OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #455 September 21, 2015

Highlights include:Tougher Health Privacy Law; Toronto Police Make Changes After Shooting Deaths; NDP Health Platform; Coordinating Mental Health Care; Diversion from the ER Practice; Antidepressants in the 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

Community-based sexual assault centres have received a boost of $1.75 million annually in funding for services that include crisis helplines and peer support:

Ontario Expands Support for Survivors of Sexual Violence

The Health Information Protection Act has been introduced to improve accountability and transparency in the health care system:

Ontario Taking Action to Protect Patient Privacy and Improve Transparency

Further commentary is available in this article:

Ontario Tables New Patient Privacy Law

2.  Updates in Aftermath of Sammy Yatim Shooting by Toronto Police

We have updates on what the police have achieved in the year after the Sammy Yatim shooting and Justice Iacobucci report:

Toronto Police Reveal Details of “Zero Deaths” Report Implementation

Deputy Chief Says Changes After Yatim Shooting “The Furthest Extent” That Police Can Go

Toronto Police Will Soon Carry “Less Lethal” Bean Bag Guns

Toronto Police Face Second Lawsuit in Shooting Death of Sammy Yatim

3. NDP Health Platform Includes Youth Mental Health

The federal NDP has laid out its health platform for the federal election:  it includes $500 million in new investment, and also includes $100 million for youth mental health:

Tom Mulcair Lays Out NDP Plan to Improve Youth Mental-Health Care

NDP Prescribes $500 Million for Health Care System

4. Coordinating Mental Health Care in Guelph

The Waterloo-Wellington LHIN reports progress through several initiatives in this city:

Guelph General Hospital Review Indicates Mental Health Patients Need Coordinated Care

5.  Promising Practice:   Diverting Substance Misuse from the ER

In Sudbury, The ED Diversion Project is a pilot whereby paramedics who are answering a call for someone who is under the influence of substance misuse have the option of assessing the situation and taking that person directly to withdrawal management services at the local hospital, rather than going to the emergency department, thereby reducing wait times:

Program Diverts Sudbury’s Addicts

6.  Google to Invest in Mental Health

Google has hired away the U.S.’s top scientist when it comes to the brain (the departing head of the National Institute for Mental Health).  What does it mean?

Google Life Sciences Hires the Government’s Top Brain Scientist

7.  New Report Catalogues Impact of Brain Disorders

What is the impact of brain diseases, disorders, and injuries on people and their caregivers in economic terms?  This new report commissioned by the Neurological Health Charities Canada attempts to find out:

Landmark Report Could Help Canadians Affected by Brain Conditions Remain Employed Says Leading Brain Health Coalition

8.  Pro-Active Approach to Narcotics in Toronto and Calgary

Naloxone Overdose Kits Now in Use in Toronto and Calgary:

Toronto Turning to Addicts to Stop Drug Overdoses

Fentanyl Antidote Kits Saving Lives in Calgary

9. Answers from the Federal Parties on Health Care

The parties were canvassed by the website healthydebate.ca:

Election 2015:  The Health Care Debate


10.  A Compilation of Federal Election Resources

The Ontario Health Promotion E-Bulletin in their latest issue has an invaluable collection of all the hyperlinks you need to have to be knowledgeable about the federal election:

Letter from the Editors: October 2015 Federal Election Resources

In particular, if you are interesting in Housing and Homelessness as an election issue, this guide will help:

Housing and Homelessness Election Guide 2015

11. Mental Health Commission of Canada Releases Report on Emerging Adults in Mental Health and Addictions Services

In their own words, “this comprehensive report, commissioned by the MHCC and developed in partnership with a research team from the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, details the current state of policies and practices in the area of youth transitioning from child and youth to adult mental health and addiction services.”

Taking the Next Step Forward

The report notes that during this period (ages 16-25) is when 75% of all adult mental health disorders emerge.

12.   Paxil Study Debunked after 14 Years

A ground-breaking study that seems to show the benefit of the antidepressant Paxil for young people 14 years ago has had its data re-examined and found misleading:

The Human Cost of a Misleading Drug-Safety Study

Reanalysis Finds Popular Antidepressant Ineffective, Unsafe for Teens

13.  Unsettling Relationship Between Antidepressant Use and Violent Crimes in Young People

A Swedish study found that young adults between 15-24 years of age who were using antidepressants were more likely to be convicted of violent crimes:

Rx for Violence?  Crime Risk Rises for Young People on Antidepressants, Study Says

14.  Sophisticated Virtual Intelligence Interviewer Diagnoses Depression and PSTD

Ellie is a virtual interviewer who uses technology (sensor and webcam) and asks questions to diagnosis PSTD and depression:

Meet Ellie, the Machine That Can Detect Depression

15.  Are There Too Few People with Mental Health and Addictions Issues in Medical Research?

Are eligibility rules for participants in medical research trials screening out people with mental health and addictions diagnoses?  This researcher says his co-authored study says so:

How People with Mental Illness Get Left Out of Medical Research Studies


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 Posting

CMHA York and South Simcoe is looking for a Peer Support Specialist for their Early Psychosis Intervention Program.

18.  Finding System Reviews of Evidence in Mental Health and Addictions:  Webinar Launch

EeNet is partnering with Healthevidence.org to do an online launch via webinar of a resource registry of systematic reviews of evidence in mental health and addictions:

Resource Launch

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

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.

20.  EPION's 10th Anniversary Conference

The voice of Ontario's Early Psychosis Intervention Services is holding its 10th Anniversary Conference:

EPION Preliminary Program Now Available

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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.