OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #502 November 8, 2016

Highlights include:Ontario Basic Income Pilot Consultation; Jury Trauma Counselling; Prescription Opioids Policy; Shelter Research Reduces Homelessness (Dr. Forchuk); "Measuring Recovery" MHCC Webinar; Jobs; News; and More.


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1.  Ontario Newsroom

a)  Important Changes to Social Assistance Recipients and Drug Coverage (repeat)

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)  Ontario Creates Dedicated Mental Health Unit at Adult Female Correctional Institution

This facility will be located in Brampton:

Ontario to Open First Dedicated Mental Health Unit for Adult Female Inmates

c)  More provincial funding to address homelessness has been announced:

Province Combating Homelessness in Ontario Communities

d)  Ontario to Launch Basic Income Pilot

The press release is requesting online input and includes a link to the report's executive summary by former Senator Hugh Segal, which as a discussion paper describes the ideal parameters of the test project.

There is a limited opportunity (first come first serve) to register online for regional consultations.

The CBC had an interview with Senator Segal.

The Globe and Mail's Andre Picard applies a health perspective to the idea of basic income:

Basic Income is not just about Work, it is about Health

2.  Ontario Jurors to Receive Trauma Counselling

Jury duty in the case of violent crimes can be extremely emotionally upsetting; after a CBC reported on a juror's experience (he had to pay for his own counselling), the Ministry of the Attorney General announced action:

Traumatized Ontario Jurors Get New Program for Free Counselling

A previous report also inteviewed the judge from the Paul Bernardo trial, who used his discretion to offer counselling to the jurors then:

Paul Bernardo Trial Judge Says Province should Help Traumatized Jurors

3.  Phoenix Survivors (Stratford CSI) Obtains Donation from Paramedics

Find out how a donation targeted for PSTD made its way to a peer support organization:

Paramedics Give Financial Boost to Phoenix Survivors

3.  Private Drug Rehab Facilities in Canada can be Problematic

With demand outstripping supply, families of substance users can end up making unwise choices in treatment facilities; this report looks at the lack of qualifications required to set one up:

Canada's Private Drug Rehab Industry is Unregulated Chaos

4.  Ontario Doctors Over-prescribing Opioids Under Investigation

We have the lead story and a reaction from a physician who works at a pain clinic on what it means for patients:

86 Ontario Doctors Investigated for Large Opioid Prescriptions

Pain Specialist Questions Crackdown on Opioids Prescriptions

5.  CAMH Proposes New Prescription Opioids Policy Framework

We have a link to the CAMH website with press release and two media articles:

Dealing with Canada's Opioid Crisis

Addiction Experts Call for National Opioids Strategy as Deaths Rises

CAMH Calls for Review to Combat Opioid Addiction, Overdoses

6.  Applying for Canadian Pension Plan Disability Benefits May Just Have Gotten Better

The federal government has promised new minimum standards for people applying for benefits and appealing decisions:

Government of Canada Announces New CPP Disability Service Standards

7.  Update on Ontario Solitary Confinement Policy

The province has appointed current federal Corrections Ombudsman Howard Sapers to review the practice of "administrative segregation":

Howard Sapers to Lead Ontario Segregation Review

8.  Sexual Abuse Underlies Mental Health and Addictions Issues in First Nations Communities

This Canadian Press feature interviews many stakeholders in the process of profiling this difficult topic:

Sold for a Bottle of Beer

9.  Dr. Cheryl Forchuk's Research into London Shelters Reduces Homelessness

Read how taking a holistic approach to problem-solving why families in need end up at the city's shelter was able to uncover root causes:

Homelessness:  Families About to Lose their Homes can Avoid Shelters, a London Project Proves

10.  "Punitive Psychiatry" -- How Russia Handles Political Dissent

It is important to note that healthcare professionals there were reacting to political orders:

Russia Targets Dissidents with Punitive Psychiatry

11.  Assisted Dying and Mental Health:  The European Perspective

Two countries in Europe now permit euthanasia for people who have a mental diagnosis, some at a young age (20's and 30's); this Op-Ed raises the question of the ethics dilemma facing psychiatrists:

Europe's Morality Crisis:  Euthanizing the Mentally Ill


12.  The Science of Poverty and Mental Health

The (obvious) linkages between poverty and mental health, and ongoing research to analyze what improves one or the other is examined here:

Can Poverty Lead to Mental Illness?

13.  Movember, Men, and Mental Health

If you are not aware, this is Movember month, where a monthly mustache emerges from usually clean-shaven folk. The Huffington Post took this opportunity to lay out the differences in which men express symptoms of depression:

How Men Experience Depression Differently than Everyone Else

14.  Being Worried But Well -- Leads to Illness

A Norwegian study tracking people over a dozen years found that people who were healthy but worried about their health were more likely to experience heart disease:

"Worried Well" Really do Make Themselves Ill, Study Suggests

15.  The Iatrogenic (Negative) Effects of Psychiatric Drugs

The "Mad in America" blog entry looks at an Australian paper that offers a sobering summary of how prescribed drugs that can help can also harm patients:

When Psychiatric Medications Cause Psychiatric Symptoms

16.  If You Take Medications, Avoid these 4 Foods

Grapefruit, kale, cheese, and bananas should be approached with caution:

Eat, Drink, but be Wary -- 4 Foods that Interact with Medications

17.   Resource:  Ontario Health Jargon Demystified (repeat)

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

18.  Health Quality Ontario Releases Standards of Care for Depression, Schizophrenia and Dementia (repeat)

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.


19.   Financial Assistance for Low-Income Hydro Users

This webpage has details on the OESP (monthly credit to hydro bill) and LEAP (one-time emergency grant assistance).

20.  Accessibility Committee Members Sought (repeat)

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.

21.  Job Postings

Stella's Place (Toronto) is hiring an Online Peer Support Lead.

22. Assessing the Needs of Racialized Populations

Sign up for this webinar to explore how you can use the Ontario Common Assessment of Need to better serve racialized individuals in your practice, which takes place Friday, November 25th from 1 - 3 pm.

23.  MHCC Recovery-Oriented Practice Webinar
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is hosting a series of freeRecovery-Oriented Practice webinars on the third Thursday of every month at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Sign up  for this month’s recovery-oriented practice webinar on Thursday, November 17th, 2016. Consistent measurement and evaluation of recovery practices remains a common challenge within the mental health field. Join Dr. Skye Barbicin a discussion on the use and implementation of the Personal Recovery Outcome Measure (PROM) how measurement can inform evidence-based meaningful care.   Hear from Mimi Rennie about how the PROM has been implemented at CMHA Vancouver – Fraser Branch.  The webinar titled "Measuring Recovery" takes place November 17th between 1 - 2:30 pm ET..

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