OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #515 March 1, 2017

Highlights include: OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials ™ Training in Sault Ste. Marie March 20 - 24 (signup deadline March 10); Social Impact Bonds Funds New Zealand PWLE Employment; Workplace Laws Overhaul Imminent in Province; Ontario Patient and Family Advisory Council Appointees Needed; Media Coverage of Mental Illness Improving in Canada; 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.



Upcoming OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials:
We have an OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials ™ training course offering in Sault Ste. Marie March 20 - 24.  You can find the registration form and poster here.  The deadline to register is Friday, March 10.
MHCC / OPDI / CMHA Waterloo-Wellington January 18, 2007 Webinar "Integrating Peer Support with Integrity"  Now Available Online

This 90-minute webinar with OPDI's Executive Director Deb Sherman and Allan Strong, SSW, RSSW, Team Lead, Skills for Safer Living Self Help CMHA Waterloo-Wellington was offered through the Mental Health Commission of Canada and and can be found at this landing page.  The built-in close-captioning is reasonably accurate.


1.  Ontario Newsroom

The province has appointed an investigator for the Brant Community Health System, which is comprised of two hospitals.  We have a news release and a local news story offering more details:

Ontario Appoints Investigator for the Brant Community Health System

Investigator Appointed

2.  Canada Announces Opioid Funding

The $65 million in funding will cover measures to support communities.  We have the Health Canada press release and a media citation:

Government of Canada Announces New Funding to Combat Opioid Crisis

Federal Government Announces $65 Million to Address Opioid Crisis as B.C., Ottawa Sign Health Deal

3.  Opioids in the News (Round-up)

The opioid Tramadol may have been mislabelled by Health Canada:

Health Canada Under Fire For Failure to Place Powerful Opioid Tramadol on Controlled Drugs List

An ER doctor explains why lack of dental care and opioids addiction are related:

Publicly Funding Dental Care Could Help Ease the Fentanyl Crisis, and More

Should we legalize hard drugs?  Two provocative Op-Eds say we should think about it:

The Answer to Canada's Opioid Overdose Crisis:  Legalize Hard Drugs

Criminalization of Opioids is Costing Lives

4.  The 117 Drugs Canadians Should Get for Free

Expanding further the argument for pharmacare in Canada, these two researchers make the case that such medications are necessary.  Indeed a study is underway to compare outcomes in 4 family health teams in Ontario between patients who received free medications and who did not:

The Argument for Providing "Essential Medicines" for Free in Canada

5.  Employment Laws Poised to be Reformed in Ontario

Would this have implications for persons with disabilities?  Time will tell:

Business, Labour Braced for Changes to Ontario's Workplace Laws

6.  Family Doctors Join the Effort Against Solitary Confinement

The Family Physicians of Canada have made their case known:

Canada's Family Doctors Push to Ban Solitary Confinement in Prisons

Meanwhile, the Minister for Children and Youth Services has coined a new name for solitary confinement for youth ("secure isolation') and argues it may be warranted:

Total Ban on "Secure Isolation" for Youth isn't Needed:  Minister

7.  Innovative Practice:  Using Social Impact Bond to Finance Employment for PWLE in New Zealand

By using private companies to finance the social impact bonds, a pool of money has been raised to help around 1,700 people with mental illness into work:

New Zealand Overcomes Obstacles to Launch First Social Impact Bond

8.   C.O.A.S.T. Mobile Crisis Partnership Model Expanding and in More Jurisdictions

It is heartening to read about this mobile crisis intervention model in Barrie and the Niagara region:

Cop Teams with Crisis Counsellor to Handle Barrie Mental Health Calls

Mental Health Response Increases in Niagara

9.  The State of Patient Engagement and Empowerment in Canada

This National Post article includes quotes by some stakeholders on the reality of whether we have a patient-centred health system:

"Once You Put on that Blue Hospital Gown, You Become a File"

10.  Profiling ODSP Recipients' Housing Search

As part of its current reporting on the travails of renting in Toronto, CBC has featured the plight of people on ODSP and their search for reasonable housing:

No Fixed Address:  Rental Market for Torontonians on Disability "Absolutely Horrible"

11.  Number of Medical Marijuana Users in Canada Continues to Rise

In almost four years, the number has almost reached 130,000 registered users with Health Canada:

Number of Medical Marijuana Users Soars Across Canada, Now Almost 130K

This U.S. article shows that doctors are still wary:

Can Marijuana Ease the Opioid Epidemic?

And the new U.S. Attorney General returns to old thinking:

Sessions:  More Violence Around Pot than "One Would Think"


12.  Marijuana as a Preferred Pain Reliever

The preference of patients for marijuana over opioids for the control of paid has been noted in yet another study:

Patients Report Choosing Marijuana over Opioids for Pain

The inherent conflict between athletes' choice of pain relief for injuries and drug regulations is apparent:

A Place for Pot in Sports?

13.  Facebook Now Offers Suicide Prevention Using AI

Facebook is putting its data analysis to good use; its artificial intelligence will now recognize posts that indicate self-harm or suicide, and pass them on to a review team for further action:

Facebook is Using Artificial Intelligence to Help Prevent Suicide

Past live broadcasts of suicides on FB have also been a reason for taking action:

Facebook Beefs Up Suicide Prevention Focused on Live Video

In a related note, this is a reputable survey of comparable social media:

Social Media 2016 (Pew Research Centre)

14.  The Factors that Make Women More Vulnerable to Addiction

More so than ever, women in the current day and age are exposed to more biological and social factors that increase their risk to addiction:

Are Women Increasingly at Risk of Addiction?

15.  Trauma-Informed Care In School

Acknowledging "adverse childhood experiences" and exchanging the concept of punishment with better communication has seen trauma-informed care used successfully in this school system:

This Town Adopted Trauma-Informed Care -- and Saw a Decrease in Crime and Suspension Rates

16.  The World Health Organization Says this is the Top Disability

Depression is at the top of the list, and it can be especially vulnerable on the young, elderly, pregnant, or post-partum mother:

Depression Top Cause of Disability, WHO Says

17.  Recoverynet.ca Blog Entry on Being a "Psych Patient"

This Norwegian research article was derived from a workshop with psychiatric patients that exposes the alienation and poor self-esteem experienced when one is reclassified as a result of receiving mental health care.  On the other hand, the professionals involved in the study are noted as saying they saw resources in these patients they were not aware of before:

Experiences of Being a Psychiatric Patient in the Community, Reclassified as "Other"

18.  Psychiatry Professor Believes Vincent Li News Coverage Shows Media Portrayal of Mental Illness Improving

The author has been the primary author of three studies of the media that are hyperlinked in this story:

Is the Media Getting Better at Portraying Mental Illness?

19.  Service Users and Priority Setting in Research

This plain-language journal paper looks at what happens when peers are consulted and lead the way on mental health research:

Priority Setting in Research:  User Led Mental Health Research  (Open Access Article)

20.  No, Cat Ownership and Mental Health Diagnosis Have No Correlation

A parasite associated with cats has low infection rates in general with people, and children are not at risk:

Cat Ownership Not Linked to Mental Health Problems, Study Says

21.  "101 Self-Care Suggestions for when it all Feels Too Much"

This article's audience is for anyone in a funk who needs a lift.  Bookmark it on your browser for that special day.


22.  Patient and Family Advisory Council -- Recruitment Underway

The deadline to apply for the position of Chair is March 8, and to be a council member is April 10.  Refer to the government webpage for full details.

23.  AMHO Conference Registration Opening Soon

"Stronger Connections -- CommunitiesWorking Together" is the theme of the 2017 Conference.  Details on this webpage.
24.  Nurse Educator Mental Health and Addictions Resource (from RNAO) (repeat)

The Registered Nursing Association of Ontario has made available online the publication of the RNAO Nurse Educator Mental Health and Addiction Resource: Integrating Mental Health and Addiction into the Undergraduate Nursing Curriculum. The resource is available for download/PDF printing at: http://rnao.ca/bpg/initiatives/mhai/mhar.

Deb Sherman of OPDI and Betty-Lou Kristy (Mississauga Halton Peer Support -- T.E.A.C.H.) advised on the development of this comprehensive guide.

25.  Job Postings

CMHA HKPR (Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge) is hiring a Peer Outreach Worker for its Hospital to Home Program.

Mental Health Rights Coalition (Hamilton) has a Relief Peer Support Worker position available.

Stella's Place (Toronto) is looking for a Mental Health Clinician, a Mental Health Clinician (online services), and a Mental Health Receptionist.

26.  "Change the View" CMHO YouTube Video Contest

Anyone 13 and over can make a two-minute video demonstrating how to reduce stigma by expressing their experiences with mental health and well-being.  You can find out how to apply before the April 7th deadline.
27.  Bell Let's Talk Community Fund

The deadline is March 31st for community organizations to apply for grants between $5,000 and $25,000 for the purpose of improving access to mental health care, supports and services for people with mental illness.  The webpage 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.