OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #477 April 4, 2016

Highlights include: Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Alliance; Transitional Stability Centre in Erie St. Clair LHIN; Insurance Company Changes Suicide and Self-Harm Policy; Fentanyl Alert in Toronto; Excellence Through Quality Improvement Project; Jobs; News; and More.

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1.  Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Alliance Position on Basic Income Pilot

NewsToGo has been following this topic closely and especially since a pilot project was announced in the Ontario budget.  The Alliance (of which OPDI is a member) has sent a letter to Premier Wynne and three other ministers that is supportive of the proposal.

2.  Ontario Newsroom

Eligibility for low-income seniors to fall under the umbrella of the Ontario Drug Benefit Program is being expanded (actually reversing an unpopular budget decision):

Ontario Lowers Drug Costs For Over 170,000 Low-Income Seniors

More people on low incomes will become eligible for legal aid:

Ontario Raising Legal Aid Eligibility by Another 6 Per Cent

The province is initiating ways to allow for more public consultations in government decision-making:

Ontario Launches New Consultations Directory and Public Engagement Framework

It's a Budget 2016 reannouncement, but the Ontario government wants you to know that it is investing $12 billion dollars towards hospitals in the coming decade, and $50 million to keep current facilities in good shape:

Ontario Investing $12 Billion to Build New and Improved Hospitals

Autism is a key health issue for children and youth.  The province has declared its intention to invest $333 million to improve services in the next 5 years:

Ontario Invests $333 Million to Improve Autism Services

The 2015 disclosure of Ontario employees earning more than $100,000 has been released:

2015 Ontario Public Sector Salaries Disclosed
3.  Innovative Practice:  Transitional Stability Centre for MH & A (Erie St. Clair LHIN)

This new approach has two major goals -- diverting people from repeat visits to the ER, and ensuring that people can get help while reducing the frequency of crises:

Scattered Mental Health System Changes to New Model with Downtown Focus

4.  Child Psychiatrists Shortage in Ontario

Whether it is parents paying out of pocket for private care, or the diversion of young people unnecessarily to the ER, the status quo is unsatisfactory:

Shortage of Child Psychiatrists in Ontario Forces Some Kids Into Private Care, Others to ER

5.  Insurance Company for CAMH Becomes First to Eliminate Policy on Attempted Suicides

A CBC News investigation had earlier uncovered that virtually all Canadian individual and group health plans do not reimburse costs relating to care as a result of a suicide attempt or attempted self-inflicted injuries:

Insurance Company Drops "Discriminatory " Policy on Suicide Attempts

6.  Profile of a Stabbing Attack:  A Man Falls Between the Cracks of Care

There are many nuances in this story familiar to those who work in the field:  a man found NCR and then released without proper followup on care and treatment; going off meds; increasing delusions, and then entering the lives of four unsuspecting people.  Jennifer Chambers of the Empowerment Council is quoted in the feature:

How One Man's Tortured Path Led to a Stabbing Rampage in Downtown Toronto

7.  "The Suicide Capital of the World"

This story profiles Northwestern Ontario, First Nations, mental health and the trauma of the survivors:

Canada, Home to the Suicide Capital of the World

8.  Appeal of Homegrown Pot Ruling to Stand

The Federal Court of Canada recently ruled that it was unjust to ban medical marijuana patients from growing their own.  The legislation had been passed by the previous Conservative government, the Liberal Health Minister says she will not appeal:

Ottawa Won't Appeal Ruling that Allows Homegrown Pot for Patients

9.  Compare and Contrast:  Canada's PM, US President, and the Republican Candidate

This columnist writes about Justin Trudeau and his nuanced understanding of mental health and addictions:

The Emotional Complexities of Justin Trudeau

President Barack Obama has made substance use a priority as his term of office ends:

Obama Steps Up U.S. Efforts to Fight Abuse of Heroin and Painkillers

Compare that with the odious attitude of Donald Trump:

Donald Trump to the Mentally Ill:  You're Fired

10.  Fentanyl Alert Raised in Toronto

After warnings were raised in British Columbia and Alberta, it is Ontario's turn:

Toronto Public Health Issues Fentanyl Alert After Surge in Overdose Deaths


11.  A Snapshot of Peer Training and Employment in the United States

This article suggests that employment of peers in mental health is growing in the United States, and in anticipation of that, describes a pioneering peer advancement training academy in Arizona that offers education, mentoring, and internships in this field.

12.  Learn More about the CMHA Ontario/ AMHO/ Health Quality Ontario Partnership (E-QIP)

CMHA Ontario has a writeup of the Excellence Through Quality Improvement Project on their website.

13.  Webinar Archive:  "HSJCC March 30th:  Improving Police-Hospital Transitions for Ontarians"

This webinar is a must for people who want to learn about the proposed protocol by which police transfer their charges to hospitals.

14.  Biosensors and Monitoring Patient Health

The advances in electronic health are quickly approaching.  It suggests that we need to think about an ethical framework for all this, especially when it comes to mental health and human rights:

Wearable Biosensors Can Monitor Hospital Patients Via Their Smartphones


15.   Why Fighting Depression is Like Being A War Resistance Fighter

This blog entry by a survivor hits all the right notes in boiling down to how to proactively fight those negative moods.

16.  Loneliness, Creative People and Personal Transformation

This article suggests there are a few advantages to self-enforced solitude:

What Creative People Understand About the Importance of Being Alone

17.  The Burden of Secrets

Giving up secrets is a form of release:

Does Confessing Secrets Improve Our Mental Health?


18.  Job Postings

Good Shepherd Non-Profit Homes (Hamilton) is looking for a Peer Support Worker.

CAMH is seeking a Community Ambassador.

The Lived Experience Consultation Advisor at CAMH is still posted on their website.

To conduct the coming Canadian census, the government will be hiring.
19.  PSACC Conference Update

There are now fewer than 10 spots left (as of last Tuesday) for the eagerly awaited biannual National Conference on Peer Support April 27-29 in Toronto.  You can click on this link to register.  For those who require accommodation, here's information on the special rate at the conference hotel.

20.  Hold the Date -- PSR/RPS Canada Conference in Thunder Bay (repeat)

This event takes place June 20-22 at the Valhalla Inn.  The landing page for information about registration and conference schedule is here.

21.  Peer Support at Ontario Shores Needs Donations for Discharged Patients

Please consider helping this worthy cause.

22. Partners for Mental Health Fundraising Movie Screening April 7th (Revue Theatre, Toronto)

Please click on this link to learn more about the movie "To Write Love On Her Arms" and to obtain tickets.

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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.