OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #469 January 29, 2015

Highlights include: Post-Forcillo Verdict Stories and Commentaries; Ontario Funds Children and Youth MH; Anti-Depressants Study Reveals Underplayed Suicide Risks; Opioids in the News; Canadian PM Spends a Hour Talking Mental Health on "The Social"; 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.  Toronto Peer Support Training Update

The Toronto Peer Support Core Essentials ™ training is still looking for interested participants and we are aiming for a March 2016 date.  Please direct your expression of interest to opdi@opdi.org and check NewsToGo for details.

2.  Ontario Newsroom

Ontario is Hiring for the Children and Youth Mental Health Sector:

Investing $6 Million to Support Early Intervention

We have a news report from Lambton County where the direct impact of the funding is made clearer:

Youth Mental Health Unit Expanding

Rural, remote, and Northern Communities are being prioritized in two initiatives that address violence against women:

Ontario Helping Northern, Rural, and Remote Communities Address Violence Against Women

Here is a media story with further background on the announcement:

Funding to Help Abused Women Hiked $1M

The Ontario government is reminding the public, organizations and businesses that there are a few ways of offering input into the coming provincial budget:

Ontario Seeking Public Input to Help Develop the 2016 Ontario Budget

More progress has been reported on the Ontario Retirement Savings Plan, which is scheduled to start January 1, 2017 and will affect the community mental health and addictions sector, where most employees do not have defined private pensions:

Province Completes Design of the Ontario Retirement Savings Plan

The province is indirectly cutting down on smoking with a strengthened contraband enforcement unit of the OPP:

Ontario Creating New Enforcement Team to Combat Contraband Tobacco

The Summer Company Program offers students grants to start their own businesses:

Applications Open for Summer Company Program

3.   Bell Let's Talk Day (Alternative Perspectives)

This past Wednesday saw an outpouring of social messaging about mental health, and OPDI did its share.  However, these divergent opinions deserve reading:

This article is from pressprogress.ca, an online left-of-centre news website of the Broadbent Institute:

Let's Talk About Funding a Real Mental Health Strategy, Canada

The Torontoist is an alternative news source:

Let's Talk About the Corporatization of Mental Health

This riposte comes from the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson's blog:

OK, Let's Talk:  A Response to the Bell Let's Talk Campaign

4.   Interesting Commentary and Stories Following the Forcillo Verdict

Pat Capponi and Jennifer Chambers of the Empowerment Council were asked for their opinions:

"Compromise" Verdict in James Forcillo Trial Gets Mixed Reaction

TV Ontario's "The Agenda" posted a blog entry with feedback from 4 community representatives, including Bob Rose, the PARC worker who was a friend of Edmond Yu:

Is There Justice in the Sammy Yatim Verdict?

A former OPP Commissioner offers his opinion:

OP-ED:  Forcillo had Options Other than Shooting to Kill

Meanwhile the trial's ramifications continue:

Ontario Weighs Changes on Suspending Police Officers with Pay

Tasering of Sammy Yatim After Being Shot May be a Chargeable Offence

James Forcillo's Time Behind Bars Could be Years Away

Forcillo's Five-Year Mandatory Minimum Could Go to Supreme Court

5.  Addictions in the News

A CIBC economist believes that if marijuana were legalized and sales were regulated/taxed by the federal and provincial governments along the lines of other "sin tax" products like alcohol and tobacco, there could be $5 billion in new revenues annually:

Tax Revenue from Legal Pot Could Hit $5 Each Year, CIBC Says

A British study has discovered that 60% of alcohol sales in the U.K. are going to problem drinkers, who are indeed the industry's best customers.  Does this have relevance to the Canadian and Ontario jurisidctions?

Problem Drinkers Account for Most of Alcohol Industry's Sales, Figures Reveal

This editorial reminds us that the Conservatives were able to pass their "Respect for Communities" Act which extended the onerous conditions for getting approval for supervised injection sites, and urges the current government to do the right thing:

Dawson:  Evidence-based Government?  Let's Open Supervised Injection Sites

6.  A Contrarian View of Peer Support and the Upcoming April 2016 National Conference  (UPDATE)

An outspoken family member tells us what's wrong with peer support, the MHCC, and many other things:

Peer Mental Health Workers Need Better Training

The comments following the article are instructive.  They are now up to 66 and a colleague (hello, Dianne) has chimed in.

7.  Forensic Psychiatric Units, Nurses, and Violent Attacks

This article sets out the circumstances in which these incidents are increasingly taking place:

Attacks by Patients on Nurses Called Rampant

9.  Follow Up:  Federal and Provincial Health Ministers' Joint Summit Statement

The statement is here.

Please note where mental health is mentioned.

10.  Toronto's Poverty Strategy:  Underfunded and Keeping All the Unsuccessful Programs

Here is an incisive analysis (with commentary by Pat Capponi) that looks at where the money is going and why that may not work:

The Impact of an Underfunded Poverty Reduction Strategy


11.   Research into Anti-depressants Downplayed Suicide Risks

The study of more than 70 drug trials involving 18,000 peoplefound a doubling of risk of suicide for those under 18 years old:
Anti-depressants "Likely Increase Suicide in All Ages" and Manufacturers Under-report Side Effects
12.  Preventing Harm in Hospitals (Related Reading -- Voice of Hope Newsletter)

As part of emerging practices, the author suggests that peers coaching peers is a rational and successful alternative through collaborative learning:

Reducing Preventable Harm in Hospitals

Incidentally, the winter issue of "Voice of Hope" from Waypoint Patient/Client and Family Council's theme is about Isolation, a possible factor in such incidents:

Voice of Hope December 2015

13.  Sobering Findings About Opioids

This study seems to confirm that people who are prescribed opioids are more likely to experience depression subsequently:

Long-Term Opioid Use Linked to Depression

Another study revealed that having a month's use of opioids, patients' brains experienced changes in the areas of the brain that regulated emotions, cravings, and pain:

Study Links Morphine to Brain Changes

14.  E-Mental Health Profiled in this News Report

Online Support:  E-Mental Health Services Can Reduce Wait Times

15.  CAMH Introduces Psychiatry in Primary Care Toolkit

We have a CAMH blog entry and a news story on the roll-out of this new educational electronic resource:

Portico Network Launches at CAMH

Help for Health Care Providers Who Need Help Treating Patients with Mental Illness


16.  Why Knitting is as Relaxing as Meditating

This columnist weaves anecdotes and several peer-reviewed studies to make the point that knitting is a healthy activity:

The Health Benefits of Knitting

17.  AMHO and CMHA Ontario Request for Proposals:  Quality Improvement for the Mental Health and Addictions Sector

Please refer to this Charity Village posting for more information.

18.  Job Postings

Colleges Ontario, the Council of Ontario Universities, the College Student Alliance and the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario have developed a provincial hub to support existing and new initiatives that address the mental health needs of postsecondary students.  They require a Knowledge Mobilization Lead.

CMHA Toronto is hiring a Job Coach for its Employment Services on a Part-Time Casual Basis.

19.  MUST-SEE TV (update)

The streaming video "Hold Your Fire", a documentary about police shootings and the mentally ill, has been broadcast on CBC, but is now available for viewing online.  Please refer to the website for more information and a link to the documentary:

Firsthand:  Hold Your Fire

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sat down with the hosts of the entertainment panel "The Social" for an hour to talk about mental health January 27th:

The Prime Minister @ The Social:  A Bell Let's Talk Day Special

20.  Dianne Stringer's Story on YouTube

This is a 20 minute video of her own storytelling:

Walking with Wellness
21.  Bell Let's Talk Community Fund

Upon the heels of "Bell Let's Talk Day", let's not forget that Bell offers grants of $5 - 25,000 to organizations to fund mental health initiatives across the country.  You can find out more:

Bell Let's Talk Community Fund

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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.