OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #472 February 22, 2015

Highlights include: Ontario Budget this Thursday; Federal Health Minister Funds Opioid Research; PTSD and Ontario First Responders; Profile of a Peer Worker; "Remembering Edmond Yu"; Dr. David Goldbloom Writes About His Work; Job Postings; 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 London OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials ™ Training
Please see the attachment for exciting details about the March 7 - 11 training program taking place in London.  The registration form is enclosed.  For more information, please email opdi@opdi.org.
2.  Announcement of Sault Ste. Marie OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials ™ Training
Please see the attachment for exciting details about the March 14 - 18 training program taking place in Sault Ste. Marie.  The registration form is enclosed.  For more information, please email opdi@opdi.org.

3.  Ontario Newsroom

The Ontario Budget is to be tabled Thursday, February 25th.

Wine, cider and fruit wines will be made available in grocery stores by the fall.

Early Years Child and Family Centres are being created to offer parenting and learning supports.

The Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health has been confirmed as the permanent replacement.

The Anti-Racism Directorate (last present during the Bob Rae years) has been re-established to address racism:  individual, systemic, and cultural.

4.   Important News about ODSP Medical Reviews (repeat and update)

The Ministry of Community and Social Services has revised its medical review process.  You can read all about it courtesy of the Income Security Access Clinic newsletter with its link to the Ministry's website and their announcement:

Improving ODSP Medical Reviews

Here is the official government press release:

Ontario Improving ODSP Medical Reviews

The Toronto Star has more background and stakeholder responses:

Ontario Simplifies Medical Reviews for People on Disability Support

5.  Federal Health Minister Funds Opioid Addiction Research

First, Minister Dr. JanePhilpott visited Insite, the Vancouver harm reduction locale.  Now she has announced funding into opioid research:

$4.4 Million Invested to Support Opioid Addiction Treatment

6.  Euthanasia and People with Psychiatric Issues (missing hyperlink corrected from last issue)

Coming as it does in the midst of a national debate, this report of a Dutch study showing that people who opted for this alternative had "chronic, severe conditions" and reactions from stakeholders is informative:

Review of Euthanasia in Psychiatric Patients Raising "Serious Concerns"

7.  Ontario Takes Action on PTSD with First Responders

We have the government press release and a media story on this important development:

Ontario to Introduce Legislation to Support First Responders with PTSD

First Responders and PTSD:  Ontario Moves to Allow Faster Access to Treatment

8.  Fentanyl Now Leading Cause of Ontario Opioid Fatalities

Statistics from the Office of the Chief Coroner confirm that fentanyl is the cause of 1 in 4 opioid deaths:

Fentanyl Now Leading Cause of Opioid Deaths in Ontario


9.  MUST VIEW:  "Cries for Help, Part 1"

The topic of this documentary is suicide and the lack of appropriate care in the ER, as shown in the W5 episode.  You can watch it online, along with an accompanying article:

Suicide Prevention Programs Lacking Due to Reliance on ER's For Patients in Crisis

10.   November 2015 Health Quality Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Panel Discussion (Pat Capponi) (repeat)

The video of November's discussion featuring Susan Piggott (chair of the MH & A Leadership Advisory Council), Pat Capponi, Catherine Zahn (CAMH CEO), Paul Kurdyak (CAMH researcher), and Sharon Smith (MoHLTC) can be found here.  Pat's commentary starts at 19:45.

Mental Health and Addictions Care in Ontario:  Towards a High Performing System

11.  Shocking Revelation:  We Don't Count the Homeless Dead in Ontario

This investigative report by the Toronto Star documents how one such person passed away, and the reasons why nobody seems eager to follow up:

Ontario's Uncounted Homeless Dead

12.  Healthydebate.ca Profiles a Peer Worker

The story of how a substance user made his way back to a meaningful role in society is profiled:

School of Life:  How Peer Support Workers are Helping People with Mental Illness

Sean's story in the first person is also in the affiliated blog "Faces of Healthcare":


13.  "Remembering Edmond Yu"

The author, a practising lawyer, has some thoughts 19 years after the senseless death of Edmond Yu in a manner all too reminiscent of Sammy Yatim.  This piece resonates with those who remember.

14.  "The Best Prescription for Mental Health?  Sometimes It's Just a Job"

It's an anecdotal conclusion some of us just get.

15.  Dr. David Goldbloom Opens Up about A Week in His Job

The eminent psychiatrist writes about his work from a human perspective.  We have an interview and an excerpt about his reaction to losing a patient to suicide:

David Goldbloom Talks the Risks and Rewards of Psychiatry

"I Hold My Head in my Hands and Weep"


16.  Help Develop a New Data and Performance Measurement Framework for Mental Health and Addictions in Ontario

You can learn more about reading this Data Communique (3 pages).  There are three scheduled webinars to learn more.  You are invited to submit your feedback on the draft framework by March 31, 2016.
17.  Save the Date -- June 22-23 Implementation Learning Institute (repeat)

Please refer to this poster for more information.

18.  Job Postings

Sunnybrook Hospital (Toronto) is hiring a Parent Advocate to work with families with youth between 13-26 years of age with mental health and addictions issues:

PSACC (Peer Support Accreditation and Certification Canada) seeks a contract Executive Director.

CMHO (Children's Mental Health Ontario) is looking for a part-time Communications Associate.

19.  EENet Toronto Service Resolution Project

Matt Hollingshead, EENet’s GTA Knowledge Exchange Lead is looking for participants in a meeting for the Toronto Service Resolution Project. If you are familiar with and work in the core Toronto area with racialized populations, and who can speak to their mental health, addictions and justice related needs, you are most needed.
Please see the attached flyer for more information.
If you are interested and available to attend, please register here.

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.