OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #454 September 11, 2015

Highlights include: Employment Related Benefit Update; Assisted Suicide and Depression; Ontario Ombudsman Not Re-Appointed; Suicide in the News; Psychedelic Drugs; News; and More.


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1. Ontario Newsroom

Last year the province indicated its desire to change the employment supports for people on ODSP.

It has now confirmed no changes are in the offing.

Employment Related Benefit Update

For a detailed briefing on the subject, please refer to the Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) newsletter:

ODSP Work-Related Benefit to Continue

Ontario is also continuing to fund a Youth Suicide Prevention Plan which was announced on World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10):

Ontario Supporting Community Efforts to Prevent Youth Suicides

2.  Unfair Policy of Child Support Deductions from ODSP Being Challenged in Court

Current policy is that any child support awarded to parents is clawed back if they are on social assistance (ODSP or Ontario Works).  A lawsuit is now in motion to change this:

Lawsuit Calls for End to Claw-back of Child Support

3. Canadian Psychiatrists Concerned About Assisted Suicide

Could psychiatrists end up becoming "suicide enablers"?  The provocative question is covered in this article that consults with several psychiatrists:

Canadian Psychiatrists Fear Patients with Severe Depression Could Qualify for Assisted Suicide

4. Ontario Ombudsman Andre Morin Not Reappointed

He has not been temporarily re-appointed either; however, he can re-apply for his job:

Andre Morin Out for Now

5.  Canada Revenue Agency:  Medical Marijuana is a Medical Expense

Medical cannabis and the plant's seeds are eligible to be written off as a medical expense:

Cannabis Prescriptions Are Eligible Medical Expenses, CRA Confirms

6.  Suicide Education Programs Sold to School Are Not Effective

Research done on pricey suicide prevention programs geared to schools have found that they did not reduce young people's attempts to hurt themselves, and may in fact, have done the opposite:

Pricey Youth Suicide Prevention Programs Could Actually Lead to More Attempts, No Fewer

7.  Suicide and the Media

The first of three articles in this Woodstock newspaper explores the stigma of suicide and mental illness:

Part One of a Three-Part Series:  Shattering Stigma Surrounding Suicide Means Breaking Down Long-Held Myths About Mental Illness

8.  How a Taser Works in Slow Motion

This video feature from the Guardian (a British newspaper) demonstrates how a Taser works:

Taser in Slow Motion Shows Full Force of the Police Weapon

9. Activists Publicize Benefits of Psychedelic Drugs for Mental Health

This is happening in Toronto on September 20th:

Are Medical Shrooms on the Way?


10.  CMAJ Article Considers Benefits of Psychedelic Drugs

In this Globe and Mail story, the journal article co-author speaks up on how traditional methods in treating mental health haven't been effective, and that LSD and MDMA may be helpful for people with diagnoses of anxiety, PSTD, and addiciton issues.

Psychedelic Drugs May be Helpful in Treating Addiction, Anxiety, and PSTD

11. Students' Mental Health in the News

Here's some sensible advice on how to educate your child about bullying in the school environment:

How to Bully-Proof Your Child for School

The approach of September can trigger anxiety in people who, although they have long since finished school, still have traumatic memories:

Back To School Blues Can Follow You for Life, Psychologists Say

12.   GTA-Area Hospital Receives Funding to Study Health Effects of Pet Ownership

Research has shown the benefits of pet ownership include better vital signs, healthier lifestyle choices, and faster recovery from surgery.  Now Markham Stouffville Hospital will be gathering data for a "Pet Query" survey:

Markham Stouffville Hospital Receives Grant to Study Effects of Pet Ownership on Health

13.  Innovative Approach  that Includes Working with Peer Support Specialists Leads to Better Outcomes for People with Depression

Combining a traditional mental healthcare model (focussed on symptom reduction) with a recovery model that relied on a team (professional therapist and peer support specialist) found improved outcomes over 18 months:

Self-Management Training and Peer Support Helps Chronic Depression

14.  Ingested Sensor Partnered with Anti-psychotic Medication To Provide Adherence Data for Doctors

The Food and Drug Administration in the United States has been asked to approve a novel combination of a sensor that will report to a wearable patch on the patient and confirm that the medication (Abilify, used to treat schizophrenia) has been taken.  This data would be transmitted to the patient's Bluetooth-enabled phone, and with permission, shared with their healthcare professional:

FDA Asked to Consider Adherence Sensor on Abilify


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.  Ontario Health Quality Transformation 2015 Conference

Health Quality Transformation is Canada’s premier conference on health quality.  HQT2015 will be held on October 14, 2015, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre – South Building. For more information about the conference and to register, please check the website.

18.  Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee Conference 2015

Registration is now open for this biannual conference taking place in Toronto November 16 - 18.  The registration page can be found here.

19.  Call for Abstracts (National Conference on Peer Support)

The webpage for the  April 27 - 29, 2016 Toronto conference is here.

The call for abstracts can be found here, and the deadline is September 30, 2015.

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.