OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #452 August 28, 2015

Highlights include:Give Feedback on Recruiting Ontario's First Patient Ombudsman; Red and White OHIP Cards To be Phased Out; Dr. Gabor Maté; Participate in Two Important Surveys; 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 Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care intends to phase out the use of the old red and white non-photo OHIP cards:

Ontario Launches Push to Eliminate Red and White Health Cards

The Partnership Council on Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities has released its initial report and received an endorsement from the responsible Minister:

Statement from Brad Duguid

You can complete this 10-minute survey to let the province recruit its first Patient Ombudsman:

Help Recruit Ontario's First Patient Ombudsman

2.  "Mobilizing Peer Support in Ontario" 2015 OPDI Conference and AGM Registration Now Open (updated info)

A final reminder to register by no later than September 4, 2015.  The updated conference package now includes the keynote speaker (hint:  she just received the Order of Canada) and the comedian who will be entertaining during the OPDI Lighthouse Awards Dinner.

3. 2015 OPDI Lighthouse Awards Call for Nominations (closing soon -- don't delay!)

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. Conservative Victims' Rights Bill Raises Possibility of Vigilante Justice

A man found not criminally responsible for a violent crime as a result of new legislation, has found himself being stalked by his victim:

Law That Gives Locations of Mentally Ill Offenders Questioned After B.C. Man Threatened

5.  Mental Health Commission of Canada Mandate May Focus on Addictions

This was announced by Stephen Harper on the campaign trail.  This article focuses on stakeholder reactions:

Mental Health Commission Could Get New Addictions Mandate

6.  A Comprehensive Look at Marijuana As Treatment for Psychiatric Problems

This comprehensive write-up by Will Hall, the mental health advocate, is done in the context of liberalized laws in the United States:

Cannabis for Treating Psychiatric Problems?  A Clear Yes, Maybe.


7. Speech Analysis Can Predict Individuals Coming Down With a Psychotic Episode

Computer analysis of thinking and speech has been found to be more accurate predictors of psychosis than sophisticated scientific methods such as monitoring brain activity:

Computers Can Predict Schizophrenia Based on How a Person Talks

8.  Two Doctors Make the Case for Prescribing Basic Incomes for Good Health

Health care, we are told, accounts for less than 25% of health outcomes.  The social determinants of health matter much more.  Hence the argument for a basic income:

Basic Income:  Just What the Doctor Ordered

9. An Australian Interview:  Dr. Gabor Maté and his View of Addiction

It's always interesting to read and hear an interview on his evolving theory of addiction, heavily influenced by years of working in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside and nuanced by his understanding of the role of trauma and abuse:

Changing the Way We Think About Addiction

10, Happy Friends Help Unhappy Teenagers Cope with Depression

It's posited that youth groups are helpful to good mental health -- isn't that another name for informal peer support?

Study:  Happy Friends Could Help Teenagers Beat Depression

11. The Empirical Evidence About Mental Health and Recovery

This is the title of a new report by Dr. Mike Slade (who helped develop OCAN here in Ontario) and Dr. Eleanor Longden.  The subtitle promises "challenging common assumptions about recovery":

The Empirical Evidence About Mental Health and Recovery:  How Likely, How Long, What Helps?

12.  Partners in Recovery Support Facilitators are Australia's version of Peer Navigators

This journal article will be of interest to peer workers and stakeholders who are engaged in the developing practice of peer navigation that integrates care between institutions and the community:

Doing Mental Health Care Integration:  A Qualitative Study of a New Work Role

13.  Psychiatric Service Dogs

Listen to this podcast to find out how dogs can help people:

Psychiatric Service Dogs


14. OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials Training in London

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

15.  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.

16. EENet Knowledge Products Survey

As you know, EENet recently released a survey to evaluate the knowledge products it creates. This survey will help us understand how our knowledge products are being used and improve on the work that we’re doing. We have already received some excellent feedback, but we’d like to boost our response rate further, to ensure we have the best data possible.

Please share this link with your stakeholders and networks—and  if you haven’t already, please take a few moments to fill it out: http://fluidsurveys.com/s/EENetKnowledgeProducts2015/
All responses will remain anonymous. It should take about 8 to 10 minutes to complete. We would really appreciate your valuable input!

17. Ontario Caregivers Survey

Are you caring for someone with a long-term health or mental health condition?  We need your help to test an online survey.  The survey should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
At the end of the survey, you will be able to view some preliminary results.  As well, you will have the opportunity to select a caregiver organization to receive an honorarium payment of $5 on behalf of the Family/Friend Caregiver Survey.
Goal of the survey:  To learn more about the benefits and challenges of caregiving.  This information will help inform health care decision-making in Ontario, with the goal of improving caregiver supports and services.
Who can participate:  Anyone who has provided unpaid help in the past 12 months to family, friends, or neighbours because of a long-term health condition, physical or mental disability, mental illness, substance use/addiction condition, or problems related to aging.  A long-term health condition is one that has lasted or is expected to last 6 months or longer. This includes if the person you have cared for has died in the past 12 months.
To access the survey, please visit:  http://fluidsurveys.com/surveys/hsprn/family-friend-caregiver-survey-sum...
The survey is being developed by researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the University of Toronto’s Health System Performance Research Network (HSPTRN).  The survey is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care.

18. Job Postings

LOFT Community Services (Newmarket) is hiring a Peer Support Worker.

19.  Psychiatric Survivors Archives of Toronto Seeks Board Members

Please consult this notice.
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.