OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #443 June 18, 2015

Highlights include:  Police Carding; Peers in Addiction Recovery; The Social Assistance Trek;  Crisis Text Line; Safe Injection Sites; Surveys; 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

The government is seeking to standardize police street checks (known in Toronto as “carding”) and will be holding community consultations over the summer with stakeholders:

Ontario to Standardize Police Street Checks

We have two background articles:

Ontario Plans to regulate controversial Practice of Police Carding

Ontario Should Ban Police Carding Rather than Regulate it, Critics Say

The Wellesley Institute’s Dr. Kwame McKenzie looks at this subject from a health perspective:

Carding Amplifies Racism, Decreases Health

The Ontario Child Benefit maximum payout is increasing (for eligible families with children under 18), as part of the Ontario Anti-Poverty Strategy:

Government Increasing Ontario Child Benefit to Help 500,000 Families

A Thunder Bay hospital expansion to benefit mental health clients was announced.  We have a press release and a local news story:

Ontario Investing Up to $47.8 Million to Expand Thunder Bay Hospital

New Thunder Bay Mental Health Wing to see $47.8M from Province

2.  Peers and Recovery from Addiction

This detailed and powerful step-by-step account of how a peer addiction worker helped someone to get better deserves to be read and shared:

On the Role of Peers in Addiction Recovery

3. More Coverage of the Supreme Court Marijuana Decision

Last week we reported on the SCC decision to allow edible medical marijuana and the Health Minister's reaction.  We have an Ottawa Citizen editorial and a follow-up story of a parent who had been treating his daughter with homemade cannabis oil:

Dad Treating Daughter's Epilepsy with Marijuana Oil Relieved by SCC Ruling

Editorial:  The Government's Drug Problem

4. Conversion Therapy Profiled in Court Case

This American trial exposes how gender conversion is supposed to work (now funding for it banned in Ontario):

Inside the Trial that May End the Gay Cure

5. Innovative Practice:  American Crisis Text Line

It is new and very popular:

High-Tech Crisis Line for Teens in Crisis

6. Peer Support Executive Director New Head of Mental Health Services - Hastings Prince Edward

Congratulations to Garry Laws on his new position!

Mental Health Services Gets New Director

7. Safe Injection Sites and Harm Reduction -- An Update

The journalist Justin Ling in this Canadian Bar Association article offers a current view of where we stand in the safe injection debate in Canada with impending legislation (Bill C-2) and a Montreal mayor who wants to go full-speed with new sites:

Safe Injection Sites in Montreal

8. Tracking the Search to Apply for Social Assistance

The Toronto Star's Joe Fiorito in two columns lays out the exasperating experiences of someone with a mental health issue who wants to apply for social assistance:

The Long March Leading to Help

Ontario Works?  I am not so sure.


9. The Evidence on Cannabis Use and Canadian Youth

The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse has published its latest report on Adolescent Marijuana Use and its Impact on the Developing Brain.  You can access the press release here with links to a backgrounder, short report, and a full technical report.

In a related matter, an American study states that legalizing medical marijuana in states did not result in increased use by youth:

Medical Use of Marijuana Doesn’t Increase Youth’s Use

10. Suicide Prevention Resources

This website, Prevent the Attempt, is a decision tree of online technologies to help organizations that have an online presence engage with users who are suicidal:

Prevent the Attempt

The new American resource on how to deal with suicide in the emergency room contains much advice that is applicable across a broad range of working environments, but has a lot of hyperlinks to other resources.  The webpage can be found here:

Suicide Prevention Resource Center -- Caring for Adult Patients with Suicide Risks:  A Consensus Guide for Emergency Departments

11. UBC Resource:  Working with Depression Resource Webpage

The University of British Columbia Medical School's Department of Psychiatry has a clinical focus on workplace depression and has arranged a variety of resources for clinicians, the general public, and researchers.  You can find it here:

Working with Depression

12. Anti-Psychotics Use among Seniors on the Rise in Ontario (update)

We have been reporting on the rising use of antipsychotics among the senior population in this province.  In a related matter, Ontario nursing homes are reported as having the most elevated symptoms of depression.  Could it be something is not working:

Ontario Nursing Home Residents Among Most Depressed in Canada

13. Insights into Psychosis Using Virtual Reality

With a simulation and a YouTube video, it is possible to sample what it is like to experience the hallucinations that are attributed to having a diagnosis of schizophrenia:

Virtual Psychosis Environment

Virtual Hallucination Video

14. How to Read Medical Studies (A Note of Caution)

Do you want to be a better critical reader when it comes to assessing knowledge translation?  This article can help you:

This is Why You Shouldn't Believe that New Exciting Medical Study


15.  Mood Disorders Society of Canada Survey

In a followup to a 2011 survey, MDSC wants to know your opinion of any changes to the Canadian mental health system since then:

Please Provide Your Feedback

16. Ontario Nonprofit Network Salary Sector Survey

Complete this Non-Profit Salary Survey from the Ontario Nonprofit Network.  The survey will help the ONN with its strategy for the sector:

Sector Salary Survey

17. CAHO Annual Report (TDM ARTIC Project)

The Council of Academic Hospitals' 2014-2015 report includes reportage on the completed TDM ARTIC peer project partnering OPDI, the Lawson Health Research Institute (Dr. Cheryl Forchuk) and various hospital sites throughout the province:

CAHO’s Annual Report 2014-2015

18. MHCC Webinar:  Preventing Suicide in the Workplace

The June 25th MHCC Webinar:  Making Suicide Prevention a Workplace a Priority is open for registration.  You can find out more by clicking on this e-mail:

Invitation to Attend

19. Toronto Central LHIN Releases Transitional Youth Report:  Pieces to Pathways

The attached report looks at the needs of LGBTTQQ2SIA transitional age youth (age 16-29) using substances and living in Toronto.  5 of the six people who worked on the project were peers:  i.e. members of the LGBT community and most were also in recovery.  The project was funded by the TC LHIN.  The sections of the report are as follows:

Literature Review
Agency Survey
Population Survey
Focus Groups
Proposed Program Framework and Model

Pieces to Pathways Report

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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.