OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #435 April 21, 2015

Highlights include:   Mental Health Commission of Canada Gets Extension; OPDI Internship Webinar; Policing in the News; CoI for Racialized Populations Think Tank (report); Charity Village Jobs; News; and More.


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1. Federal Budget 2015

Here is the landing page for the federal government’s 2015 budget:
Federal Government Budget 2015

The key commitment for mental health is a pledge to continue the Mental Health Commission of Canada, albeit with a new mandate and direction after stakeholder consultation (please refer to page 300 of the Budget Plan).

 On a related note, the incoming chair of the MHCC, Michael Wilson (a former PC finance minister himself) is interviewed by the University of Toronto:

Chancellor Michael Wilson Named Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada

2. 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.

3. Beer in Grocery Stores (Preview of Thursday's Budget)

The government appears to be taking the notion of beer sales in grocery stores "quite seriously":

Ontario Committed to Supporting Safe Consumption of Alcohol

Meanwhile, a voice from the addictions field makes the case that this new measure is unnecessary:

Why We Don’t Need Beer in Grocery Stores

4. The Vulnerable Person's Registry:  One Lawyer's Opinion

We have a radio interview with Anita Szigeti, a criminal lawyer who works with the mentally ill, and who shares her misgivings about the proposed voluntary “vulnerable persons registry” being created by the Toronto Police Service:

New Police Vulnerable Persons Registry Raises Concerns

5. Federal Prison Ombudsman Position Not Renewed

Howard Sapers has made a name in his job speaking out about the concerns of prisoners who are mentally ill, in overcrowded conditions, or in solitary confinement:

Government Refuses Prison Watchdog’s Request for another Full Term

6. Provincial Policing Oversight Body To Look Further into "Use of Force" Guidelines

The provincial body with the mandate to review police behaviour in Ontario has been reviewing the Toronto Police Service’s “use of force” guidelines.  It has now expanded its mandate to include all police forces under its jurisdiction.  It will look at past recommendations and current training procedures when dealing with people in distress:
Police Watchdog Expands Review of Use of Force with the Mentally Ill

7. CMHA National Releases Position on Privacy and Police Records

You can access a summary and the full paper here:

Right to Privacy Related to Mental Health Information Contained Within Police Records

8. The Private Patient Advocate

This article discusses the emergence of the role of the private patient advocate, who is hired as a consultant by families to improve the continuity of care and speak up for those using the healthcare system.  Of note is the $100-150 an hour that such people charge:

The Rise of the Private Patient Advocate

9. Inside the Mind of a Consumer/Survivor

This Huffington Post blogger gives us her unfiltered reflections.  You can sense the vivid jumpiness of someone who constantly fights doubts about her identity:

Mental Health Stigma Creates a Double Life


10. Therapy Works As Well as Drugs for Depression

This British study suggests that mindfulness-based therapy may be just as effective on people at risk from depression as a drug regimen:

Depression:   “Mindfulness-based Therapy Shows Promise”

11. ADHD Drugs Misused in the Workplace

ADHD medications are being misused in the name of improving productivity at work:

Workers Seeking Productivity in a Pill Are Abusing ADHD Drugs

12. CoI for Racialized Populations:  March 23rd Think Tank

On March 23, the Racialized Populations and Addictions and Mental Health Community of Interest held a Think Tank to address how OCAN (the Ontario Common Assessment of Need) could be used to advance health equity.  You can access PowerPoint presentations and the webinar by going to the EENet blog:

Exploring the Potential of OCAN to Advance Equity in Mental Health


13. Charity Village Employment Postings

The Good Shepherd (Hamilton) is looking for a Peer Worker for its SOS Program at the Women's Service.

CAMH is looking for Regional Implementation Coordinators for the Provincial Support Service Program in Ottawa and Kingston.

Across Boundaries is hiring a Consumer/Survivor Initiatives Coordinator.

14. "Grounding Trauma" Conference (Alliston, Ontario)

The CAST Canada event takes place May 6 -7. The information on their home webpage:

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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.