OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #451 August 21, 2015

Highlights include: Going Back to School" Themed Resources includes Concussion Handbook (New); Assessing Suicide Risk; Overdose Kits; Crackdown on Suicide Disclosures by Toronto Police ; 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

New investments are going towards hospital-based counselling and community outreach for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence:

Ontario Supports Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

Ontario hospitals are getting a $125 million infusion to address their infrastructure repairs:

Ontario Investing $125 Million in Hospital Repairs and Upgrades

An expert advisory group on physician-assisted dying has been formed:

Provinces, Territories Establish Expert Advisory Group on Physician-Assisted Dying

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 updated 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. Toronto Police Limit Disclosure of Suicide Attempts to American Border Officials

The Toronto Star had investigated people's firsthand accounts of being stopped and refused entry at the American border because their medical information had been made available.  Now the TPS has taken action:

Toronto Police Curb Disclosure of Suicide Attempts to U.S. Border Police

5.  Opioid Overdose Kits Distributed in London

Naloxone was previously available only to healthcare professionals such as paramedics and ER staff.  Four community agencies in the London area has taken on the initiative of prescribing these kits to known substance users:

If Used Correctly, Naloxone can Reverse a Life-Threatening Overdose

6.  Study Says:  Canadian Parents Worry Most About Kids' Mental Health

Study Finds Mental Well-Being of Children Top Priority for Parents


7. Assessing Suicide Risk

By asking questions (through an app) and diagnosing possible genetic markers from bloodwork, scientists believe that it is possible to screen out people at risk of self-harm:

New App and Blood Test can Predict Suicide Risk

8.  LGBT People and Going off Psychiatric Medications

This Op-Ed in the Advocate points out the challenging circumstances which stress out the LGBT population when it comes to the use/withdrawal of psychiatric drugs:

The Problem with Psychiatric Meds and LGBT People

9. Eating for Stress

Are we more likely to eat unhealthy food when under stress?  Researchers think they have an answer:

Candy Brain

10, Heading Back to School Resource:  High School Survival Guide

This webpage hosted by CAMH contains a checklist of facts on various topics to help the reader focus on maintaining mental wellness during the school year:

High School Survival Guide:  Mental Health Edition

11. Heading Back to School Resource:  College Drinking Website

With the start of a new school year, some young people will be living away from home for the first time.  This American website has several fact sheets, including this one on how to talk to young children about using alcohol:

Make a Difference:  Talk to Your Child About Alcohol

12.  Heading Back to School Resource:  Concussion Handbook for Children, Youth, and Their Parents

A new school year promises physical activities for students.  This handbook from the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is a plain-language guide to recovery.  We have an accompanying story offering some background on this publication:

Concussion Handbook

Handbook Tells Parents and Kids How to Recognize Concussion, How to Recover

13.  Social Media Can Help or Hinder Teenagers' Mental Health

This physician looks at the evidence and considers her own child while writing about the topic:

Teen Depression and How Social Media can Help or Hurt

14.  Teen Runaways and Mental Health

A young person dealing with personal issues, labelled with a mental health diagnosis, and facing pressure from parents to take medications, may feel that leaving home is either a way to control the situation or is simply overwhelmed:

For Some Teens, Running Away is an Attempt to Escape Mental Demons


15. OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials Training in London

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

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. CAMH Monitor Survey Invites Online Participants

For nearly 30 years, this comprehensive report has offered a provincial picture of addiction and mental health.  This year, the survey has been opened online to participants for the first time.  You can find out more:

CAMH Monitor Survey

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.