OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #449 August 7, 2015

Highlights include:  OPDI Conference, AGM; Lighthouse Awards; A Guaranteed Income; Suicide Prevention Pilot Project; "Going Off" Meds Blog; Mary Ellen Copeland Has a Question; 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.  "Mobilizing Peer Support in Ontario" 2015 OPDI Conference and AGM Registration Now Open

You have been saving the registration date and now registration is open.  Please find all the information including registration forms in the attached package.

Please register by no later than September 4, 2015.
2. 2015 OPDI Lighthouse Awards Call for Nominations

Ontario Peer Development Initiative invites nominations for our 6th annual Lighthouse Awards, to be presented September 24th at our Mobilizing Peer Support Conference and Annual General Meeting event.

There are a total of five potential awards to be presented, in the following categories:

Awards to Individuals include the Peer of the Year Award for excellence in peer support, the Unsung Hero award for someone whose contribution to mental health/addiction work has not been recognized at a provincial level, and the Pay it Forward Award, for someone who has overcome extreme challenges including poverty, and still managed to contribute their time, expertise and support for the good of others.

OPDI will award in one or all of the above three categories, depending upon receiving suitable nominations.

Awards to Organizations include the Innovators Award for organizations, whether peer-run or clinical, that implement innovative practices or ideas to serve clients with mental health/addiction issues; and the Community Builders Award for organizations, media outlets, or public figures who contribute to the mental health/addiction and/or peer support community through their work.  

Whenever awards in both of the above named categories are presented, one will go to an OPDI member and the other to a non-member. 

Download the brochure, poster, and nomination forms below:

Lighthouse Award Brochure    Lighthouse Award Poster

Lighthouse Award Nomination Form (Individual)

Lighthouse Award Nomination Form (Organization)

3. Opioids in the News

We are getting more coverage about fentanyl and how it is making its way into street drugs with deadly results:

Fentanyl Traffickers "Should be Charged with Murder"

Fentanyl, the Painkiller Officials Warn is Taking Lives

A naloxone kit can be used to counteract opioid overdoses.  Health Canada is considering a review of the "prescription-only" status of the drug so it can be made more readily available to substance users and harm reduction workers:

Naloxone's Prescription-Only Status to Get Health Canada Review

4. A Guaranteed Annual Income

This anti-poverty measure may emerge as a talking point as the federal election campaign heats up.  Here is an authoritative explanation by two Canadian academics:

The Time for a Guaranteed Annual Income Might Finally Have Come

5.  What is the Traditional Mental Health System Missing?

This report is about the New York City Mental Health system, but this paragraph jumps out as a bald truth for all who work in or care about mental health:

“The traditional mental health system serves those who are well enough to voluntarily access services. Those too sick to know they are sick or who resist treatment are turned over to first responders. The mental health system seems unwilling to accept responsibility for this second more symptomatic group.”

Bad Medicine

6.  Emerging Practice:  Identifying and Monitoring Those With Ongoing or Repeated Suicide Behaviour

CMHA Haliburton, Kawarthas, and Pine Ridge with other partners are working to identify and work with people who are at high risk of attempting or continuing suicidal behaviour, and by doing so, to save lives:

CMHA Launches Suicide Prevention Pilot Project


7. A Profile of Solitary Confinement and its Psychological Consequences

This vivid narrative explains why the punishment is so cruel and its consequences so severe on people who are isolated years, even decades:

Solitary Confinement:  Punished for Life

8. How Lonely People Think Differently and Results in Stress

This study suggests that people who are socially isolated are more vigilant and inclined to focus on the negative:

Lonely People's Brains Work Differently

9. First-hand Account of Going Off Meds

The New York Times published this series of blog entries by a contributor who described the process of weaning herself off her psychiatric medications.  You can read the posts in reverse chronological order here:

Going Off

10. Mary Ellen Copeland (of WRAP fame) Asks a Question

On her Facebook page, she asks how people are using social media or electronic technology for support:

I Need More Help with This Important Work

11. What is the ODSP Medical Review?

This webpage from CLEO (yourlegalrights.on.ca) offers some answers:

I Get ODSP and have been given a "Medical Review" Date

12. Elections Canada:  ID Needed to Vote in Federal Election

This is a landing page to learn about the ID needed to vote:

ID to Vote

13. Canadian Doctors Implement Marijuana Care

The Canadian Medical Association Journal looks at two aspects of this emerging practice:  cannabis clinics and doctors who prescribe clinical marijuana work together to give clients access; and clinics with specialist doctors who prescribe access with a consultation but do not extra-bill.

Private Cannabis Clinics Offer Clients Access

The Cannabis Doctor is In

14. EENet Weekly Newsletter -- August 5, 2015

The current issue has many items worth a look.


15. 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.

16.  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.

17. Job Postings

Psychiatric Survivors of Ottawa has the following positions available:

Peer 2 Peer Wellness Coordinator

Peer 2 Peer Wellness Transitions Coordinator

Peer Support Worker

CMHA, Ontario is looking for a Policy Analyst, Justice Lead.

Contributions and comments are welcome.  Please email to Raymond@opdi.org. “News to Go” in the Subject line: 

To subscribe to this e-mail update, please e-mail opdi@opdi.org.  Or visit our website here:  http://opdi.org

Like us on Facebook.  Follow us on Twitter.
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.