OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #460 November 5, 2015

Highlights include: OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials (TM) Training in Kingston; OPDI Training Expectations Webinar; Police Records Check Reform Act Goes to Committee Hearing; CSIs in the News; Announcements; Job Postings; 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.  OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials (TM) Training in Kingston (Nov. 30 - Dec. 4, 2015)

Please find the attached PSSEO (Peer Support South East Ontario) poster and a registration form with all the details. Please  note:  LIMITED SEATING AVAILABLE.

2.  OPDI Training Expectations Webinar Tuesday November 17 at Noon

If you are interested in learning more about OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials ™ Training please join us for a free hour-long webinar on Tuesday, November 17 at 12 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.

3. Ontario Newsroom

a)  The government press release on the increase in social assistance is here:

Increasing Support for People Receiving Social Assistance

b)  With the release of a report by an Expert Panel on Homelessness, the province has pledged to end this in 10 years:

Ontario Commits to Ending Chronic Homelessness in 10 Years

This article offers some background and commentary by stakeholders (including prominent housing advocate Michael Shapcott):

Ontario Sets 10-Year Deadline to End Homelessness

c)  Street checks by police would be banned if this proposed regulation passes:

Province Takes Action to Prohibit Carding and Street Checks

Here’s a news article to place this in a political context:

How Ontario Politicians Teamed Up to Rein in Police Carding

d)  New Ontario Human Rights Commissioner Introduces Herself

Renu Mandhane posted this entry on the OHRC blog:

Why We Still Need Human Rights Institutions

Here is a media profile of her as she recollects her formative years at Queen’s University in Kingston:

Human Rights Czar Reflects on Time in Kingston

4.  Bill 113 (Ontario Police Checks Reform Act, 2015) Progress Report

You may remember that back in the spring, the provincial government introduced a bill that would regulate police records checks.  OPDI has been part of the Police Records Check Coalition (a decade-long effort) that has finally seen success.  Bill 113 "Police Records Check Reform Act, 2015" has been introduced and is on its way to becoming law.

The government press release with hyperlinks can be accessed here.   This summary does a very good job of explaining the highlights of the proposed legislation.  For those who want to read up on the actual bill, you can find it here.  Transcripts of the debates during Second Reading happened on these dates: 

September 29, October 1, October 7, October 20, October 27, and October 28.

Other background resources for you to refer to below:
The John Howard Society of Ontario and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association released a report last year on this issue: 
On the Record
This 2007 fact sheet from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner lays out the rules that the new Bill will change:
IPC Fact Sheet on Police Checks
Different provincial jurisdictions will have different rules.  This is the current procedure for applying for a police check if your police force is the Ontario Provincial Police:
OPP:  Criminal Records Checks and Police Checks
And now, here’s exciting news.  After several days of Second Reading (the process by which a Bill is discussed in the Legislature), the vote was unanimous in allowing Bill 113 to go to Committee.  There is scheduled to be a one-day hearing in Toronto today (Thursday November 5).  OPDI asked for and received standing to appear before the Standing Committee on Justice Policy.

5. Consumer/Survivor Initiatives in the Headlines

a)  The North East LHIN website has posted an article on peer support navigators from PEP (the North Bay CSI) partnering with the North Bay Regional Health Centre.  These peer workers are present to offer support in the Emergency Department, and in doing so, are responsible for lowering repeat admissions, among many benefits:

Prescription for Crisis Relief:  Unique Hospital-Community Partnership Helping Hundreds

Another media mention is in the local paper offers the words of a peer supporter directly:

Hospital-Community Partnership Helping Hundreds

By the way, congratulations to PEP on their 25th Anniversary and another successful Peer Support Week!

b)  Congratulations to Susan Roach of the Wellness and Recovery Centre (formerly the Haldimand Norfolk Resource Centre) for her national suicide prevention award from the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP):

Suicide Prevention Work Merits National Award

6.  Innovative Practice:  Online Booking for Medical Appointments with 10-15 Minute Waits

This news report about a pilot project in Nova Scotia makes you wonder why this practice isn’t more widely adopted:

Care Now Clinic Accepts Online Bookings, Reduces Wait Times

7.  Suicide Crisis in the Canadian Military

The Globe and Mail has crafted a series on PSTD, suicide, and the Canadian military.  It can be found here.

Inside the Globe Investigation That Reveals 54 Canadian Suicides

Reporter André Picard asks the tough but reasonable question:  Why isn’t Canada doing the equivalent of bulletproofing the mind?

If We Send Soldiers to War, We Owe Them Peace of Mind

8.  Forward Thinking:  How to Help Young People

In this Ottawa Citizen Op-Ed, two experts from the CHEO (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) and the Royal (formerly the Royal Ottawa Hospital) discuss whether “screen to screen” has replaced “face to face” as the best way with which to reach out to young children seeking treatment for mental health and addictions issues:

We Need New Ways to Help Young People with Mental Illness

9.  "Scapegoating the Mentally Ill"

The language used by some Republican presidential contenders around the issue of mental illness and the supposed connection to the rash of mass shootings has been awful.  The sheriff of the Chicago-area jurisdiction who oversees the jails has something to say about this:

Shameful Scapegoating of the Mentally Ill


10.  Why Your Doctor No Longer Says You're Mad

This American study reveals how the language of mental illness is changing:

The Changing Vocabulary of Mental Illness

11.   Mental Health Stigma Costs Canadian Employers $20 Billion A Year

The CBC profiles the issue of workplace health in this article:

Stigma Around Mental Health a $20 B Problem in Workplace

12.  Resource:  Unsuicide (Directory of Online Mental Health Resources Geared to Youth)

This Wikispace should be bookmarked on your browser.  It offers a listing of Canadian and international websites and tells you whether they use the following formats:  IM Chat; email; blog; or forum as means of communication.

13.  The Potential of The Smartphone Shrink

There may be merit in the idea of Internet-based Cognitive Therapy to help patients develop strategies against some forms of depression and anxiety:

The Smartphone Shrink


Discovering Hidden Talent: A National Forum for Social Businesses Employing People with Mental Health Problems or Illnesses - See more at: http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/social-business-forum#sthash.AbBsTSsT.dpuf
Discovering Hidden Talent: A National Forum for Social Businesses Employing People with Mental Health Problems or Illnesses - See more at: http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/social-business-forum#sthash.AbBsTSsT.dpuf
 Mental Health Commission of Canada:  Social Business Forum  November 25 (Ottawa)

The Mental Health Commission of Canada is hosting a National Forum for Social Businesses Employing People with Mental Health Problems or Illnesses.  Please visit the website (it is a free event, and bursaries may be available by applying online for those who are out-of-town).

15. Study Subjects Wanted
A National Forum for Social Businesses Employing People with
Mental Health Problems or Illnesses - See more at: http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/social-business-forum#sthash.BD23XSYu.dpuf
The Mental Health Commission of Canada presents a free, one-day, interactive forum on practical tools and resources and innovative practices that promote employment of people living with mental health problems or illnesses. REGISTER NOW! - See more at: http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/social-business-forum#sthash.BD23XSYu.dpuf15.  Women and Experiences Accessing Sexual Health Services

The Empowerment Council (Lucy Costa), in partnership with the School of Social Work, York University (Andrea Daley) is doing a small research project funded by the Women’s College Hospital, Women’s Xchange Program. We would like to speak with women with mental health issues (while we are interested in speaking to all women 18 years or older, we are prioritizing opportunities to speak to Aboriginal, racialized, disabled, trans people and queer identified women).

Please contact us if you have something to say about good or bad experiences with accessing or, trying to access these health services:
Birth control and birth control counselling, prenatal and postnatal services, sexual health education and information that is relevant to your experiences, counselling and services related to sexually transmitted infections, support services for sexual trauma and violence, abortion services.

For more info on how to participate: email ec.volunteer@camh.ca or call: 416-535-8501 ext. 33013.

This project has received ethics approval from York University.

16.  Workability:  The Inclusive Employment Strategy Summit (Toronto)

The Dream Team, a member run group of psychiatric consumer/survivors, is currently conducting a project on inclusive employment. We are currently organizing a free, one day conference (see poster) on November 27th called WorkAbility: The Inclusive Employment Strategy Summit. The conference will bring together stakeholders from many groups interested in inclusive employment and focus on educating and learning from mutual challenges, strategies and tips. There will be panel discussions, key note speakers and facilitated group discussions. It is free, and lunch and snacks will be provided. Consumer-survivors are encouraged to attend. WorkAbility will take place at College St. United Church (College and Bathurst), and will run from 9:00am – 4:00pm. To register, please sign up here. Email or call Lydia with questions: lydiabe@houselink.on.ca, 416-516-1422 ex. 251.

17.  2016 Ontario Shores Mental Health Conference

Ontario Shores is holding its 5th Annual Mental Health Conference:  “Research, Recovery, and Quality in Mental Health” March 1-2, 2016.  Abstract submission deadline is this Friday, November 6, 2015.

18.  Call for Applications:  Rainbow Health Ontario Breakthrough Projects

If you have a project that will achieve a significant step in creating greater health, well-being and equity for LGBTQ communities, this funding call may interest you.

19.  Job Postings

St. Michael's Hospital (Toronto) is looking for a Team Leader at its STAR Learning Centre, which is a recovery college for people with mental health and/or addictions issues who have experienced homelessness.

The Schizophrenia Society of Ontario has job postings for a Chief Innovations Officer and a Justice and Immigration Coordinator.

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.