OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #505 November 30, 2016

Highlights include: Hospitals Get $140M; Ontario Auditor-General Report Includes Chapters on Community Mental Health and Specialty Psychiatric Hospitals; "The Cost of Poverty in Toronto" Report; RADAR Project Sees Documentaries Produced by PWLE; Hilary M. Weston Scholarship; 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.


CLARIFICATION:  OPDI's Definition of Peer Support
It has come to our attention that OPDI’s definition of "peer support" is not always being used in its entirety.  The definition was created and adopted by the membership of OPDI.  It may be quoted or shared only in its entirety, without alteration or editing, and with credit being given to OPDI.  We have attached a slide for clarification.  Thank you.


1.  Ontario Newsroom

a)  Public Input for Upcoming Provincial Budget Wanted

You can use the online consultation tool at "Budget Talks" to offer your ideas.  The government will fund up to 8 ideas for a total of $3 million for the 2017 Budget:

Ontario Seeking Public Input to Develop the 2017 Budget

b)  Legislation Associated with Mini-Budget Outlined

The modest budget measures announced in last week's mini-budget have been put forth as an omnibus housekeeping bill:

Province Introduces Legislation to Build up Ontario for Everyone

2.  Bill 41 "Patients First" Goes Through Legislative Hearings

This Bill has received 4 days to date of deputations before the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly.  We have enclosed the link to the November 14th transcript which includes submissions from the Ontario Medical Association, Patients Canada, and Home Care Ontario.

3.  Federal-Provincial Opioids Summit

We have a selection of stories from the November 18th meeting:

Medical Experts Urge Canada to Declare Public Emergency over Opioid Crisis

"Breaking Bad" is the Reality

Health Minister Says Legislative Changes Coming "To Turn the Tide" in Opioid Crisis

Pain Doctors and Patients Say They were Shut Out of Opioid Conference in Ottawa

The video of the proceedings is available here.

4.  New Report on Canadian Opioid Use Spurs Federal Promise to Gather More Data

The recently released CIHI (Canadian Institute for Health Information) does not offer full data of how many people are admitted to hospital because of opioid overdoses or even the misuse of fentanyl as a street drug:

We have a web page with a link to the report and two news reports:

13 Canadians Hospitalized Each Day for Opioid Poisoning

ER Doctor Surprised to Learn Saskatchewan has Highest Hospitalization Rate Due to Opioid Poisoning

B.C. Has Second-Highest Hospitalization Rate for Opioid Painkiller Poisonings

5.  Addictions Doctor:  It is Not Advisable to Stop Opioid Use Cold Turkey

The advice from CAMH  scientist Dr. Peter Selby is this:  "prescribe opioids less often, for shorter periods, with smaller doses" and also to consider alternate methods of pain management:

Doctors' Notes:  Stopping Opioid Use Completely will only Cause More Problems

6.  Solitary Confinement in Ontario Correctional Institutions (Update)

Headlines have been rife with stories about Adam Capay and his 4 years in solitary confinement:

Jail Records of Adam Capay's Stay in Solitary Confinement Lack Key Information

It now emerges that a previous inmate kept in that same cell died in the same segregation cell:

Ontario Ignored Warnings on Solitary Confinement

7.  Health Quality Ontario Surveys Emergency Departments

The report emphasizes several themes:  shorter wait times in ER, but longer waits for a hospital bed; older patients with more complex needs; and some quality improvement measures (in the case of persons with a mental health issue, the innovative practice of streaming them to a specialized area was cited):

The report can be accessed here with a Canadian Press story:

Emergency Department Report

Shorter Wait Times Reported at Ontario Hospital Emergency Departments

8.  Opposing Viewpoints on Using Tasers

In light of the fatal Taser incident involving a man with the Toronto Police Force, the Toronto Star editorial board wants all officers to have them.  In a published letter to the editor, Pat Capponi speaks forcefully on why de-escalation is better, and why having Tasers might negate the benefit of that training:

Police Need More Tasers:  Editorial

De-Escalation, not Tasers, is Needed

9.  Federal Government to Restrict Youth Access to Vaping

The dual purpose:  prevent young people from becoming addicted to nicotine, while allowing adults to access a less harmful form of tobacco use.  We have a Health Canada press release and a media story:

Government of Canada Introduces New Tobacco and Vaping Products Legislation

Vaping, E-cigarettes to be Regulated by Health Canada

10.  American Surgeon General Releases Landmark Report on Substance Use

The intent of issuing the first ever report on addiction is to both issue a call to action and to change the conversation from considering substance use as a "character flaw" to a a focus on treatment and research:

U.S. Surgeon General Issues 1st-Ever Report on Substance Abuse

11.  Mississauga Halton Region Enhancing and Sustaining Peer Initiative (Video) (repeat)

UPDATED LINK       https://youtu.be/cEmEJ-u9iCU
We are very excited to launch the video highlighting this progressive peer initiative. This is an extraordinary time for peer support and the engagement of lived and family expertise. The Mississauga Halton LHIN invested resources to provide paid peer positions into the health care system.  Forty paid peer positions are embedded across 11 Health Service Providers (HSPs), including mental health, additions, community agencies and hospitals. The initiative is led by Support & Housing-Halton through its peer support initiative TEACH.  Integration of the new peer support programs have occurred through community collaboration, partnerships and innovative practices in program development and management.  Please read the PDF for more details.


12.  Innovative Practice:  Interagency Partnership and New Funding for Dedicated Crisis Bed

Read this press release to find out how Hamilton's Rapid Mobile Crisis Response Team, Social Navigator Program, and Good Shepherd's Barrett Centre fro Crisis Support are collaborating to offer non-hospital crisis support to people going through a hard time:

News Release

13.  Blog Reminds Ontario Organizations of New Accessibility Deadlines January 1, 2017

Find out what ongoing standards are to be in place by next year:

Full Accessibility in Ontario?  It's Going to Take a lot of (Already Delayed) Work

14.  Innovative Practice:  Screening for Poverty by Family Doctors

This profile of a Toronto family health team is instructive.  One of the ways physicians can tease out the linkage between poverty and chronic disease is to analyze where people live (their postal code) and then pro-actively ask pre-screened individuals if they needed to be connected to a case worker for help with issues such as filing income taxes, access to community services, and in certain cases, advocate for clients (such as obtaining medication at no charge):

Toronto Doctor Screening for Poverty Using Postal Codes to Make Patients' Lives Better


15.  Registration for the Mississauga Halton Peer Knowledge Exchange Event on December 7th is now OPEN!

Please refer to this poster for the details of this exciting event on Wednesday December 7th in Oakville at the Holiday Inn near the GO Station.  You can register here.

16.  December 2016 ODSP Peer Navigator Groups Now Accepting Registrations

Please refer to the web page at the Self-Help Resource Centre for more about these two groups beginning December 8 or December 9.

17.  Caledon Institute Releases its Annual Report on Welfare in Canada

"Welfare in Canada 2015" offers provincial scans of social assistance benefits and analyzes whether they are sufficient to ward off poverty:

Welfare in Canada 2015

18.  David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility (repeat)

If you know an organization or an individual who has gone above and beyond in improving access for persons with disabilities, you may want to know more here, where the application forms can be downloaded (deadline to apply is December 3).

19.  Job Postings

CMHA Middlesex is advertising its Peer Support Program Manager position.

Sound Times Support Services (Toronto) -- a consumer/survivor initiative -- is looking for a Community Service Worker -- Case Management.

Rise Asset Development (Toronto) -- a social enterprise that offers microloans to entrepreneurs with lived experience -- seeks a Chief Operating Officer.
20.  "Strengthening Your Voice" Comes to Kingston (Empowering Persons and Families with Experience of Opioids to Share Stories)
In partnership with the Street Health Centre (a part of Kingston Community Health Centres), we will be bringing our very popular Strengthening Your Voice public speaking training to Kingston!
Strengthening Your Voice trains people with personal or family lived experience of problematic use of opioids in sharing their stories with others.  This training is inclusive of and honours all recovery choices (including methadone and other harm reduction options, abstinence, and 12-step approaches).

21.  "Not Criminally Responsible" and "Not Criminally Responsible:  Wedding Secrets"

The backgrounder to these matching pair of documentaries can be found in this Toronto Star feature:

The Stabber, the Victim, the Lost Son, and the Wedding

"Not Criminally Responsible" is available for viewing here.

"Not Criminally Responsible:  Wedding Secrets" will be broadcast Thursday, November 24th at 9 pm and made available online,  The holding page for the video is 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.