OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #450 August 14, 2015

Highlights include: London OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials Details; Training Expectations Webinar; OPDI Conference, AGM; Lighthouse Awards; ; 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. Training Expectations Webinar

If you are interested in learning more about OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials ™ Training please join us for a free webinar on Tuesday, August 18 at 1 pm Toronto time.  The topic is related to the process and expectations of training, and potential training participants (or their sponsoring employers) are welcome to attend and have all questions answered.  To register please email opdi@opdi.org.

2.  "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.
3. 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)

4. Ontario Newsroom

Ontario will hold consultations on updating policing, including a review of the Police Services Act.  In the press release, it mentions police interacting with vulnerable populations as a topic for which it is seeking input:

Province Developing a New Strategy for a Safer Ontario

The Community Hubs Strategic Framework and Action Plan has been released:

Ontario Community Hubs Action Plan Released

The province has nominated a new Human Rights Commissioner to replace Barbara Hall:

Ontario Nominates Renu Mandhane as New Human Rights Commissioner

5.  Fentanyl Makes Headlines

Here's a comprehensive profile of the drug from Maclean's Magazine:

Fentanyl:  The King of all Opiates, and a Killer Drug Crisis

We are now getting warnings about this opioid in Ontario:

Fentanyl Dangers:  Toronto Police Warn of "Devastating" Impact

An antidote to fentanyl exists, but is not available except by prescription:

Increase in Fentanyl-related Deaths Prompts Call for "Antidote"

The reason we have this problem is that doctors are over-prescribing opioids to their patients:

Opioids Kill Hundreds of Canadians a Year.  Why are Doctors Still Prescribing So Many?

6.  PM Stephen Harper Anti-Drug Message on Election Campaign Trail

The steadfast opposition to harm reduction is clear.  The Prime Minister's anti-drug platform is up front and centre in this past week's announcements:

Conservatives Push Anti-Pot Message, Vow Funds to Combat Drug Labs


7. Resource Sheet on Fentanyl

This bulletin from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse offers some statistics and background:

Deaths Involving Fentanyl in Canada, 2009-2014

8.  Update on Promising Practice

We had profiled a partnership in Ottawa where a psychiatrist partnered with the police in a mobile crisis program at the Ottawa Hospital.  Unfortunately, the physician is no longer there, and no replacement doctor has been found.  It is still being staffed with crisis counselors (nurses and social workers), however:

Psychiatrists No Longer Riding with Police, but the Program Goes On

9.  Guess What William Shakespeare Was Smoking?

Scientists tested the contents of tobacco pipes from William Shakespeare's garden and tests of pipe fragments found cannabis in a third of them:

Cannabis Discovered in Tobacco Pipes Found in William Shakespeare's Garden


10. OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials Training in London (new)

Please find the training form and the poster for the London training taking place October 2015.

11.  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.

12. Job Postings

CMHA York and South Simcoe needs a part-time Peer Support Worker, Community Connections Program.

CMHA Peel is hiring a Mental Health Peer Community Support Worker.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada is hiring a Research and Policy Analyst.

CMHA, Ontario has various positions available.  You can find them here.

13. CMHA Hamilton Reporting Fake Donations Canvassing

Please refer to this story:

Beware of Fake Donation Drive, CMHA Says

However, CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) says that they are canvassing in Hamilton.  They advise anyone who has questions to contact them at foundation@camh.ca.

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.