OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #480 April 25, 2016

Highlights include: Introducing OPDI's Blog, "Peering In"; Health Canada in the News; Mental Health and the Federal Assisted Dying Bill; Lori's Law; PTSD Peer Support; Homeless Vets Documentary Featuring Dr. Cheryl Forchuk; Jobs; 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
Please see the attachment for exciting details about the May 16 - 20 training program taking place in Toronto.  The registration form is enclosed.  For more information, please email opdi@opdi.org.
2.  OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials ™ Training Expectations Webinar

OPDI is offering the Training Expectations webinar for OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials Program at 12:00 pm on April 26th.  This webinar is free for those enrolled in training as well as for potential participants and organizations contemplating sponsoring participants.  Please pre-register by emailing opdi@opdi.org

3.  Ontario Newsroom

Last week we reported on the June Callwood Awards which are Ontario's recognition of volunteerism.  While Pat Capponi chairs the committee that selects the recipients, she doesn't present them herself.  We regret the error.

The province intends to regulate payday loans more closely and seeks public input:

Ontario Seeking Public Input on Lower Rates for Payday Loans

The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services is funding research into violence against First Nations women:

Ontario Funding Research Into Violence Against Indigenous Women

4.  Andrew Loku Coroner's Inquest Called (update)

The Attorney General has finally read the SIU report on the Andrew Loku shooting (a month after it was offered to her, the only person allowed access to it).  The Premier promises the report will eventually be public but offers no timeline:

Premier Kathleen Wynne Says Andrew Loku SIU Report Will be Made Public

It has emerged through the Toronto Star's diligent reporting that the SIU (which investigates serious incidents involving police forces and civilians) has provided unsatisfactory information to the families of the people it has been investigating:

Anguished Families Wait Years for Answers When Loved Ones are Killed by Police

The former head of the Toronto Police Services Board writes about the elephant in the room:  mental health and race.

Race, Mental Health and Police Shootings:  Will the Loku Inquest Finally Pay Attention?
5.  Recasting the First Nations Suicide Crisis

This article urges us to take the indigenous perspective seriously and respect their traditional values and culture while endeavouring to solve these deep-rooted social issues:

For First Nations Facing Suicide Crisis, the Solution is Rooted in the Community

6.  Peer Support Workers Joined by Peers at Information Rally

These workers at PSSEO (the CSI in the South East LHIN) are drawing attention to their less-than-competitive wages and benefits that come with their shorter working hours:

"We're Not Asking for the World"

7.  Innovative Practices:  Improving the Mental Health-Justice Systemic Interactions

Another mobile crisis response unit partnering a community mental health agency with the police force (this time in Brantford) as well as the local hospital points to the earnest adoption of this model as encouraged by the LHINs:

Police Partner with Agencies to Improve Mental Health Crisis Response

Reducing the time people spend in the ER in the Windsor area while under the care of police before being handed over to the hospital or transferred to a community mental health service provider is a key issue in reducing costs all around:

New Agreement Will Keep Mental Health Patients, Police Out of ER

8.  The Prime Minister Speaks Yet Again About Mental Health

His far-ranging comments are noted in this reportage:

Trudeau Remembers His Mother's Struggle As He Pledges Support for Mental Health

9.  Health Canada Proposes to Make Smoking Less Addictive

We get a variety of reaction to the addiction-reduction strategy of tobacco control:

Health Canada Looks to Forcing Tobacco Companies to Make Cigarettes Less Addictive

10.  National Strategy for Opioids in the Works at Health Canada

One of the tangents being explored is the consideration of marijuana as a safer alternative for pain management:

Health Canada to Explore National Plan to Deal with Opioid Abuse

11.  Mental Illness and Assisted Dying -- It's Not on the Federal Bill

In alternating between discussing his thoughts on the times when he considered killing himself and considering Bill C-14, the writer of this column emphasizes that the bill won't give the right to the suicidally depressed to end their lives without the risk of failure:

Canada's Assisted Law Fails the Mentally Ill

In this podcast from the CBC show "The Current", the author is one of 4 panelists discussing the issue:

An Open, "Uncomfortable" Conversation on Mental Health, Suicide, and Doctor-Assisted Death

On the other side of the issue is mental health advocate Mark Henick, who has created a petition intended for Ottawa's attention and has offered this blog entry:

A Letter to Justin Trudeau

12.  Lori's Law:  Safety in the Psychiatric Ward on Trial

The Royal Ottawa Hospital is in court, defending its practices of workplace safety and harassment in the wake of an incident involving a patient that attacked healthcare workers.  Will this have implications on the rights of patients as well?

Lori's Law on Workplace Safety Tested in Royal Ottawa "Code White" Trial


13.  Globe and Mail Research of Solitary Confinement Records and Mental Health Status

By accessing Ontario prison records, the newspaper found alarming rates of mental health diagnoses among those in solitary confinement for more than 30 days, and highlighted records where no treatment plan was ever proposed as the prisoner deteriorated:

Documents Reveal Troubling Details About Long-Term Solitary Confinement

14.  Ottawa PTSD Peer Support Training for First Responders Expands Across Country

This article about peer support for first responders also includes a link to the Facebook page for "Wings of Change":

Peer Support Model Takes Flight in Canada

15.  Global News "16x9":  Homeless Veterans Documentary "Left Behind"

This website has the full documentary as well as excerpts; Dr. Cheryl Forchuk's research informs the narrative:

Homeless Veterans:  Helping Those Who Have Fallen Behind

16.  Health Quality Ontario Report:  Income and Health

We now have a definitive picture of health equity in Ontarihttp://www.hqontario.ca/System-Performance/Specialized-Reports/Health-Equity-Reporto;  the lower your income, the poorer the health you are likely to be experiencing.

Please review the infographic to get a snapshot summary of the report.

The press release and a link to the report can be found here.

17.  Loneliness as a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Health

A British study summarized 23 earlier research reports to conclude that those who reported being loney or socially isolated were more likely to experience such a negative event (cardiac attack, blocked artery, or stroke):

Loneliness:  The New (Old) Smoking ?


18.   Advice on Social Media and Anxiety

The writer of this piece, a psychologist and physician, suggests common sense when it comes to allowing for children and youth to use social media as it can result in toxic effects, and is more likely to affect young women:

Why Do Girls Tend to Have More Anxiety Than Boys?

19.  30 Red Flags of Manipulative People

The following list are characteristics are typical of "crazy-makers".


20.  OPDI's Blog, "Peering In", Now Up on the Website

Check out our inaugural postings here.

21.  Job Postings

The Self-Help Resource Centre (Toronto) is hiring ODSP Peer Navigators for its new initiative.
22.  Mental Health Rights Coalition (Hamilton) Mental Health Week Activities

You can find their schedule of activities here.

23.  Toronto HSJCC Webinar:  Recommendations for Meeting the Needs of People With Complex Mental Health and Justice Needs

The Toronto HSJCC has made a focused effort to broaden its reach to address service access issues for individuals with complex needs who are currently involved with the criminal justice system.

Many people with complex needs are unable to get the services and supports they require, which heightens their risk of negative and harmful outcomes. Most recently, the Complex Care subcommittee of the Toronto HSJCC identified a need for a city-wide “service resolution table."

In this free webinar, you will learn about three distinctive models of service resolution for people with complex mental health and addictions needs involved with the criminal justice system.

Target audience: HSJCC Network (local, regional and provincial HSJCC members), police officers, hospital staff, individuals with lived experience, government ministry staff.

Date: Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Time: 12:00 noon - 1:00 pm EST

The presenter: Jaime Brown, PhD, Senior Consultant, Taylor Newberry Consulting

Sign up for this event today! Registration is FREE but space is limited and often fills up quickly. Once registered, you will receive the login details a few days before the webinar. To register for this webinar CLICK HERE

For more information about this webinar, please contact Kashfia Alam at kalam@ontario.cmha.ca

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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.