OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #501 October 28, 2016

Highlights include: Background to Federal and Provincial Health Discussions; Ontario Opioid Strategy; Review of Segregation Practices; OHRC Alcohol and Drug Testing Policy; MHCC Makes the Case


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 Newsroom

a)  Important Changes to Social Assistance Recipients and Drug Coverage

If you are on social assistance (ODSP, Ontario Works), the monthly drug card is being discontinued after December 1.  After that date it will be necessary to present an OHIP card to obtain Ontario Drug Benefit coverage.

What it means is that having an OHIP Card after December 1st is a very good idea.  You can learn how to get one here.

Please refer to correspondence directed to clients and healthcare professionals for full details.

b)  The flu season is underway, and so is the province's free flu shot available from healthcare providers and at the pharmacy.  Here's the link to find your nearest location.

c)  "Measuring Up", the annual report of Health Quality Ontario was recently released.  You can read more about the finding and access a copy of the report here.

d)  Thirty local projects funded by the Local Poverty Reduction Fund were announced tailored to targeted marginalized populations:

Ontario Helping Lift People out of Poverty

2.  Ontario Creating Patient and Family Advisory Council

The goal of the Patient and Family Advisory Council is to give a voice to clients, patients, and caregivers to health policy development.  You can find out more, including how to make an introductory contact to nominate someone to the council:

Ontario Establishing Patient and Family Advisory Council

3.  Accessibility Committee Members Sought

The Minister Responsible for Accessibility is looking for Standards Development Committee (SDC) members to develop a new accessibility standard for Health Care, and to review the Information & Communications and Employment Standards. You can read more and learn how to apply at the Facebook entry.

4.  Wrap-up of Coverage of Federal and Provincial Health Ministers' Meeting

Health Ministers Wrap up Tense Talks with No Agreement on Federal Health Funding

Mental Health Care a Priority for Liberals, but no Blank Cheques for the Provinces

Ottawa and the Provinces must be Equal Partners on Health Care (Analysis)

A New Front in the Federal-Provincial Health Funding Battle (Stakeholder Interviews)

Health Minister Jane Philpott's Facebook Entry (House of Commons Remarks)

5.  Ontario Human RIghts Commissioner Meets Individual in Solitary Custody for Four Years

Four Years in Solitary for Northern Ontario Inmate Shocks Ontario Human Rights Commissioner

Adam Capay has Spent Four Years in Solitary Confinement Without Trial

Inmate Held in Solitary Confinement for Four Years Moved to Better Cell

6.  Two Media Profiles of Stella's Place

The new peer-focused youth mental health centre was profiled by the CBC and the Canadian Jewish News.

7.  An Update on Ontario's Basic Income Project

A report by former Senator Hugh Segal is expected next week:

Ontario Report Touting Basic Income Likely to Target Middle-Aged Women, Disabled Adults for Most Help

8.  Two Punchy Critiques of Hallowe'en and Mental Illness Portrayals

We have a first person perspective and one from the viewpoint of advocates (in the United States) on the portrayal of mental illness and Halloween:

Mental Illness is not a Horror Show

Halloween Attractions Use Mental Illness to Scare Us.  Here's Why Advocates Say it Must be Stopped.

9.  General Romeo Dallaire Profiled as New Book Published

The former soldier is still coping with his PTSD as this interview shows:

Romeo Dallaire's New Memoir Explores His Battles with PTSD

In a related story, it is suggested that an anti-malarial drug given to Canaidan soldiers in Africa may be responsible for symptoms similar to PTSD:

Canadian Veterans Say Anti-Malarial Drug Prescribed in Somalia Ruined Lives

10.  "Brain on Drugs" Commercial Update; Shoppers Drug Mart Wants to Sell Marijuana

The CBC takes us back 30 years to a famous commercial by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and updates to the present:

"Brain on Drugs" Campaign Guy Now Supports Legalizing Marijuana

In related news, Shoppers Drug Mart has filed the paperwork necessary to apply to sell medical marijuana:

Shoppers Drug Mart Applies to Sell Medical Marijuana

Organized opposition to oppose loosening of American restrictions on legal marijuana is profiled here:

Inside Big Pharma's Fight to Block Recreational Marijuana

11.  Discharge Planning and the Homeless

In this Op-Ed piece, the co-authors make the point that hospitals are too quick to discharge people who are homeless (in part because they do not listen to the patient perspective), and the result is unwanted higher rates of readmission:  They also recommend a marginalized patient advocate position be created to advocate for these vulnerable patients:

Hospitals Discharge Homeless Patients too Quickly


12.  Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Considers Family Violence as Factor in Mental Health

In his yearly report, Doctor Gregory Taylor outlines the frequency and consequences of family violence.

13.   Resource:  Ontario Health Jargon Demystified

This is an invaluable compilation of healthcare terms provided by Health Quality Ontario -- nine pages in all:

A List of Healthcare Acronyms:  For Patient and Caregiver Advisors

14.  Health Quality Ontario Releases Standards of Care for Depression, Schizophrenia and Dementia

Quality standards have been published by HQO.  You can access the first three here.  Each of the topics contain the following:  a clinical guide, patient reference guide, tools and resources to support implementation and improvement, a PowerPoint presentation explaining why this standard is needed, and a technical index of indicators.

15. Health Quality Ontario  Introduces Patient Engagement Framework

This resource is geared to supporting service providers who are working with patients and families:

Patient Engagement Framework

Related to this is a separate menu of Patient Engagement Tools and Resources.

16.  Peer Recovery Coaches Being Used in American States to Fight Opioid Addiction

What seems to be a promising practice balanced against the need for "robust research" to demonstrate positive outcomes is a theme from this CNN report (complete with video):

Could Peer-Recovery Coaches Help Fight Drug Addiction Epidemic?

17.  B.C. Study Suggests a Third of Young People Drive Under Influence of Marijuana

This finding is based on a decade-long study:

B.C. Health Minister Worries about Prevalence of "Drugged Driving"

18.  Explaining that "Gut Feeling"

In this Toronto Star feature, a mix of anecdotes and science lay out what goes on behind our intuition:

The Science Behind Going with your Gut


19.  Toronto OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials ™ Training (LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER)

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.

20.  "Addressing Substance Use Institute" by RNAO (November 14-18) at North York Novotel
Please refer to this flyer for registration and more details.  OPDI ED Deb Sherman will be presenting about Recovery Oriented Approaches at this RNAO institute on Substance Use on November 18th along with representatives from the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.  As well, OPDI will participate in the Knowledge Fair on November 16th. (repeat)
21.  Job Postings

Stella's Place (Toronto) has 4 part-time online peer supporter positions available on contract for its Bean Bag online chat starting January 2017.  It is also recruiting a Peer Initiatives Manager and a Clinical and Recovery Services Manager.

CMHA Middlesex (London) is recruiting a part-time contract peer support worker.

Toronto North Support Services is advertising for a Peer Client Service Worker.

It has been two years since Diana Capponi passed away and CAMH is still searching for her replacement.  Read about the Employment Works! Coordinator posting here.(repeat)

22. Diana Capponi Educational Bursary (Deadline November 11)
The Diana Capponi Client Education Fund is now accepting applications. Please share this opportunity with your clients. The Diana Capponi bursary is a dedicated fund created last year in honour of our esteemed colleague and community activist. The fund is focused on client learning. The deadline is November 11th, please click here for more information about how to apply and the application form.
This bursary honours the work of Diana who was the inaugural Employment Works! Coordinator within the Human Resources Department, a position she held for over 10 years. She believed fervently that work not only provided a pay cheque but confidence and purpose as well. Furthermore, she felt confident that having people with lived experience and mental illness fill professional positions within the community, would help eliminate the stigma around mental illness.

Email the Empowerment Council (webpage here) if you wish to obtain an application.  Lucy is the person to contact.
23.  Ontario Trillium Foundation Announces Changes to Application Deadlines, Offers Dates for 2017

Please refer to the OTF webpage for those dates and an explanation for why the changes were made.

24.  First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Hotline Now Up and Running

Learn about this new 1-800 hotline and what kind of mental health counselling is available:

Mental Health Counselling Benefits

25.  Rendez-vous with Madness Film Festival November 4-12 in Toronto

Please refer to the schedule for more details.

26.  OPDI Nominating Committee Letter and Board Application
As you may be aware there are two vacant positions on the Board.  Please find attached a letter from the Nominating Committee Chair, Dylan de la Riviere and a Board application if you are interested in applying.  Please note the deadline date is TODAY.

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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.