OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #510 January 16, 2017

Highlights include: MHCC and OPDI Offer Recovery-Oriented Practice Webinar on "Integrating Peer Support with Integrity"; Mini Ontario Cabinet Shuffle; Provincial Health Minister Supports Cities' Supervised Injection Sites; Federal Disability Tax Credit; ODSP/OW Transportation Rates; 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.  Register for MHCC/OPDI Recovery-Oriented Practice Webinar:  "Integrating Peer Support with Integrity" this Thursday at 1 pm EST:

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.

2.  Ontario Newsroom

a)  Ontario Mini Cabinet Shuffle

Marie-France Lalonde replaces David Orazetti as the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.  Tracy MacCharles adds the Ministry of Government and Consumers Services to her portfolio in addition to being the Minister Responsible for Accessibility.  Other changes were also made.

We have a press release, a news article, and a response from the AODA Alliance:

Marie-France Lalonde Ontario's New Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

Ontario Premier Appoints New Corrections Minster in Small Cabinet Shuffle

Yesterday's Cabinet Shuffle is a Step Backwards for 1.8 Million Ontarians with Disabilities

b)  Health Minister Affirms Support for Supervised Injection Sites in Toronto

We have a statement from Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins affirming his support for Toronto's request for three supervised injection site, as well as a media article:

Ontario Agrees to Fund Toronto and Ottawa Safe Injection Sites Amid Opioid Crisis

3.  Federal Health Transfer Update

The Federal Health Minister made a point of holding talks with mental health and home care stakeholders on January 10th in Toronto:

The Ontario premier however continues to say that the federal funding offer is inadequate:

Wynne Blasts Ottawa over Health Funding

This may be in part due to a report by the provincial financial accountability office that says that the Ministry of Health needs to cut spending to ensure the province is deficit-free by 2017-2018:

Ontario Liberals Must Cut Health Spending to Meet their Budget Goals, Watchdog Says

In light of the bilateral health deals negotiated by the three Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia), a fact check shows that they don't seem to harm the overall health system:

Fact Check:  Could Bilateral Health Deals Harm Overall System?

4.  Federal Disability Tax Credit Not Available to the Mentally Disabled

The much-need federal disability tax credit remains difficult for people with a mental health diagnosis to achieve:

Disability Tax Credit Not Extended to Those with Mental Illness

5.  ODSP/OW Transportation Rate Changes

The ISAC (Income Security Advocacy Clinic) reports that the Ministry of Community and Social Services has increased the medical travel mileage rate from 18 to 40 cents per kilometre, and 41 cents in the North and North East.  Full details on how the changes will be implemented retroactively to October 1, 2016 can be found here.

6.  Person with Lived Experience of Homelessness now a Housing First N.W.T. Consultant

The themes of how personal experience and innate ability to communicate better shine through in this profile of a worker in the Housing First program in Yellowknife:

Formerly Homeless N.W.T. Woman Hired as Consultant for Housing First Program

7.  Innovative Practice:  Online Video Counselling

A start-up company has invented an online therapy centre that allows people to access video counselling from their own homes:

Toronto Company Connecting People to Therapists -- with a Click

8.  Viewpoint:  We Need Good Accountable Healthcare Managers

Globe and Mail columnist Andre Picard surveys the latest bureaucratic change in Saskatchewan (one consolidated health authority) and makes the argument that it is merely cosmetic:  we need stronger healthcare leadership.

The Real Health-Care Change We Need?  Strong Leadership

9.   Why Doctors Don't Self-Report Mental Health Issues

It's simple -- if self-disclosure will result in licensing issues or even mandated treatment, one is less inclined to do it:

Why Doctors are Leery About Seeking Mental Health Care for Themselves

10.  How an ER Doctor Became a Fentanyl Addict

This gripping portrayal of a physician turned substance user shows that no one is immune:

How Fentanyl Turned an ER Doctor into an Addict

11.  How About Patients Rating Psychiatric Hospitals?

The website Psych Ward Reviews is a blog that collects reviews of psychiatric hospitals as evaluated by patients themselves:

We Need a Review Site for Psychiatric Hospitals -- So I Built One

12.  Federal Housing Benefit for Low-Income Renters Being Considered

The idea is for a prospective program to link the benefit to an individual rather than to the housing unit:

Federal Government Ponders Creating New Housing Benefit for Low-Income Renters


Join Sharing Together! Co-create an evidence priority agenda for mental health, substance use and addictions in Ontario.
Join EENet’s dialogue sessions, taking place across the province, to provide input on the evidence most needed to support you in your daily work and to navigate the  system. Sharing Together aims to identify priority evidence needs related to mental health, substance use, and addictions, in the areas of health promotion and prevention, early identification, treatment and recovery, and across the lifespan. Results of the in-person sessions, and an online survey, will be used to co-create an evidence priority agenda for Ontario.
For more information and to register for a session taking place in your area, click here.

PWLE and family members are especially encouraged to sign up for the sessions taking place in Thunder Bay, Barrie, and Sudbury.

14.  Children, Exercise and Depression

Offering children exercise reduces the number of depressive symptoms:

How Exercise can Help Depression in Kids

15.  Overcoming Negative Thinking

Here's an overview of what it takes to practice changing thinking styles so as to more positive:

The Year of Conquering Negative Thinking

16.  Speculative Piece Suggests No New Anti-Depression Drugs in the Pipeline

The almighty profit motive (or lack thereof) is a major reason:

No New Antidepressants in Sight Despite Growing Need:  Experts

17.  Dr. Daniel Fisher on Opposing Forced Treatment

He makes the case for recovery-focused services instead:

Forced Treatment is Not the Way:  Opposing View

18.  Watch "The Nature of Things"  on CBC Thursday January 21 at 8 pm (repeat)

This teaser introduction examines five myths about addiction:

Wasted:  5 Myths about Addiction

19.  OISE Anti-Psychiatry Scholarship Raises Ire of Critics

Dr. Bonnie Burstow is a well-known anti-psychiatry activist.  So when the professor set up a scholarship expressly for studies in anti-psychiatry, there were objections:

U of T's "Anti-Psychiatry" Is an Affront to Science and Could Hurt Mentally Ill Patients, Critics Say


20.  Ryerson Study Seeks to Interview Nurses and Social Workers About Mental Health Accommodation at Work

Are you a nurse or social worker in Ontario?

Have you been reported to your professional college or employer because of a concern about your mental health/fitness to practice? Have you then lost your job or been disciplined by your college or employer?
Or do you worry that this may happen if you disclose or ask for accommodation?
We want to hear from you.
We are seeking 20-30 nurses and social workers to participate in a new study on mental health reporting. Through confidential interviews, we want to better understand how people come to be (or fear being) reported to their college or employer as well as the health and social consequences of this experience.
One-on-one interviews with participants will be 60 to 90 minutes. They will be in-person or over the telephone, and all information will be kept confidential. Participants will receive a gift card valued at $30.
For more information and to participate in this new study, please contact dutytoaccommodate1@gmail.com

21.   Call for proposals: EPION’s 2017 conference
What does “success” in Early Psychosis Intervention (EPI) services mean to you?
Join EPION for a two-day conference where we will explore different ways to define and understand success. You will:

  • Connect with your colleagues to share and learn about innovations in EPI practice that help bring us closer to our visions of success as clinicians, program managers, persons with lived experience of psychosis and family members.
  • Find out about the learnings and successes from programs that have implemented new practices, including those inspired by EPION’s recent think tanks on education and outreach, family work, metabolic monitoring, psychological therapies, knowledge exchange, evaluation and monitoring, and psychosis and cannabis.
  • Understand the latest data and evidence emerging within EPI and what it means for clinical practice and how we understand success in this field.

Do you have an idea for a conference session? If yes, let us know!
We are inviting proposals for papers, oral presentations, panel discussions, workshops and poster presentations as we plan for EPION’s 2017 Conference!
Submit an abstract here by February 16, 2017. We will notify you by March 8, 2017 to confirm the results of the selection process.
Questions? Contact Deborah Hierlihy, EPION Coordinator at Deborah.hierlihy@camh.ca or 613-546-4266 x 78061 or 416-535-8501 x 78061.
22.  2017 AMHO Conference -- Reminder of January 20th Deadline for Proposals

Please refer to this link for details.

23  CMHA National 2017 "Mental Health for All" Conference Call for Abstracts

The deadline for submitting an abstract is February 24th; full details here.
24.  Job Postings

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

Sherbourne Health Centre is seeking a Systems Navigator for its LBGTQ clients.

25.  Toronto Harm Reduction Drug Policy Forum (repeat)

26.  Basic Income Pilot  Consultations -- a Guide to Participating

Whether you are completing an online feedback form or planning to attend one of the remaining face-to-face consultations, this guide by the ISAC and the ODSP Action Coalition will help you:

Basic Income Pilot Consultations -- Key Issues for People on OW and ODSP

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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.