OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #444 June 25, 2015

Highlights include:  2016 Rent Increase Guidelines; Pride Week and Mental Health; Harm Reduction Bill Passes; CAHO Updates; Detention and Mental Health; 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 Newsroom

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has announced that the 2016 rent increase guideline will be set for 2.0%.  This represents the maximum a landlord can raise the rent next year without an appeal to the Landlord and Tenant Board for a hearing:

Ontario’s 2016 Rent Increase Guideline Set at 2.0 Per Cent

Milton General Hospital is getting an expansion; however, mental health services are not explicitly mentioned in the announcement as part of the new facilities:

Ontario Investing Up to $501 Million to Expand and Modernize Milton District Hospital

2.  Pride Week and Mental Health

With Pride Week in the news, CMHA Ontario has a handy research summary of the mental health issues and barriers that affect Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Trans people:

Pride, LGBT, and Mental Health

3. Bill C-2 Receives Royal Assent

Here is the update on Bill C-2.  The Respect for Communities Act has passed.  We have the press release (the lack of any public health figure endorsement is noteworthy) and a news report on the implications for safe injection sites in Canada:

Respect for Communities Receives Royal Assent

Safe Injection Site Law “Whips Up” Tory Base, May Block New Facilities

4. CAHO News:  TDM ARTIC Update, Two New Projects, and the Latest Annual Report

The latest update on the TDM ARTIC peer support project is on the CAHO (Council of Academic Hospitals) website:

The Transitional Discharge Model:   People-Centred, Peer Supported Project Impactful or Both System and Clients

A press release on the two new mental health and addictions projects being funded through the ARTIC program was also announced recently:

Two New Projects Poised to Improve Mental Health Addictions Care in Ontario

The 2014-2015 annual report can be found here:

Building a Healthier, Wealthier, Smarter Ontario

5. Solitary Confinement in Provincial Jails

We have been hearing about this prevalent practice in federal institutions and the harm to mental health that it can cause on vulnerable people.  Now we are learning about it as a problem provincially also:

Ontario Jails Accused of Flouting New Solitary Confinement Rules

6. Refugees at Risk in Detention

A refugee claimant died in custody.  He had mental and physical problems, and had been in detention for 4 long years.  The description of his death is even more troubling.  We have two stories to share:

Canada’s Immigration Detention System Breaches Human Rights, U of T Study Says

Secrecy Surrounds Death of Troubled Man in Immigration Detention

7. Innovative Practice:  Dogs for Depression

This British website gives you all the information you need if you want a dog to be a partner in your recovery to mental wellness.  This fact sheet about the ways a dog helps you is particularly useful:

How Dogs Help Us

8. Information on Diabetes

The Ontario government has a website devoted to diabetes for both the public and health professionals.  It can be accessed here:

Stand Up to Diabetes

A reminder also that OPDI and CMHA Ontario collaborated on a diabetes peer support initiative and the resources can be accessed here:

Diabetes and Mental Health Peer Support Project


9. From the Margins to the Middle:  D.I.Y. Health Equity Kit

On March 12, 2015, over forty people from all walks of life gathered to reflect on experiences related to embedding equity into efforts to improve the mental health and addictions system. The event was called “From the Margins to the Middle” and was part of a series of knowledge exchange events hosted throughout Ontario called Collaborative Conversations: On the Road hosted by the Systems Improvement though Service Collaboratives (SISC), exploring issues and learnings that have emerged.
The result of the From the Margins to the Middle event was a beginner’s guide for those interested in working toward equity within Ontario’s mental health system and beyond. The tools and strategies contained in this kit build on conversations at the knowledge exchange event.

To see the kit click here.

This kit can be used in many ways, including to:

  • Reflect individually on your own practice;
  • Start a conversation with others;
  • Build understanding within a group;
  • Explore related resources as needed; or
  • Guide project planning.
For more information or inquiries, please contact Josina Vink, Regional Implementation Coordinator, CAMH at Josina.vink@camh.ca.

10. Holistic Crisis Planning Toolkit for Children, Youth, and their Families

This toolkit comes from the Peel Service Directive and offers a way to engage children, youth, and their families in the crisis planning process.  There are videos accompanying the text material:
Holistic Crisis Planning Toolkit

11. "ITunes Helps Relieve My Pain"

Pain relief may come not just from popping a pill, but also by picking a piece of music or an audiobook:

To Ease Pain Reach for Your Playlist Instead of Popping a Pill

12. Examining the Benefits of Psychotherapy

There has always been a debate about the value of psychotherapy.  This feature article on the use of diagnostics (MRI) to scan the brain shows that scientists are trying to measure that impact:

Tell It about Your Mother

13. Mainstream Media Focuses on the Brain-Gut Connection

The New York Times has decided it's high time to cover this subject:

Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain Your Mood?

14. Great Blog Reads:  "20 Commandments for Mental Health Workers"

We found a blog with this archived list of 20 commandments for mental health workers and think it’s worth your attention:

20 Commandments for Mental Health Workers


15.  Mood Disorders Society of Canada Survey (repeat -- Deadline Friday)

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 (repeat)

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. Mapping the Voyage:  The Search for Evidence Webinar

This EENet webinar on July 8th at 1 pm is a look at a recent survey at how Ontario stakeholders get their evidence around mental health and addictions issues.  It is also notable for a chance to engage with the former lead of EENet, Heather Bullock, who is now working on her PhD.

Mapping the Voyage:  The Search for Evidence

18. Charity Village Job Postings

Progress Place (Toronto) is looking for a Clubhouse Manager; they operate under a psychosocial rehabilitation model.

19.  Au Revoir Anne Bowlby

The retiring Manager of the Ministry's Mental Health and Addictions Unit received a send-off this past Wednesday that included a musical serenade from the multi-tasker Steve Lurie of CMHA Toronto.  Please forward any pictures or video to NewsToGo in confidence for future dissemination!  We wish Anne all the best

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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.