OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #439 May 27, 2015

Highlights include:  Police and Mental Health; The Real Story behind John Nash; Woodstock Affordable Housing; Diabetes and Poverty; OPDI Call for Conference Abstracts; 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 Newsroom

Ontario is investing in a new Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation:

Province to Invest $23.5 Million in New Brain Research Centre

The province has introduced changes to the Employment Standards Act, including greater awareness of the ESA for employees and employers:

Ontario Ensuring Workers Understand Rights and Obligations in the Workplace

2. Globe and Mail Special Series on Mental Health #OPEN MINDS

The Globe and Mail has been rolling out many articles on mental health (complicated by its paywall that offers some access here and there).  One of the emergent themes is that the practice of psychotherapy is evidence-based, and yet remains poorly funded:

The Case for Publicly Funded Therapy

Look Long-Term when Assessing the Costs of Psychotherapy

Unleashing the Power of Technology to Deliver Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy:  A Better Funding Model Must be Found

3. Police Use of Force Data and Training Lacking

The Toronto Star has highlights on this federal report:

Better Police Training, Use of Force Data Needed

On a related note, the Thunder Bay police chief has indicated his willingness to work with the local Northwest LHIN on training to address mental health calls.  The article notes partnerships taking place in other LHINs:

Police Chief Wants to Work with LHIN to Assist Officers on Mental Health Calls

4. Man Fatally Shot in Guelph Hospital ER

A man was shot recently in the ER of Guelph General Hospital.  A follow-up story includes more background and commentary by the Executive Director of the Hamilton-area CSI, Mental Health Rights Coalition:

Man Shot by Police at Guelph Hospital Identified

Expert Says Mental Health System Likely Failed Man Shot at Hospital

On a related subject, this summary of a journal article looks at the importance of communication between police and healthcare personal in the ER:

ED Doctors Stress Need for Good Communications with Police

The HSJCC resource mentioned in the article is likely “Strategies for Implementing Effective Police-Emergency Department Protocols”.

5. Hospital Staff Ate Potluck Lunch as Man Died by Suicide

We will know more if and when the lawsuit against the hospital proceeds:

Family Alleges Hospital Staff Ate Potluck Luck as Man Died by Suicide

6. "Decision-based Evidence Making":  Sex Workers Peer Organization Denied Funding

You might think that peers would be natural partners to assist others in transition out of the sex work business, but no:

Fund to Help Sex Workers "Over-Subscribed":  Victoria Group Rejected

7. Will Hamilton Police Force Learn its Lessons?

For better or worse, this police force remains in the news over the way it addresses mental health issues internally:

Police Suicide Isn't Public Business but Trust It's Being Addressed

Police Suicide Sparks Overhaul of Internal Strategies

8. The Back Story to John Nash, Corrected

The mathematician and person with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, John Nash, the subject of the movie “A Beautiful Mind”, passed away recently.  The author of this blog entry makes a valid point that somehow a man who recovered without medication has somehow been passed off as the opposite; the comments to the piece are equally interesting:

Reflections on a Beautiful Mind

9. Good News Story:  Woodstock Affordable Housing for Persons with Disabilities Opens

Loft living for 54 residents with rent-geared-to-ODSP income is the feature of this article.  It is possibly also a clever public relations strategy to show that NIMBYism is overrated:

Renovated Harvey Woods Building will be Open to the Public on June 5 from 3 to 6 pm

10. Local Poverty Reduction Fund Application Deadline June 10

Check out the province's webpage for more information:

Local Poverty Reduction Fund


11. Diabetes and Poverty

In addition to the using of psychiatric medications, people with lived experience now have to consider poverty a risk factor for developing secondary diabetes, according to this Canadian study:

Poverty a Leading Cause of Type 2 Diabetes


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

A half-time Peer Supporter is needed in Belleville.

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. Diana Capponi Tribute Night

Please check this flyer on the Diana Capponi Tribute night when the Linda Chamberlain documentary “Linda!  Not Anytime Soon” will be screened (June 2).  We also have the back story on the recent revelation about Linda’s health:

Mental Illness Survivor’s Confession Raises Questions

John Stapleton's website has more information.

16. HSJCC Toronto Conference Call for Abstracts

The  Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee Conference taking place November 16-18, 2015 in Toronto is called “Mobilizing Community - Promoting Resiliency, Sustaining Recovery & Restoring Justice” and has issued a Call for Abstracts.

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.