OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #470 February 5, 2015

Highlights include: New Study on Youth, Mental Health and the ER, More Post-Forcillo Verdict Coverage; Eric Hoskins`Patient-Centred Reforms; Dr. Cheryl Forchuk`s Research on an App and Mental Health Care; Loneliness; News; and More.

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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

The province has unveiled a pro-active strategy aimed at improving the mental health of first responders:

Ontario Announces New PTSD Strategy for First Responders
We have a companion report:

Ontario Government to Help First Responders Deal with their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

A troubling sign of why this is so needed:

Body Pulled from Lake Ontario ID’d as Toronto Police Officer

3.   More Post-Forcillo Verdict Coverage

Post-trial reaction shows continued mistrust of policing in Toronto:

Most Don’t Trust Toronto Police around Mental Health Issues, Poll Suggests

Cops in Harm Reduction’s Way

Are there lessons to be learned from other jurisdictions such as Chicago’s?  This story suggests more pro-active statistics keeping and review of training are good next steps:

Chicago Police Shootings Prompt More Mental Illness Training for Local Cops

Finally, we have a panel discussion with “The Agenda” and three guests:
Forcillo and the State of Policing

4.   Youth Use of ER for Mental Health in the News

This story reports on a study of young people and their increasing use of the ER for mental health help.  The profile of a patient clearly points out why this entry point is so inappropriate:

Young People Stuck Seeking Help for Mental Health Problems at Hospital ER's

This story takes on the psychiatrist researcher's perspective and summarizes some of the major findings:

Emergency Visits by Youth for Mental Health, Addiction Rise by 32% Over 6 Years

5.  Addictions in the News

Cough syrup may be the newest way to get high:

Halton Police Warn of Illicit Use of Cough Syrup for So-Called “Robo-Tripping”

Fentanyl Overdoses are spiking in this province:

Surge in Overdoses Prompt Fears Fentanyl Use is rising in Ontario

We are also seeing more addicted babies:

Canada’s Opioid Crisis Leading to More Babies Born Addicted

6.  Ontario Health Minister Seeks Patient-Centre Reforms

This Toronto Star column summarizes what Minister Hoskins has been doing in the first 18 months in his position:

Eric Hoskins’ Legacy for Ontario Patients

7.  Youth Solitary Confinement on Way Out in the United States

Citing mental health consequences, the American president has ended the practice of solitary confinement for juveniles:

Mentally Ill Prisoners are destroyed by Solitary Confinement


9.  Canadian Researcher Dr. Cheryl Forchuk Shows How an App Improves Mental Health Care

Research led by frequent OPDI collaborator Dr. Cheryl Forchuk of Western’s Lawson Health Research Institute demonstrates that a tested app can reduce psychiatric episodes and outpatient visits:

 Smartphone App Proven to Reduce Admissions

10.  The Possible Link Between Depression and Inflammation -- and Now a Drug Trial

Is inflammation and depression linked?  A drug company is willing to test a drug for the first time:

Could a Drug that Tamps Down Inflammation Lift the Fog of Depression?

11.   Research into Anti-depressants Downplayed Suicide Risks (repeat)

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.  Harm Reduction Practices in the Justice System

A new grassroots study shows the benefit of safe needle and syringe programs within the correctional system:

Prison Needle Program Touted to Reduce HIV and Hep C

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.  Research into Loneliness

Close friends are needed to lean on in a crisis.  This British survey suggests that may not always be the case:

2.5 Million Men “Have No Close Friends”

Another story looks at loneliness as a public health issue:

Loneliness Grows from Individual Ache to Public Health Hazard


15.  What an Author Learned About Addiction While Writing a Book

This thoughtfully composed article weaves together several accounts of studies to come up with a compelling thought:

The Opposite of Addiction is Not Sobriety -- It is Human Connection

16.  Ontario Shores Conference March 1 and 2

Registration for Ontario Shores’ 5th Annual Mental Health Conference taking place March 1 and 2 is now available.

17.  Job Postings

A Chef:  Employment Facilitator is needed at PARC (Toronto).  They are also hiring a Community Outreach Coordinator to take charge of the Peer Outreach Program.

PSACC (Peer Support Accreditation and Certification Canada) is seeking an Executive Director.  This is a virtual office position.

The Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office for Timmins is looking for a Community-based Rights Adviser.  A similar opportunity applies for Kenora.

18.  Call for Applications for the Paula Goering Collaborative Research and Knowledge Translation Award

Submit your application for the Paula Goering 2016 Award
This award recognizes an innovative researcher-knowledge user collaborative project for integrated knowledge translation in the area of mental health and addictions.

The $2000 award is named in recognition of Dr. Paula Goering’s wide-ranging and significant contributions to the field of mental health services research in Canada and internationally, including advancements in the field of knowledge translation.

The Award Committee is inviting applicants for partnership projects that specifically demonstrate use of an integrated knowledge translation approach.

For more information about the criteria and application process click here. The deadline for applications is March 11, 2016. The award recipient will be notified by April 29, 2016.

19.  Bell Let's Talk Community Fund (repeat)

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

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.