OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #497 September 16, 2016

Highlights include:Throne Speech Analyses; Forced Psychiatric Treatment in the Courts;  Social Assistance Rates Updates; Apply for Quality-of-Care Committees; Ministry of Citizenship Partnership Grants; 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.  Ontario Throne Speech Resets Legislative Agenda, Does Not Mention Mental Health or Disabilities as Priorities

The text of the speech by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario is here.

We forward reactionsfrom the Ontario NonProfit Network, AODA Alliance, and CMHA Ontario.

What's Happened in the Ontario Legislature

Strong Effective AODA

Throne Speech Short on Mental Health Promises

Part of the charm about "proroguing" the Legislature is being able to reintroduce the same government bills again:

Ontario Reintroduces Affordable Housing Bill

2.  Ontario Newsroom

The province will create pilot programs to enable victims of domestic violence to find housing faster and be able to pay for it readily:

Ontario Establishes Portable Housing Benefit to Help Survivors of Domestic Violence

Despite the tough language in this press release, it appears the government's approach to sexual abuse by doctors (namely, the fundamental rejection of an independent investigating authority) has not been met with universal approval (press release and media story):

Ontario Taking Action to Prevent Sexual Abuse of Patients

Province Won't Promise to Create MD Sex-Abuse Watchdog

3.  Two Important Legal Steps Around Forced Psychiatric Treatment

Brian's Law, which introduced community treatment orders to Ontario, has been upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeals:

Ontario's Highest Court Says Brian's Law is Constitutional

In B.C. the constitutional soundness of forced psychiatric treatment is being contested:

B.C. Patients Launch Court Challenge over Forced Psychiatric Treatment

4.  Social Assistance Rates Update

Thanks to the Income Security Advocacy Clinic for outlining the new Social Assistance Rates and the Ontario Child Benefit effective October 1, 2016

OW and ODSP Rates and the OCB -- 2016

A related Op-Ed points out the very slow pace of reform in Ontario:

Ontario Social Assistance Doesn't Meet Basic Human Needs

5.  Ontario Federal MP Admits to Depression

Her honest first-person account has won accolades:

MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes Describes the Challenges of Coping with Depression

6.  Judge Begins Review of Civilian Watchdogs of Police Oversight

In light of the spate of police shootings of racialized persons with mental health issues, this seems like a good time to shine light on police oversight:

Civilian Review of Ontario Police "A Perfect Storm of Review"

7.  Researchers Describe Need for Safe Injection Sites in Ottawa

Lobby continues to make this a reality in a city with a problem:

Ottawa Needs Multiple Supervised Injection Sites, Researchers Say

8.  Risks of Opioid Overdose for First Responders

Carrying out a drug bust now comes with its own health risks, and the need to carry antidotes for opioid poisoning:

11 Connecticut Cops Sickened During Heroin and Fentanyl Bust

9.  A Personal Account of Concussion-Induced Depression

All it took was for a busboy's load of plates in a restaurant to connect with her head -- with unsettling consequences:

My Concussion Triggered a Deep Depression I never saw Coming


10.  PSACC's Certification Handbook, Version 3

The third version of this handbook, released April 2016, explains the process by which one may apply to be certified as a peer support worker in Canada.

11.  Is it Possible Antipsychotics' Side-effects are not being Sufficiently Reported?

In this blog entry by a group of British mental health professionals who cite an Australian survey of mental health services, that may well be the case:

12.  Cochrane Review Asserts that E-Cigarettes Prevents Smoking; Teenager Survey Says Otherwise

The executive summary and a link to the resrach appears here:

Conclusions about the Effects of  Electronic Cigarettes Remains the Same

Health Canada's Survey of Tobacco, Alcohol , and Drug Use reaches the opposite conclusion:

E-Cigarettes "May be a Gateway to Kids that May Otherwise not be Smoking"

13.  Grants Ontario:  Minister of Citizenship Partnership Grant Program

If you are a non-profit agency and have a funding proposal related to:  Program Evaluation; Inclusive Leadership; or Volunteer Management, check out this opportunity (deadline is October 5th).


14.  OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials ™ Training Expectations Webinar
OPDI is offering the Training Expectations webinar for OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials Program on Wednesday, October 19th from 12:00pm – 1:00pm.  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 and the information to login will be sent to you.

15.   Announcement of Toronto OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials ™ Training

Please see the attachment for exciting details about the November 21 – 25, 2016 training program taking place in Toronto.  The registration form is enclosed.  For more information, please email opdi@opdi.org
Please note: this training requires a minimum of 10 participants to run.

16.  Important:  Consumer Representatives Should Consider Applying for these Quality-of-Care Committees

Health Quality Ontario is assembling committees to establish quality standards in:  Opioid Use Disorder, Opioid Prescribing for Pain; and Schizophrenia Care in the Community.  Learn more and apply here.

17.  Health Quality Transformation 2016

On October 20, Health Quality Ontario will host Health Quality Transformation (HQT2016) in Toronto, featuring over 20 breakout sessions that have been developed to align with how to build a quality system, and support the advancement of a just, patient-centred, and high performing health system.  Register here

18.  Job Postings

The Workman Centre for the Arts is looking for a Visual Arts Coordinator.
Peer Support Accreditation and Certification (Canada) is looking for a Certification Coordinator.
19.  "Mad Studies" Professor Jijian Voronka to Give Talk

The subject is "Madness in the Methods:  Mad Studies, Storytelling, and the Politics of Peer Inclusion:

It takes place in Toronto Tuesday, September 26th between 12 pm and 1:30 pm here.


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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.