OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #493 August 5, 2016

Highlights include: OPDI 2016 Conference/AGM Program and Registration; PSACC Peer Support Certification Information Session and PSACC Exam Offered during OPDI Conference; Bob Rae; Black Lives Matter and the Psychiatric Survivor Movement; Nova Scotia Offers Medical Test Results Via Smartphone; 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. Past OPDI President and Board Member Allan Strong Shares His Summer Vacation Pictures

Since it's August, NTG feels it's appropriate to celebrate vacation time (as an expression of self-care) and acknowledge some of the people who've contributed to the past 25 years of our history:

2. Ontario Newsroom

This feature will return next week due to the sparseness of material to cover.

3.  Special Focus:  Police and the Mentally Ill (next week)

We have had the Forcillo sentencing, and the death of a racialized person with mental health issues by Ottawa Police.  We will offer extensive coverage in next week's issue.

4.  Memories from the Past:  Bob Rae

In this automated close-captioned video, Bob Rae talks openly about his battle with depression in his university days (video at 2:30).  The former premier funded the former Consumer/Survivor Development Initiative in 1991 as an anti-recession strategy.  Since then he has been more open about his past and been a forceful advocate on mental health:

One Take:  Bob Rae

5.  Innovative Practice:  Nova Scotia Online Portal Offers Patients Medical Test Results Via Smartphone

Patient empowerment are two words that spring to mind when reading this story:

Nova Scotia Launches New System to Deliver Health Test Results Via Smartphone

6.  Black Lives Matter and the Psychiatric Survivor Movement

In this "Mad in America" blog entry, prominent advocate Will Hall pieces together the connections between the psychiatric survivor movement against the backdrop of the civil rights movement in the United States, and then advances the argument further:

Why Mental Health Organizations Should Endorse the Movement for Black Lives

7.  Employment and Persons with Disabilities

These two articles illustrate the obstacles that persons who are differently abled experience in trying to enter and remain in the workplace:

Why So Many Canadians with Disabilities are Overeducated and Underemployed

Employment for People with Disabilities is Dire

Needing Hearing Aids as a Child, I Found the Outside World Insensitive.  Now I am Fighting Ableism.


8.  Allan Strong Ponders the Future of Peer Support at the Cottage

9.  A Primer in AD/HD and Adults

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in adults is explained here:

Adult AD/HD:  A Debilitating Condition that's Often Missed

10.  Two Opposing Diagnoses of Donald Trump

A prominent American psychiatrist say DT is not crazy and (rightfully) throwing labels around only stigmatizes the mentally ill:

Donald Trump is Breaking Bad, not Clinically Mad

New York TImes Columnist David Brooks (a Toronto native, believe it or not) and a history major, believes he has "medium-grade" mania, the first reference NTG has seen that describes DT as bipolar:

Trump's Enablers Will Finally Have to Take a Stand


11.  OPDI Thanks Allan Strong For Sharing Peer-to-Peer (Pier-to-Pier)!

12.  A Valuable Piece of Computer Advice for Windows Operating Non-Techies and Techies Alike

Do you ever despair of switching to a new computer and wished you could transfer all your software without hunting for the CDs and passwords from the old one?

This free and reputable PC program has been a lifesaver for NTG as it prepares to retire its current machine but wishes to retain all its productivity software.  It searches for registration information and passkeys and does it very well.  Just in time for back-to-school season.

Belarc Advisor -- Free Personal PC Audit

13.   Top 12 Parenting Mistakes

If a childhood grounded in solid empathetic parenting contributes to optimum mental health as one grows up, it stands to reason that these mistakes detailed in this article may contribute to the opposite:

Top 12 Parenting Mistakes You May Not Be Aware Of That Have Negative Impact on Kids

14.  "Friends are Like Walls (from Facebook)


15.  OPDI 2016 "Mobilizing Support" Conference and AGM Package Now Available!  Register Today!

Our conference package is now available and also be posted on our Facebook page and on Twitter, and made available on our website and NewsToGo.  This is a great time to follow us and learn what we are about in this, our 25th anniversary.  You also benefit from gaining more insight into the peer support movement in Ontario, as well what your fellow mental health and addiction stakeholders in Ontario are up to.  BTW, NTG is approaching 500 subscribers!

16.  Important Opportunities to Learn about Peer Support Certification and to Write the PSACC Exam During the OPDI Conference/AGM

For the PS Certification Information session, register:


To register in advance (note the deadline date), register:




17.  OPDI Lighthouse Awards for 2016 (repeat)

Join the likes of past winners such as Theresa Claxton and Canada Post who have been among past winners of the OPDI Lighthouse Awards.  Find out how to apply through our website.

18.  E-QIP Community Mental Health and Addiction Sector Quality Improvement Initiative
E-QIP is an 18-month partnership project with CMHA Ontario, Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO) and Health Quality Ontario (HQO) aimed at building capacity and enhancing quality improvement practices within Ontario’s community mental health and addictions sector. The initiative will be taking positive steps forward in ensuring that clients are provided with the best possible services and outcomes when receiving care and support from community mental health and addictions agencies. The project will also support the dedicated and skilled services providers within the sector to improve the quality of services provided to their clients through education, training, and resources relating to implementing quality improvement methods.
If you are interested in learning more about E-QIP or viewing the recent webinar on the upcoming resource and training opportunities, please visit the E-QIP activities page.

(Thanks to CMHA Ontario in advance for sharing from their e-newsletter Mental Health Notes).

19.  Job Postings

NISA is resuming its Executive Director search to fill the qualified shoes of Shana Calixte, who has moved on to the North East LHIN as the Mental Health and Addictions Lead.

CMHA York and South SImcoe is hiring a variety of Peer Support Specialists.  Please check out their competition.  Other positions are also available; check Charity Village.

20.  CONNECT for Mental Health (London) Summer Wellness Event

CONNECT for Mental Health, a London-based not-for-profit organization providing Outreach and Peer Support services, is proud to present their First Annual "Wellness By The Water" family event.
In support of CONNECT, this event is a family one, aimed at promoting wellness in mental health. There will be games and activities for the kids, a BBQ, silent auction as well as vendors and demonstrations related to managing day-to-day stresses and overall mental health.

Experience and explore Yoga, Mediation, Indian Head Massage, Shiatsu Massage, Adult Colouring and Painting, Aromatherapy, Acupuncture, Essential Oils, Inspirational Products, Professional Wellness Coach and more!

Tickets are $10 per adult and kids under 18 are free. Tickets include entry to the park (a $13 value) Tickets can be purchased online at www.connectformh.ca or for more information or inquiries, email tickets@connectformh.ca.

They also have a special message:
Help us to Help Others.
Sadly, there are many individuals in our community who simply cannot afford the low price of $10 for a ticket to our "Wellness By The Water" event, but they would no doubt benefit greatly from the day out, the exposure to resources and the opportunity to connect with others.
If you cannot attend but would like to do something, why not consider purchasing a ticket(s) and letting us know you are donating them to those less fortunate and we'll ensure that your ticket goes to someone who will benefit from it.
Simply purchase tickets through our website and leave us a note at the time of the transaction, or email us at tickets@connectformh.ca and let us know you'd like to donate to those less fortunate.
Thanks for your Kindness!!
(NewsToGo has done so for a very worthy cause; CONNECT at last report was still waiting for its LHIN to confirm funding for the fiscal year.)

21. Deadline Extended for Helmut Braun Award (from CCBR e-newsletter)

CCBR is accepting applications until August 5, 2016 for its annual Helmut Braun Memorial Award, a $1000.00 scholarship available to post-secondary students in financial need. The award was first established in 2001, in memory of Helmut Braun, a social activist and researcher at CCBR. To learn more about this scholarship and to download the application form, click here.
22. Video game Creation Workshop Opportunity (Only "Crazies" Need Apply)

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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.