OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #509 January 6, 2017

Highlights include: MHCC and OPDI Offer Recovery-Oriented Practice Webinar on "Integrating Peer Support with Integrity"; Health Transfer Talks Update; Innovative Practices (CSI Open During Holidays and Medical Offices in Retail Stores); Assisted Death and the Mentally Ill; Lay Workers and Mental Health; 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.


OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials Program - Webinar for Participants on Starting an Internship
Have you achieved the Level 1R in OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials™ in the past year or two and wondered about the next step -- the practicum to earn the final certificate?  Find out more about earning the final Certificate.  The next OPDI Peer Support Internship Webinar will be held Wednesday, January 11th from 12:00 - 1:00 pm.  If you have completed the OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials (TM) Program and have received a Level 1R you are invited to join if you wish.  Please e-mail opdi@opdi.org and the information to login will be sent to you.


1.  OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials Program - Webinar for Participants on Starting an Internship

Have you achieved the Level 1R in OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials™ in the past year or two and wondered about the next step -- the practicum to earn the final certificate?  Find out more about earning the final Certificate.  The next OPDI Peer Support Internship Webinar will be held Wednesday, January 11th from 12:00 - 1:00 pm.  If you have completed the OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials (TM) Program and have received a Level 1R you are invited to join if you wish.  Please e-mail opdi@opdi.org and the information to login will be sent to you.

2.  Ontario Newsroom

a)  Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister David Orazietti Resigns

His portfolio included overseeing the work of newly hired consultant Howard Sapers to review segregation and other practices.  He will be replaced temporarily by Labour Minister Kevin Flynn:

David Orazietti Resigns

3.  Health Transfer Talks Update

A total of three Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland) have reached side agreements with Ottawa on health transfers with provisions for dedicated mental health and homecare funding:

Here is the update on the two newest provinces that broke away from the united front to work with Ottawa on an updated health transfer agreement:

Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador Make Deals with Federal Government on Health

10 of 13 Provinces and Territories Call for Renewed Health Talks

Provinces Losing Ground on Health Bargaining:  Experts

Provincial Side Deals not Good for National Health Care

4.  Province Allows Social Assistance Recipients to Keep Entire Child Support Payments

The Income Security Advocacy Centre has posted two fact sheets around the rule changes that mean these payments will not be subject to clawbacks -- welcome news for ODSP and OW recipients:

Full Child Support Exemption for Parents on OW and ODSP Coming This Month

5.  Powerful Illicit Opioid on Streets Change Protocol for ERs

Instructions around taking care not to be contaminated by these drugs may seem to verge on the extreme after reading this story, but precautions may well be warranted:

Drug Alert:  Hamilton ERs Bracing for Deadly Bootleg Carfentanil

In a related story, Toronto has begun steps to tackle the anticipated opioid crisis:

Toronto Moves to Take Fentanyl Overdoses Before City Hits Crisis Point

6.  Innovative Practice:  Hamilton CSI Open During the Holiday Season

Being user-friendly and being attentive to the needs of the community -- Mental Health Rights Coalition does the right thing during the holiday season in meeting the needs of those with mental health and addictions needs:

Mental Health Rights Coalition Fills Gaps in Support Services Over Holiday Season

7.  Innovative Practice:  Medical Offices in Retail Stores

While it is expected that your local supermarket might feature a pharmacy, it is now possible to see a physician at your Loblaws or Walmart as well:

See the Doctor and Go Shopping all under One Roof

8.  Psychiatrist Offers a Diagnosis without Meeting "Patient":  Complaint Filed with College of Physicians and Surgeons

The complainant found that a psychiatrist filed a two-page diagnosis about him based solely on access to emails and documents; this is quite shocking:

Local Optician Outraged a Psychiatrist Diagnosed Him without Meeting Him

9.  Three-Part Toronto Star Series on Lack of Mental Health Services in Ontario
These are the three stories:

Patients Suffer over Gap Between Physical and Mental Health Care

Timely, Affordable Mental Health Care Out of Reach of Many

Many Ontarians with Mental Health Issues Must Choose between Food and Meds

It is regrettable that amidst the word-slinging around credentialing and fees, there was no mention by any of these healthcare professionals of the validity and benefit of peer support (maybe in part because of its low cost, provision by people with lived experience, and effectiveness).

10.  Two-Year Review to Examine Assisted Death for the Mentally Ill and Other Target Populations

Health Canada has asked the Council of Canadian Academies to review medical assisted death for:  those whose only medical condition is mental illness; mature minors; and those who have give advance consent.

Review on Expanding Assisted Dying to Begin in New Year

11.  Ontario Inmate Dies While in Segregation

"Why Did Soleiman Die?"

Inmate Who Died at "Most Complained-About" Jail in Ontario Restrained Before Death

Meanwhile, Howard Sapers, engaged by the provincial government to review segregation and other practices was interviewed just recently and offered this about his ongoing work:

Former Prison Watchdog Says it's Time to Scale Back on Segregation in Ontario


12.  Mental Health Commission of Canada and OPDI Present Recovery Practice Webinar on "Integrating Peer Support with Integrity"

The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is hosting a series of free Recovery-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, January 19th, 2017. 
There is a growing body of evidence for the effectiveness of peer support in recovery. Peers bring experiential expertise that can help shape the mental health system and provide a valued, recovery-oriented, community based approach to services and supports. Join the Ontario Peer Development Initiative to learn more about the crucial role peer support plays in the continuum of recovery, and how programs can incorporate it with integrity.

Thursday, January 19th, 2017
1- 2:30 p.m. ET







Guest Speaker:

Deb Sherman,
Executive Director
Ontario Peer Development Initiative
Allan Strong SSW, RSSW,

Team Lead, Skills For Safer Living
Self Help
CMHA Waterloo Wellington

View the entire poster and with a hyperlink to the registration site here.

13.  Read about the Role of a Peer Coach in the Opioid Epidemic in America
A former user and now sympathetic ear to others battling addiction:  lived experience at its most empathetic best.

A Peer Recovery Coach Walks the Front Lines of America's Opioid Epidemic
14.  A Leading-Edge Arizona Community-Based Mental Health Care Model Incorporates Peer Support

The comprehensive care model in San Antonio not only recognizes the importance of jail diversion, but incorporates the use of peer specialists along the continuum of care:

San Antonio Became a National Leader in Mental Health Care by Working Together as a Community

This article is part of an excellent series by the Boston Globe:  "The Desperate and the Dead".

15.  Whether Peer Supporters or "Lay Workers", People with Lived Experience Can Matter

A couple of peer-reviewed articles about their benefits passed through this week's Twitter feed:

Lay Providers can Provide Effective Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Older Adults with Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Effect of a Primary Care-Based Psychological Intervention on Symptoms of Common Mental Disorders in Zimbabwbe

16.  BBC Documentary:  the History of the Madhouse

The recovery network:  Toronto blog offers a link to this engrossing film about the rise and fall of Asylums in the U.K:

Documentary -- History of the Madhouse

17.  Watch "The Nature of Things"  on CBC Thursday January 21 at 8 pm

This teaser introduction examines five myths about addiction:

Wasted:  5 Myths about Addiction

18.  Long Feature:  Understanding PTSD and the Effects of War

This is a very long story and takes time to read and digest; however, when you finish, you will have a new understanding of how war moulds a young mind and effects a confrontation with the law; what makes this an outstanding account is its excerpts from the soldier's own diary to give you a firsthand account of its toxic impact on the mind:

The Fighter

19.  Let's Change How Health Research is Undertaken to Effect System Change

In this Op-Ed, the authors argue that we are not using our PhD's properly:

Tim to Move Health Research into the Community

20,  Provocative Essay Takes Aim at Political Ideology as a Fundamental Cause of Mental Illness

Is society's collective drive to make us selfish and individualistic-driven persons making us socially isolated and therefore prone to psychological ill-health?

Neoliberalism is Creating Loneliness?  That's What is Wrenching Society Apart.

21.  A Wide-Ranging Look at the Possibilities of Telemedicine

The cutting-edge examples cited in this American story have important implications in the way that innovative approaches can change costs and service delivery:

How Telemedicine is Transforming Healthcare

22.  The Complexities of Negotiating Medical Care Helped by Patient Navigators

This emerging role to help at-risk patients who face barriers to appropriate care is profiled:

In a Byzantine Health System, Navigators Help At-Risk Patients Find their Way


23. Health Quality Ontario Seeks New Members for Patients, Family Members and Public Advisors Council

The Health Quality Ontario Patient, Family and Public Advisors Council is made up of 16 individuals from across Ontario who bring unique and diverse perspectives based on their personal experience with the health system. They need new members.  To find out more and to complete an expressions of interest form go here.

24.  Consider Donating to the Self-Help Resource Centre

Please read about our fellow colleagues' "Exchange for Change"  Campaign and consider making a donation:

Exchange for Change Campaign
25.  Job Postings

H.O.P.E. is the Brantford CSI.  With the unexpected passing of Martha Rybiak, there is a job opening available:

H.O.P.E. requires a Program Manager, reporting to the Acting Executive Director to oversee the peer and volunteer services.
Duties include managing and promoting peer support services and coordinating all volunteer services. The Program Manager will hire and train employees, help deliver services, and explore new opportunities for funding and program expansion.
Qualifications include 2 – 4 years of relevant work experience, a post-secondary education graduate, excellent organizational and communication skills, computer literacy, a valid driver’s license with a clean driving record, and personal experience using the mental health system.
This position is permanent and funded at 26 hours per week. Apply by email with resume by January 27th, 2017 to: mike@cmhabhn.ca

CMHA York and South Simcoe is hiring a Peer Support Specialist for its Early Psychosis Intervention Program.

26.  Toronto Harm Reduction Drug Policy Forum


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