OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #482 May 10, 2016

Highlights include: OPDI Conference and AGM; Recognition in Legislature; SIU Updates; Ontario Youth Mental Health Courts;  Innovative Practices; PSACC Conference Photo Albums on FB; CCSA "Life in Recovery" Survey ; 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.  Save the Date:  OPDI's AGM and Conference September 22 - 23, 2016 in Toronto

We are inviting you to submit a workshop abstract for the Conference scheduled for September 22 & 23, 2016.  We welcome workshops in the following areas of interest, but submissions are not limited only to these areas:
Member services, for example:
•             Recruiting and engaging a diverse membership
•             Empowerment and authenticity: maintaining a member driven and person-   centred program
•             Board training and development for effective organizations
Program management issues, such as:
•             Staff training, supervision and support
•             Accountability: getting the work done and telling the real story
•             Staffing Challenges
•             Challenges of Rapid Growth
Broader systemic, political or philosophical issues such as:
•             Accessibility of peer support groups and organizations
•             Integrations, mergers, absorptions. How to work IN the system but not be OF the system
•             Advocacy: loss of voice and rights
Sharing of new practices, successful program ideas, etc.
We are looking for the most innovative workshop topics that you believe will be beneficial to Consumer/Survivor Initiatives and Peer Support Organizations, and will be positively received by those attending this conference.
Workshop Formats: Each workshop will be 90 minutes and should include a presentation, interaction and discussion. Proposals should address the following:
• Session Title
• Objectives/Intended Outcomes for Participants
• Presenter(s) Biography
• Contact Details
• Audio-visual needs
• Workshop description (this will be used in advertising materials, 100 words or less)
Please submit your abstract by e-mail to opdi@opdi.org or fax to 416- 484-9669.
All abstracts must be received by May 27th, 2016.
For further information please contact Allyson Theodorou at 416-484-8785 ext. 2 or by e-mail at allyson@opdi.org

2.  OPDI, CMHA Ontario, and Others Recognized in Ontario Legislature

Thanks to advance planning by CMHA Ontario, Deborrah Sherman, OPDI Executive Director and others were recognized in Hansard during Mental Health Week.  Please refer to page 2 of the Hansard transcript for Monday, May 2.

3.  Ontario Newsroom

Expanded legislation to protect patient privacy has been passed:

Ontario Passes Legislation to Protect Patient Privacy and Improve Transparency

Here's a report of its taking effect:

Hospital Workers Convicted for Snooping into Rob Ford's Personal Health Files
4.  SIU, Andrew Loku, and James Forcillo Updates

The Jermaine Carby inquest has begun (another case of a police shooting of a person of colour with an alleged weapon and with mental health issues:

Inquest into Jermaine Carby Sheds Light on Police Shooting

The McIssac family has spent $40,000 of its own money in the last two years and is now demanding that the SIU re-open its investigation in the death of their brother:

When the SIU Says Little, a Tight-Knit Family Struggles to Know Why Brother Died

Toronto police's actions around surveillance video in the Loku shooting are questioned, as is the ten minutes of waiting after the shooting before police commenced CPR:

Cops Who Tried to Download Loku Video Have No Excuse

Finally, the defence for James Forcillo, convicted of attempted murder in the Sammy Yatim shooting, is appealing the sentence of the Toronto police officer; the Crown wants to make his imprisonment go beyond the minimum 5 years:

Crown to Seek More than Five-Year Sentence for Constable James Forcillo
5.  Fort McMurray Fire and Mental Health

We have three related stories touching on this subject:

Trauma at Fort McMurray Can Lead to PTSD:  Dr. Kamkar

PTSD in First Responders a Concern as Fort McMurray Wildfires Continue:  Experts

Humans Resilient in Face of Tragedies Like Fort McMurray

6.  National Conference on Peer Support (on Facebook)

We highly recommend checking out Arif A. Majeed's Facebook link for his pictures of the conference (especially the happy faces of attendees).
OPDI's Facebook page also now has a collection of photos of the speakers at the lecturn.

PSACC's most recent e-newsletter shares that the conference presentations will be available soon online.  We will let you know when that happens.

7.  Two Opposing Views:  Physician Assisted Death and the Mentally Ill

Kudos to the Globe and Mail for offering these two opposing viewpoints and leaving the comments section open as well:

Why People with Mental Illness Shouldn't Have Access to Medically Assisted Death

As a Person with Mental Illness, Here's Why I Support Medically Assisted Death

8.  Innovative Practices:  Ottawa Reducing Wait Times for Youth Mental Health Assessment and Brantford's Mobile Crisis Unit

Two Ottawa hospitals are leading the way by offering "choice appointments" as a first point of contact for young clients leading to seeing a worker in a matter of weeks, rather than getting an initial assessment and then put on waiting lists for services:

CHEO, Royal Aim to Slash Mental Health Wait Times for Young Patients

The Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN profiles its new Brantford Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team:

Donna's Blog -- May 2016

9.  Poverty Gap Increases Reflecting Welfare Rates

The story sketches out how low income impacts so many areas of the social determinants of health, and discusses why yet raising the rates alone without considering the morass of rules governing social assistance could be a futile exercise:

Ontario's Soaring Poverty Gap "Starkest" for Single Adults as Welfare Rates Stagnate

10.  Online Debate:  Psychiatric Institutionalization Versus Other Treatment Forms

The New York Times asked several experts for their opinions and put them together in this feature:

Getting the Mentally Ill Out of Jail and Off the Streets

11.  Today is Census Day -- and a Columnist's Viewpoint about Mental Health Disclosure

Today is Census Day:

Welcome to the 2016 Census

This columnist received the long version of the census and he was asked an in-depth question about his mental health; he is open about his past suicide attempt but wonders about the intrusiveness of the survey:

The Census Deals Bluntly with Mental Illness

12.  Profile of Federal Senator with a Law and Order/Mental Health Perspective

This Senator was appointed by the Harper government but former Ottawa Police chief Vern White has a nuanced understanding of law and mental health:

"Mental Illness is Everywhere":  Senator Vern White


13.  Peer-Led Substance Use Report on LGBTTQQ2SIA Youth

Pieces to Pathways (P2P0, Canada’s first substance use program specifically targeted to LGBTTQQ2SIA youth, living in Toronto, has submitted its second report to the TC LHIN (see attached).  The work was done under the sponsorship of Breakaway Addiction Services.  The TC LHIN’s one time funding allowed us to:

  •         Interview peer led and substance use organizations regarding their practices and recommendations
  •         Conduct a capacity building assessment, developed in partnership with The 519, at Renascent’s three residential treatment sites and their intake program
  •         Set up a Peer Working Group, whose work included developing and refining content for the pilot project
  •         Run a pilot project, consisting of two eight-week groups, one focusing on harm reduction and one on abstinence
  •         Provide short-term case management for the group participants
  •         Develop an MOU (being finalized) with St. Michael’s Hospital Academic Family Health Team to allow P2P clients accelerated access to primary care services
  •         Refine proposed program model and content

Although we are very grateful to the Toronto Central LHIN for the one time funding, we have no guarantees for permanent funding and are currently existing on donations and writing grant proposals. If anyone is interested in making a donation, no matter how small, to allow this work to continue, please click on this link.

And if you want to find out more about this work, we are presenting at Addiction and Mental Health Ontario’s Annual Conference on Monday May 30th.

14.  Popular Anti-Diarrhea Medication Imodium Being Abused As Opioid

Known as loperamide and sold over the counter as Imodium, this drug is being misused as "the poor people's methadone":

Abuse of Diarrhea Medicine You Know Well is Alarming Physicians

15.  Profile of  Research into Ontario Youth Mental Health Courts

In summarizing the results of research, this article demonstrates that this aspect of the justice system is meeting its mandate of streaming young people more quickly into services and improving community safety:

CAMH:  Youth Mental Health Court Improves Access to Care

16.  Interlinking Worry and Problem-Solving

Find out how they are related, and a possible solution (hint:  one worries less as they get older):

Worried?  You are Not Alone


17.  Psychological Illness and its Burden on Caregivers/Partners

Some painfully honest insights of family members affected by a mental health diagnosis form this story:

Married to Mental Illness

18.   You May Not Know These 15 Things About Therapists

Three therapists were interviewed and help dispel some mysteries about what they do:

15 Things Therapists Actually Want You to Know

19.  Two Contrarian Perspectives on Depression

One blogger writes about whether she is experiencing a higher consciousness with her mental health diagnosis:

What You Call Depression I Call the Truth

Another columnist writes bluntly about why people's firsthand descriptions of their mental health issues are too neat and tidy to be real:

I Don't Want to Hear Anyone Else's Opening Up about Their Battle with Depression


20.  MHCC Recovery-Oriented Practice Webinar

This month's Mental Health Commission of Canada webinar is taking place Friday, May 27, 2016.  It explores how to address the multiple factors that contribute to mental health problems and illnesses within a recovery-oriented approach.  Guest speakers are Katherine Stewart and Regina Casey.  Learn more and register here.

21.  CCSA and the National Recovery Advisory Committee Launch Life in Recovery Survey

Read more about the endeavour by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and access a link to the survey here. The deadline is June 1, 2016.

22.  Job Postings

Jack.org, the mental health outreach program aimed at youth, is hiring a Network Coordinator operating out of Toronto.

The Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa seeks an aboriginal woman with lived experience of incarceration to be an Indigenous Peer Support Worker.
23.  Ontario ACT Association Conference and Call for Abstracts

The biannual conference of the Ontario ACT Association takes place October 26 - 28 in Niagara Falls.  You can find out about the Call for Abstracts here (deadline extended to June 10, 2016).

24.  OPDI Internship Webinar Wednesday June 1 at 12 pm

Our next OPDI Internship Webinar is on June 1 from 12 noon to 1 pm. 

If you would like to attend the Internship webinar please email opdi@opdi.org with your name, the date and city of your training and the information to login will be sent to you.

If you have already done an internship webinar please disregard this notice or you may attend it again if you feel you need a refresher.  Notices for future Internship webinars will be posted in NewsToGo at least quarterly and possibly more often if needed. To be notified, please subscribe by going to www.opdi.org and clicking on Newsletter Sign Up (it’s free) then just watch for the notices. 

25.  Remember CSDI? It's now OPDI's 25th Anniversary!

Just so you know, we will be using this logo to commemorate the occasion.  The upcoming AGM and conference in September will mark the anniversary as well.  If your organization is a member of OPDI, check out the April NewsToMuse e-newsletter for your own logo to use, or contact our office if you require assistance.

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.