OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #438 May 19, 2015

Highlights include:  OPDI Seeks Participants for Peer Support Consultation in Ottawa; ODSP Medical Reviews Update; Federal Prescription Drug Monitoring; Innovative Practices ; Jobs; 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 Announcement on Home Care

Ontario has a plan to improve home care:

Ontario Launches Home Care Plan to Improve Access and Improve Service

This is how the Toronto Star sees it:

More Home Care Choices Means Better Treatment

2. Ontario Delays ODSP Medical Reviews Campaign

Ontario has delayed the spate of medical reviews for ODSP recipients scheduled since the beginning of the fiscal year (April 1st).  The story mentions that consultation with advocates is ongoing:

Ontario to Rethink Disability Welfare Reviews

Legal Aid might be one of those advocates, if you recall this story from April:

Clinics Bogged Down by Disability Support Applications

3. No to Solitary Confinement

The Globe and Mail editorial on solitary confinement in prisons has a great header:

No, Solitary Confinement does not Cure Mental Illness

4. OPDI Seeks Participants for Ottawa Peer Support Consultation

If your mental health/addictions program uses volunteer or paid peer support workers, we hope you will help us to share this invitation with them.

Recently, Ontario Peer Development Initiative conducted a survey of peer support workers across Ontario which resulted in the attached draft "Investigating the State of Peer Support Work in Ontario:  Findings and Implications".
We are now consulting in a few cities to co-create, with peer support workers and volunteers, a set of recommendations to add to the report.

Our consultant Jay L. Harrison will be holding a two hour consultation Friday afternoon, May 22nd close to Ottawa's downtown.  

We are looking for "rank-and-file" peer support workers (both paid and volunteer) to help inform our recommendations.  We are looking for participants who are working or volunteering in any mental health / addictions service or setting, whether that be a consumer-run or clinical service type setting, a small non-profit or a large hospital.  We are looking for peer workers as opposed to managers or supervisors of peer workings (we have a different plan for getting managerial/supervisory feedback).

Participants must register in advance and will receive a $20 honorarium, a printed copy of the draft report, and a workbook to record your thoughts and advice and leave with the consultant.

The final report with recommendations, gleaned from this and similar workshops in three other cities, will be shared with the Minister of Health, the Local Health Integration Networks, OPDI members and the various policy and planning tables they sit at, and the wider public.  
Seating and honoraria are limited.  To register, please email opdi@opdi.org or call 416 484-8785 by noon on May 21st to register in advance.  Give your name, the organization where you work or volunteer as a peer supporter, your position or job title within that organization, and a phone number or email address that we can confirm if you have been accepted.

5. Ottawa Plans to Monitor Prescription Drug Misuse

The federal government will fund a Canada-wide initiative to monitor prescription drugs use, and is geared towards the misuse of opioids.  However, the story notes that contrary to an earlier report, no plans are underway to ban generic oxycodone:

Ottawa Announces Plans to Monitor Substance Abuse

6. Innovative Practice:  York Region’s Mobile Youth Mental Health Clinic

A mobile mental health clinic for youth which includes the capacity to access psychiatrists through webcams was unveiled in York Region:

Graffiti-tagged RV Becomes Ontario’s First Mobile Mental Health Clinic

7. Innovative Practice:  Montreal Police Learn Crisis Intervention Skills in Partnership with Health Centre

Learn more about the crisis intervention skills police officers are learning through a partnership with a health centre:

Montreal Police Try New Approaches to Deal with the Mentally Ill

8. Innovative Practice:  Developing a Text-Based Crisis Call Centre

This Ottawa youth centre is forward-thinking in its planned addition to its website of a chat feature that can be used in real-time:

Youth Services Bureau to Add New Web-Based Crisis Text Chat Service

9. The Lack of Eating Disorders Treatment in Canada

The lack of a national strategy for eating disorders is outlined here:

Top doctor Sounds Alarm on Lack of Treatment for Eating Disorders

10. Bill C-2 (Regulation of Safe Injection Sites) Goes for Senate Hearings

Bill C-2, now before hearings in the Senate, would require a full list of conditions be met before a harm reduction site could open.  Insite, Canada’s first safe injection site is at risk:

Bill C-2 Threatens Harm Reduction Sites, Says Advocate

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Aid Network position can be found here:

Supervised Drug Consumption Sites:  A Matter of Community Health

The Canadian Medical Association is also against the bill:

Bill to Govern Safe-Injection Sites “Disregards” Medical Evidence

11. Veterans Affairs Minister Disagrees with Own Department's Medical Marijuana Policy

Canada’s Veterans Affairs Minister disapproves of medical marijuana for Vets:

Marijuana Treatment for PSTD Unproven


12.  OPDI Conference Call for Abstracts (repeat)

SAVE THE DATE - Ontario Peer Development Initiative’s PEER SUPPORT CONFERENCE will be held September 24 & 25, 2015 in Toronto.
We are inviting you to submit a workshop abstract for the Conference scheduled for September 24 & 25, 2015.  We welcome workshops in the following areas of interest, but submissions are not limited only to these areas:
Member services, for example:

  • Recruiting and engaging a diverse membership
  • Empowerment and authenticity: maintaining a member driven and person centred program
  • Board training and development for effective organizations

Program management issues, such as:

  • Staff training, supervision and support
  • Accountability: getting the work done and telling the real story
  • Staffing Challenges
  • Challenges of Rapid Growth​

Broader systemic, political or philosophical issues such as:

  • Accessibility of peer support groups and organizations
  • Integrations, mergers, absorptions. How to work IN the system but not be OF the system
  • Advocacy: loss of voice and rights
Sharing of new practices, successful program ideas, etc.

We are looking for the most innovative workshop topics that you believe will be beneficial to Consumer/Survivor Initiatives and Peer Support Organizations, and will be positively received by those attending this conference.
Workshop Formats: Each workshop will be 90 minutes and should include a presentation, interaction and discussion. Proposals should address the following:
• Session Title
• Objectives/Intended Outcomes for Participants
• Presenter(s) Biography
• Contact Details
• Audio-visual needs
• Workshop description (this will be used in advertising materials, 100 words or less)
Please submit your abstract by e-mail to opdi@opdi.org or fax to 416- 484-9669.
All abstract must be received by June 5th, 2015.
For further information please contact Allyson Theodorou at 416-484-8785 ext. 2 or by e-mail at allyson@opdi.org

13. Employment Postings

St. Leonard’s Place in Brampton is looking for a Social Purpose Enterprise Manager.

Summit Housing and Outreach Programs in Halton is recruiting a full-time Peer Specialist.

Support and Housing – Halton is hiring both a Peer Support – System Lead and a Peer Support – Substance Use Lead.

14. OPDI Internship Webinar

Our next Internship webinar date is Tuesday, June 16 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm.  If you would like to attend the Internship webinar please email opdi@opdi.org with your name, the date and city of your training and the information to login will be sent to you.

If you have already done an internship webinar please disregard this notice or you may attend it again if you feel you need a refresher.  Notices for future Internship webinars will be posted in NewsToGo at least quarterly and possibly more often if needed. To be notified, please subscribe by going to www.opdi.org and clicking on Newsletter Sign Up (it’s free) then just watch for the notices. 

15. CURA Conference on Poverty and Inclusion (London) -- Call for Abstracts Extended to June 19

Please view the PDF form for details on getting involved in the October 28-29 conference in London, Ontario.  You can access the website as well. This conference is of special interest to psychiatric survivors.

17. Bell TIFF Lighthouse Event:  Linda Chamberlain Documentary

You can find out more about the Diana Capponi tribute and the TIFF Bell Lighthouse event June 2:
Open Policy Ontario:  Diana Capponi

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.