OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #447 July 24, 2015

Highlights include:  Peer Support Training; Northwest LHIN Takes Action on MH & A; Promising Practices; Suicide in the News; WRAP and Legal Rights Educational Video; Students and Social Media; Jobs; News; and More.


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1.  OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials Training in London
We are in the process of planning a training in London from October 19th – 23rd, 2015.  For more details please email opdi@opdi.org.
2. Peer Support Training for Parents and Family Members

Are you a parent or family member looking for training to become a peer support worker, supporting other parents and family members?  OPDI has had some inquiries in the Toronto area and we are wondering if there is enough interest to run a special parent & family class.  If you are interested please contact us at opdi@opdi.org.

3. Sammy Yatim and the "Use of Force" Report

Last summer's Toronto Police shooting resulted in a report with 84 recommendations on the use of lethal force.  From this media report, it is unclear exactly what progress has been taken with actual implementation:

"Virtually All" Recommendations from Lethal Force Report Implemented

4. Northwest LHIN Focuses on Mental Health and Addictions

The Northwest LHIN has directed mental health and addictions as a priority in its Integrated Health Service Plan and has identified several priorities such as reducing emergency department use and ensuring clients are going to the appropriate services:

Mental Health to Become Priority for Northwest

5. Federal Government Faces Class-Action Lawsuit on Behalf of Mentally Ill Inmates

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the federal government for its treatment of inmates with mental illness (by not providing treatment and using solitary confinement instead):

Inmates with Mental Illness Subjected to “Cruel and Unusual Punishment”, Suit Alleges

6. The Wellesley Institute's Report:  Unfilled Prescriptions

Lack of adequate employee benefits for medications discourages people with lived experience from going off social assistance and returning to the workforce.  The Wellesley Institute’s report on this issue was released recently:

Unfilled Prescriptions:  New Report from the Wellesley Institute

7. When Lawyers Need Help

This article looks at what accommodations need to be undertaken in the legal field when people have mental health issues:

Bringing Mental Illness  into the Open

8. Promising Practice:  Youth Outreach to Services Through Video

This video is encouraging Hamilton-area youth to access mental health and addictions services directly on their own, and features a peer mentor:

St. Joseph’s Youth Wellness Centre #Reachout Video

9. Semicolon Tattoos and Awareness

Does a semicolon tattoo make a difference in awareness of mental health?  This story tries to find out:
Semicolon Tattoos Surge in Solidarity for Those with Mental Illness

10.  Promising Practice:  Australia Offers Employment for Young People with Mental Health Diagnosis

This article examines the rationale for funding a recovery-based employment program for young people who have been diagnosed with “severe and persistent” mental illness:

Fact check:  Is a Job a Prescription for a Young Person with Mental Health Issues?

11.  Updates on Harm Reduction

Evidence-based medicine meets political reality.  Here’s another story on Insite, the safe injection site:

The Science is in. And Insite Works.

Meanwhile Montreal is trying to set up safe injection sites:

Federal-vs-Montreal Fight over Supervised Injection Sites Heats Up

12. Suicide in the News

A national survey suggests that a reduction in reported suicides may be due to under-reporting rather than an actual drop in incidents:

Drop in Suicides “May Not be True”

A Thunder Bay professor has been doing a systemic review of what works in suicide prevention education and finds school-based programs and a peer program connecting youth with adults useful:

Youth Suicide Prevention Programs Studied by Thunder Bay Professor

A fact sheet from the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention about suicide in schools highlights the vulnerability of youth to inappropriately communication about this topic:

Suicide Prevention:  Suicide and School


13. Enabling Minds -- a Website for Accessibility in Sport and Recreation

The new Enabling Minds website is a partnership of several organizations with the intent of making physical activities programs accessible to persons with mental health issues:

CMHA Ontario launches Enabling Minds Mental Health Accessibility Training

14. Educational Video:  WRAP Plans and Legal Rights

The Mood Disorders Association of Ontario and ARCH Disability Law Clinic have made this hour-long video available online:

Legal Education and WRAP Plans

15. Psychiatry's Identity Crisis

This psychiatrist in a New York Times Op-Ed asks persuasively why we are ignoring psychotherapy research:

Psychiatry’s Identity Crisis

16. A Critical Look at U.S. Mental Health and Addictions Spending

The U.S. may be spending money for unproven mental health and addictions interventions:

Money for Nothing

17. Ontario Study:  Students on Social Media

An Ontario study suggests that up to a quarter of all children are spending two hours daily on Facebook, and that this is not good:

Social Networks Urged to Provide Social Support

18. Take That Walk in the Park

A walk in the park produces measurable mental benefits:

How Nature Changes the Brain


19. Job Postings

CMHA York and South Simcoe is looking for a maternity leave replacement for a Peer Support Specialist, Housing First Program.

Ryerson University is looking for a Mental Health Coordinator.

20.  EENet Survey on Knowledge Products (repeat)

From time to time NewsToGo has shared with you EENet's information that includes knowledge summaries, briefings and surveys.  They would like you to provide input on their knowledge products by completing this survey:

Give Us Your Input on Our Knowledge Products

21. Schizophrenia Society of Ontario Requests Caregivers to Respond to Survey

The Schizophrenia Society of Ontario (SSO is a member of the Advisory Board for the Informal Caregiver Project led by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and University of Toronto’s Health System Performance Research Network (HSPRN). This project is focused on developing measures to better assess, understand and respond to experiences and needs of families and other informal caregivers in Ontario.
As a member of this exciting and much needed project, we would like to share a recruitment call for caregivers to participate in online pilot testing of a caregiver survey. Find more information here.

22, Susan Gapka Documentary Crowdfunding

Susan Gapka has been an LGBTQ activist and also active in the psychiatric survivor community.  Here’s a background story with a link to a crowdfunding site that is trying to raise enough money to produce a documentary on her:

A Doc about Trans Activist Susan Gapka is in the Works

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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.