OPDI NewsToGo Issue #485 June 3, 2016
Highlights include: Patients First Act Legislation; Mental Health and Student Debt; 10 Years after the Kirby Report; Health Quality Ontario Drafts Mental Health Standards and Want Feedback; Jobs; News; and More.
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NEWS AND OPINIONS
1. Important Legislation Seeks to Integrate Health Care and Eliminate CCACs
The "Patients First Act" comes after months of consultations following a discussion paper that foreshadowed this legislation. A followup discussion paper is the companion to the proposed legislation. Outcomes from these changes are supposed to result in better access, closer coordination and continuity of care with better cultural and linguistically appropriate services. The press release is here. The legislation is here.
A news story and a commentary summarize the changes:
Reforms Will Make Ontario Health Care More Seamless
Ontario's Bold Bet on Healthcare Reform
We have reaction from the Opposition (both PC and NDP health critics are quoted):
LHINs "A Disaster" -- MPP
2. Ontario Funds Toronto LGBTQ2S Youth Crisis Counselling Centre
The province is contributing $1.5 million dollars with its focus on homeless youth who avoid traditional services because of homophobia and transphobia:
Ontario Supports LGBTQ2S Crisis Counselling
3. Ontario Passes Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act
There will be an Ontario Retirement Pension Plan with enrollment beginning in January 2017 and contributions made by employees and employers beginning in January 2018:
Ontario Passes Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act
This news story examines the ongoing question of whether the federal CPP will be reformed and if so, how it might affect the nascent ORPP:
Ontario to Forge Ahead with ORPP if no Deal Reached on CPP: Wynne
4. Ontario Continues Focus on Anti-Smoking Strategy
The province announced a series of measures including increased funding and the Heather Crowe Awards recipients in recognition of the 10th anniversary of their smoking cessation strategy:
Helping More Ontarians Quit Smoking
5. Ontario's Residential School Apology
In step with the announced indigenous peoples healthcare strategy announced last week, the Ontario government also formally apologized for the past practices of past governments of "cultural genocide":
Ontario's Formal Residential School Apology Sets Precedent: Indigenous Leaders
6. The Significance of the Federal Transgender Legislation
Susan Gapka co-authored this Op-Ed about the recent tabling of trans rights legislation in the House of Commons:
It's About Time the Federal Government Stood Up for Transgender Canadians
7. Toronto Judge Won't Press Legal Action Until Government Pays for Defendant's Lawyer
A person on trial in court who had been denied Legal Aid has found out that his charges are being halted by the judge until the government offers financial assistance for a lawyer; the judge moreover had words about the unrealistic thresholds for eligibility for Legal Aid:
Ontario Judge Halts Charges Against Man Until Government Pays for Lawyer
Here's more from the lawyers' perspective:
Nordheimer Calls Legal Aid Cutoffs Unrealistic
This is what Legal Aid Ontario had to say on their website:
Update on Financial Eligibility Certificate Processes
8. Mental Health of Students Affected by Debt
Schools Look to Address Mental Health Effect of Student Debt
9. The Pros and Cons of Coroner's Inquests
The author of this piece makes the conclusion that a coroner's inquest avoids the question of accountability that would be raised in a criminal court:
Why Coroner's Inquests in Ontario isn't as Useful as You Think
10. 10 Years After the Kirby Report: Much Left to be Done
This interview with one of the senators from the original Kirby Commission looks at what has transpired in the last decade -- and the funding recommendations that have not yet come to pass:
Why the Kirby Report on Mental Health Still Matters: Senator Jane Cordy
11. Peer-Based Hospital Transitional Discharge at CAMH
The Welcome Basket program is profiled in this blog entry:
Helping Transform Hospital Discharges
12. Loneliness Viewed Through the Lens of a Health Reporter
For André Picard, the Globe and Mail health reporter, social isolation is an underestimated determinant of health:
All the Lonely People
RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS AND RESOURCES
13. Health Quality Ontario Seeks Feedback on Draft Mental Health Standards
This provincial health agency has drafted Quality Standards for three mental health conditions: Schizophrenia, Serious Depression and Dementia. They are looking for feedback. Each of the three comes with a quality standard and a patient reference guide. You are invited to email feedback by June 14, 2016.
14. Toronto Star highlights Youth Psychosis and Marijuana
The Liberals campaigned for marijuana legalization on the basis of keeping the drug out of younger people's hands. Here is a summary of the latest research:
Pot Psychosis Linked to Early "Dangerous" Use
Another political signal that the federal government will taking a cautious reform approach is the appointment of a former Justice and Health Minister from the Chretien government, who did not take action on marijuana reform:
New Hire is a Sign Ottawa is Taking a Strict Line on Recreational Marijuana
15. Do Opioids Have a Role to Play in Mood Regulation?
This columnist (a practicing psychiatrist) wonders:
Are Opioids the Next Antidepressants?
Lest we get ahead of ourselves, the confirmation of Prince's death from an overdose of fentanyl raises some questions:
Fentanyl and Other Opioids for Chronic Pain Put Patients on a Dangerous Slope
16. The Promise of Smart Drugs (not Caffeine)
A drug used for treatment of sleep disorder can also provide greater focus, alertness and creativity for people who take it:
Time to Wise Up to Smart Drugs
ADVICE (NOT PEER-REVIEWED)
17. Humourous Video Reminds Us Google is not your Doctor
When You Look Up Your Symptoms Online
18. Take it Easy with the Use of Social Media
Are we fabricating unrealistically cheerful personalities online?
Social Media is Proving a Detriment to our Mental Health
19. "How Not to be Hard on Yourself"
This simple poster has been shared 38 times and received almost 4,000 impressions on OPDI's FB.
OPPORTUNITIES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
20. Crisis Worker Conference in Burlington June 17 - 19
For information and registration on the "Making Change" conference, please visit the website.
21. Sharing Your Voice Workshop for Persons and Families with Lived Experience of Opioids (repeat)
Check out this poster on attending a public speaking workshop Tuesday, June 28th with Sean Leblanc (Drug Users Advocacy League, Ottawa) and Betty Lou Kristy (family advocate, Halton). Breakfast, lunch, honorarium and travel costs are covered for participants.
22. Job Postings
The Toronto peer initiative Sound Times is hiring a full-time Community Service Worker.
23. PSR/RPS Conference in Thunder Bay June 21-22
As well, there will be a Pre-Conference Institute June 20 featuring Pat Deegan and Karyn Baker. Full details and registration information are available here.
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