Admission is free. Space is extremely limited.
To see the flyer and to register for either in person or webinar, click here.

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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.