OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #461 November 13, 2015

Highlights include: The Case for More Mental Health Funding; National Housing Week Information; Ontario Electricity Support Program; Light Therapy; Recovery College; 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 Internship Webinar Thursday November 26 at 11 am (NEW)

Our next Internship webinar date is Thursday, November 26th from 11 am – 12 noon.  If you would like to attend the Internship webinar please email opdi@opdi.org with your name, the date and city of your training and the information to login will be sent to you.

If you have already done an internship webinar please disregard this notice or you may attend it again if you feel you need a refresher.  Notices for future Internship webinars will be posted in NewsToGo at least quarterly and possibly more often if needed. To be notified, please subscribe by going to www.opdi.org and clicking on Newsletter Sign Up (it’s free) then just watch for the notices. 

2.  Ontario Newsroom

The province is taking a step towards planning for the incoming refugees with special attention to their psychoogical needs:

Ontario Forms Ad Hoc Committee on Refugees

3.  Bill 113 (Ontario Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015) Committee Hearing (Hansard Transcript Online)

You can access the one-day testimony of all deputants (including Deb Sherman of OPDI) and others here:

Standing Committee on Justice Policy November 5 2015

4.  A Success Story:  A Charity Providing Micro Loans to Entrepreneurs who are PWLE

The Ottawa Citizen profiled a client of RISE, which provides loans to entrepreneurs whose past background as people who have used the mental health and addictions system may have made them less creditworthy in the eyes of traditional banking institutions.  This individual has partnered with another person to create an acting school:

How a Micro Loan Program Helped an Addict Turned Entrepreneur

5 National Housing Week

Advocates for more government-funded housing have made this graphic available:

National Housing Week

6.  Coverage of Constable James Forcillo Trial (Sammy Yatim Shooting)
There are many online accounts of the current trial of Constable James Forcillo in the shooting of Sammy Yatim. This graphic by the National Post lays out the sequence of events that lead up to the shooting:
You can follow the Toronto Star coverage or for more opinionated reporting, that of the National Post.
The Final Minutes (Graphics)
7.  The Case for More Mental Health Funding by the Federal Government
In this persuasive letter to the Editor (Toronto Star), Steve Lurie of CMHA Toronto and active on the MHCC, makes the case yet again for more federal funding for mental health and addictions:
Time for Mental Health Revamp
8.  Quebec Public Health Advocates Believe Supervised Injection Site Approval Coming
Will supervised injection sites exist outside of the one in Vancouver? Public health advocates in Montreal hope so:
Quebec Safe Injection Site Advocates Expect Approval from Liberal Government
9.  A Holistic Approach to Good Health
Addictions expert Dr. Gabor Mate explains in this essay how good health is more than the absence of disease and how having a balanced life contributes to keeping it so:
How to Build a Culture of Good Health

10.  Profile of a British "Recovery College"
St. Michael's Hospital's in Toronto has a STAR program that draws its inspiration from the English concept of a recovery college. You can find out more by going to this webpage (the top graphic has a captioned video):
Recovery College:  From Mental Health Patient to Recovery Student

11.   Why Suicide is a White Middle-Aged Male Phenomenon in Canada
This Quebec researcher explains why male suicide remains a prevalent white middle-aged male phenomenon:
Robert Whitely: Why Men Commit Suicide
12.  Why Post-Secondary Institutions Are Planning "Fall Breaks"
Post-secondary institutions have become more aware of the issue of mental health and their students. Scheduling a short break in the fall semester is a strategy increasingly popular:
How to Fight the Mental Health Crisis on Campus: Fall Breaks
13.  Video Primer on Depression
Here is a close-captioned animation that explains simply what it means to have depression:
The Science of Depression (Video)
14.  Light Therapy Effective for Not Just Seasonal Affective Disorder
The use of light therapy either alone or with antidepressants is an effective treatment for adults with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder:
Light Therapy Could be Used to Treat All Depression, Not Just “Winter Blues”

15.  Enabling Minds Website Launches Next Month
CMHA Ontario is hosting a free public forum in Toronto on December 3, 2015, 7-9 pm, to celebrate the launch of its new mental health accessibility website.
Funded by the Ontario government, the website – enablingminds.ca – aims to provide online training resources for physical activity organizations across the province. It also seeks to help directors, managers and frontline staff offer more inclusive and accessible customer service for people with mental health disabilities.
In recognition of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the December 3 forum will feature community speakers with lived experience and mental health accessibility advocates who will share perspectives on the key benefits of physical activity for improved mental wellness, particularly for people at risk of, living with and in recovery from mental health-related disabilities. Presenters from provincial physical activity organizations will share proactive examples of how they are building a supportive environment that promotes positive mental health for everyone.
Celebrate the launch of enablingminds.ca with refreshments, networking and a lively bout of badminton. Plus, get a sneak preview of our January 2016 social media campaign for #abetterserve. Learn how you can get involved to help us promote positive mental health and make Ontario’s physical activity field more accessible to people with mental health disabilities.
This is a free event but space is limited. Pre-register online.
16. Ontario Electricity Support Program

If you are an electricity customer and on low-income, this provincial subsidy program beginning in January 2016 may interest you:
Ontario Electricity Support Program

A PowerPoint presentation was provided to the ODSP Action Coalition about the OESP and we have enclosed it for your information.
17.  2016 Ontario Shores Mental Health Conference (update)

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 (but was still being advertised on Twitter recently).

18.  Job Posting
CMHA Toronto’s Opening Doors Project (a partnership with Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services and Across Boundaries) is looking for a part time Peer Trainer on contract (with possibility of extension).

19.  PSSEO Announcement (New ED)

Please refer to this notice for more information.

20.  Friends and Advocates Peel (Open House)

This consumer/survivor friendly social recreational program has expanded into North Etobicoke and is holding an open house tomorrow (Tuesday, November 24).  Please refer to the poster for details.

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.