OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #483 May 19, 2016

Highlights include: ODSP Reloadable Payment Cards; Transgender Rights; Naloxone Access in Ontario; Innovative Practices; City Life and Psychosis; Magic Mushrooms and Depression; 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.  OPDI Internship Webinar Wednesday June 1 at 12 pm

Our next OPDI Internship Webinar is on June 1 from 12 noon to 1 pm. 
from 11 am – 12 noon.  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. 

2.  ODSP Recipients Without Bank Accounts to Receive RBC Reloadable Payment Cards

If all goes well, people who don't have a bank account will be receiving a payment card instead of a paper cheque.  You can read more in this government press release and we have stakeholder reaction in an accompanying story:

Ontario Introduces Reloadable  Payment Card for Social Assistance

ODSP To Swap Cheques for Cards

3. Federal Government Introduces Transgender Rights Protection in new Bill

We have a press release announcing the bill, and reaction from a mental health healthcare provider (CAMH) and an analysis by a law professor:

Legislation to Provide Protection for Gender Identity and Gender Expression

CAMH Supports Federal Legislation to Protect Transgender Rights

A New Bill is a Good Start.  But Gay and Trans People Need Much More.
4.  Ontario Will Offer Free Opioids Antidote

Naloxone will be available free from pharmacies without a prescription; this comes literally hours after the Globe and Mail showed the disparity between provinces with respect to the access to counteract overdoses:

Ontario, Ottawa Expand Free Access to Antidote for Opioid Overdoses
5.  Fiscal Pressures at New Unionized Workplace Forces Layoff of Union Official at CMHA HKPR

The irony is that the CMHA reached its premier collective agreement with the union, and in order to honour the pay rate increase negotiated, had to declare the job position of the CUPE Union redundant:

Layoff at Canadian Mental Health Association Sparks Union Concern

6.  Ontario Ombudsman to Release Two Reports This Summer:  One on Police Training in  De-escalation

Please check the press release for what will be eagerly anticipated findings (the first since new Ombudsman Paul Dube was appointed after Andre Morin was not):

Reports on Two Ombudsman Investigations in Final Stages

7.  Imagine if You Feel Suicidal and Your University Says You Can't Talk About It

This unproven strategy to "improve" students' mental health at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax got the media attention it deserved when leaked by an affected student:

MSVU "Very Sorry" Student Felt Isolated Because of Wellness Agreement

8.  London Faces Loss of Distress Centre

MPPs Teresa Armstrong and Peggy Sattler put pressure on Health Minister Eric Hoskins in Question Period around the reallocation of funding that would result in the cessation of the London and District Distress Centre by the end of the year:

Sattler, Armstrong Press Government on Mental Health

Pending Closure of London and District Distress Centre Raised During Question Period

9.  Encouraging Entrepreneurship as a Route out of Social Assistance

Creating a sustainable strategy to lift people out of social assistance and the reaches of poverty is a laudable goal.  John Stapleton looks at the idea of a "pop-up shop" and how it can enable individuals to head towards self-sufficiency:

Solitary Confinement

10.  Innovative Practices:  Youth Mental Health Hub, Youth Mental Health Research Centre and a Peer-Based Intervention for Transition from Hospital to Community

Congratulations to the Chatham-Kent community that has created a one-stop centre through partnership of many local agencies to target care to youth between 11 - 25 years of age:

Youth Mental Health Hub Opens in Chatham-Kent

The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario now has a research centre to look into how best to put healthcare dollars into youth mental health care:

New Research Centre to Answer Tough Questions to Drive Mental Health Change

The Welcome Basket is an initiative of the Self-Help Resource Centre and involves a six-week peer interaction with someone beginning their recovery in hospital.  A similar program has been run out of Brantford for many years by the H.O.P.E. for Mental Health CSI called "We Care":

The Welcome Basket

11.  The Complexities of Mental Health and Patient Disclosure to Families

How do healthcare providers steer the delicate path between patient confidentiality and involving families of adult patients in their care?

When Safety, Privacy, and Freedom Collide

12.  Access to Dental Care Should be a Part of Health Reform

This Op-Ed lays out the business case for doing so:

Health Reform in Ontario Must Include Oral Care


13.  Is There a Link Between CIty Life and Psychosis?

This story summarizes research on the subject:

Does City Life Pose a Risk to Mental Health?

14.  Drug Found in Magic Mushrooms Shows Promise in Treating Depression

Imagine a treatment using a single dosage, that shows symptom relief after one week, and has some  patients in complete remission after 3 months:

Magic Mushroom Drug Lifts Depression in Human Trial

15.  Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario Spring Newsletter

The CAHO Catalyst issue includes an article on the use of research in the community mental health and addictions sector to advance care:

CAHO Spring 2016 Catalyst:  The Value of Health System Research


16.  Canadians Believe Personal Well-being Can Come from a New Job and Career

The nature and meaning of work is discussed in this article:

It's Not Just a Paycheque:  Finding Happiness Through Employment

17.  26 Pieces of Advice Between Peers

From the newsletter, the Mighty, comes this "listicle" of 26 hints to cope when one's mental health isn't all that great:

26 Pieces of Advice That Has Actually Helped People with Mental Illness

18.   "Nobody has a Right to Happiness"

This Irish psychologist has wise counsel to share in this commentary.

19.  What Works Best in Building Up Mental Health?

This psychology professor posits that earning self-compassion is better than improving one's self-esteem:

Why Self-Compassion Works Better than Self-Esteem


20.  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

21.  Pat Capponi Receives Order of Canada From Governor General

A column by the Toronto Star's Catherine Porter when she heard about the honour:

Pat Capponi's Order of Canada Recognizes Advocacy for Mentally Ill

22.  CCSA and the National Recovery Advisory Committee Launch Life in Recovery Survey (repeat)

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.

23.  Job Postings

A Peer Outreach Worker is sought by CMHA Haliburton, Kawartha, Pineridge.
23.  Health Quality Ontario 5th Annual Conference

Health Quality Transformation 2016 Presents Quality Matters on October 20th in Toronto. To learn more about submitting an abstract (June 22nd deadline), please see this.

24.  AMHO Community of Practice June 1

In conjunction with the AMHO Conference taking place May 29 - 31, the Community of Practice is now available for registration.

25.  Overdose Awareness and Prevention:  A Workshop for Front Line and Peer Workers

Wednesday, June 1/16
1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Space is limited
REGISTER:   harmreductionTO@gmail.com


In this interactive workshop we’ll cover:

  •          Experiences of overdose
  •          Risks of overdose and how to mitigate these
  •          How to spot an overdose – opiates and stimulants
  •          Responding to overdose, including the use of Naloxone
  •          Talking to clients about use, risks, overdose
  •          Why your agency and other places in your community need an overdose protocol
  •          Emerging issues & trends   

Presenters/facilitators: CHRN Staff and Peer Educators

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.