OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #466 January 8, 2015

Highlights include: Responsible Alcohol Use Policy for Ontario; PARC's Peer Support Profiled; Ontario Dentists and Opioids; Former Toronto Police Chief to Handle Pot File; Innovative Mental Health Guidelines for Accommodation on Campus; 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. Announcement of Toronto OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials ™ Training

See the attached poster and registration form for exciting details about a March 2015 training program taking place in Toronto.  Please note that we must have a minimum of 10 people to proceed with the training. 
2.  Ontario To Consult on Responsible Alcohol Use Policy

Ontario is developing a policy to support responsible alcohol use.  Health agencies, addiction service providers, industry, and law enforcement are among those to be consulted:

Ontario Developing Policy to Support Responsible Alcohol Use

3.   Participate in a Physician-Assisted End-of-Life Decision Discussion

Ontarians are being asked to participate in a physician-assisted dying and end-of-life decisions consultation:

Doctor-Assisted Dying and End-of-Life Decisions Consultation

4.  Profile of PARC's Peer Support Program

OPDI's Associate Member PARC (Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre)'s peer support workers are profiled here:

Parkdale's Peer Outreach Program Helps Those with Addiction and Mental Health Issues

5.  Private Member's Bill May Open Up Recognition of PSTD as a Workplace-Related Disability for First Responders

Lessening the burden of proof of PSTD as a workplace illness for first responders is the purpose of the bill by NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo:

Ontario Could Recognize PSTD as Workplace-Related Illness for First Responders

6.  Another Provincial Source of Prescribed Opioids Asked to Self-Police Itself

Ontario dentists have been asked by their regulatory body to limit prescriptions for painkillers to three days' worth; some practitioners are concerned that it may be too strict:

Ontario Dentists Asked to Limit Prescriptions for Addictive Painkillers

7.  Fatal Violence Involving Persons with Dementia in Retirement Residences a New Concern

Wave of Dementia Behind 12 Homicides Has Ontario Nursing Homes Pleading for Help From Province

8.  First-Person Account of Anti-Depressant Side Effects

A thoughtfully well-written and honest portrayal of the dilemma of staying true with the medications that keep one well:

My Body Ballooned When I Went on Anti-Depressants, Each Day a Battle Against Hunger and Fat-Shaming

9.  Former Toronto Police Chief to Take on the Legalization of Marijuana File

Former Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair and now Liberal MP (with responsibilities as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Justice) will apparently be in charge of the marijuana legalization file:

Ex-Police Chief Bill Blair to Handle Liberals’ Pot Legalization File


10.   How Mental Health Service Users Rely More on Healthcare Services

This Ontario study led by CAMH and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences found that psychiatric hospitalization as one area to zero in in order to improve the care of people with a severe mental illness diagnosis:

Substantial Differences in Health Care Use Exist Between Heavy Users of Menta Health Care and Other Heavy Users of Care
11.   Differing Mental Health Approaches on Two Campuses (York University and Yale University)

Two contrasting approaches can be found in the way mental health is handled on campus:

New Documentation Guidelines for Accommodating Students with Mental Health Disabilities

Yale Triggers Protests After Expelling Depressed Student

12.  When a Patient Has an Equal Voice in Treatment

An approach to treating people who have experienced psychosis for the first time by emphasizing supports as much as medication adherence (and apparently working together to agree on a tolerable dosage) seems to be more successful:

Programs Expand Schizophrenic Patients Role in Their Own Care

13.  New Year's Advice Backed by Science

Some fact-based articles in tackling the subject of New Year’s Resolutions can be found below:

No Diet, No Detox:   How to Relearn the Fine Art of Eating

The Surprising Truth About Six Popular Weight-Loss Recommendations

The Surprising Internet Forum Some Alcoholics Are Choosing Over AA

14. Maybe Teenagers are the Experts

This article explores the role that teens with lived experience have in helping others cope with mental health issues:

How Can We Solve The Teen Mental Health Crisis?

15.  The Role of Social Relationships in Good Physical Health

Having social relationships (measured in three different ways) is as important to good physical health as diet or exercise.  It’s because a lack can result in measurable heightened risk of body inflammation, high blood pressure, and obesity:
Social Connections as Important for Health as Exercise, Diet

16.  A Blog About Mental Health in the Workplace

Check out www.corporatementalhealth.ca to learn about various topics related to mental health in the workplace, including practical tips to improve your workplace, strategies to apply with co-workers and teams, and reviews of the most current research. This blog is published by L&L Consulting, a consulting firm founded by two occupational therapists in Toronto. L&L Consulting focuses on raising awareness about mental health in the workplace, and promoting mentally healthy corporate culture. Leave us your comments and thoughts on posts, and let us know if there are topics you’d like us to focus on. 

17.  The Ontario Perception of Care Tool for  Mental Health and Addictions (OPOC-MHA):  How does this impact programs and clients?
Join the second Ontario Drug Treatment Funding Program (DTFP) webinar on Friday, January 29, from 1 to 2:30 PM and learn about how the Ontario Perception of Care Tool for Mental Health and Addictions (OPOC-MHA) will impact programs and clients.
Date: Friday, January 29, 2016
Time: 1 to 2:30 pm EST
This webinar will include:

  • An overview of the evidence-based tool which standardizes how programs that provide services for substance use, mental health and concurrent disorders obtain client perception of care feedback from registered clients and family members, significant others and supporters;
  • A walk-through of the online version that will inform organizations of what steps are required to start using the OPOC tool;
  • Information about the type of reports that can be generated from the tool’s use, which can support quality improvement;
  • An update on the tool implementation status and plans (including training and capacity building); and
  • Information about impacts to the system, programs, and clients.

For more information about this webinar see the flyer and to register click here.
For more information about the OPOC-MHA, visit the project web page.
18.  National Conference on Peer Support (Toronto, April 27-29) Early Bird Registration Now Available (repeat)

Registration is now open for the 2nd National Conference on Peer Support (NCPS), to be held in Toronto next April 27 – 29, 2016.    www.ncps-canada.com/registration
Three fantastic keynote speakers are featured, over 45 informative and engaging workshop sessions are offered, and unlimited opportunities to network and collaborate.   

The 2014 conference in Halifax sold out so don't delay!  Register today and prepare to Connect with others at the beautiful Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre; Grow the field of peer support; and Lead in the field of Recovery.
This conference is hosted by Peer Support Accreditation.


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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.