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Issue 580 / November 16, 2018

News | ResourcesResearch | Opportunities  | Jobs


Press Release and Backgrounder on Police Records Reform

After many years we will finally see the implementation of the Police Record Check Reform Act. This act will help individuals with lived experience who have non-criminal police contacts such as Mental Health Act apprehensions. This should improve the process of getting a record check for employment and end customs denials based on mental health history. Please view the OPDI press release and backgrounder. 


Announcement of OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials™ Training

OPDI is planning a training program in Barrie for November 26-30.  If interested, please email
Full details will be posted on our website.
Please note: this training requires a minimum of 10 participants to run.

Race and Mental Health Court Diversion Think Tank Day 2019

OPDI sits as a representative of the "Racialized Populations Community of Interest" to represent the voice of our members.  We would like to invite you to attend this Think Tank, to bring a louder voice to this issue.  However, if you have something you would like brought forward and you are unable to attend, please feel free to contact us. 
Download poster


Please note only the most recent six issues of NewsToGo will be appearing on our website. Please make sure to subscribe to ensure you do not miss any issues.)
Ontario Newsroom

Ontario's Government for the People Helping Police Save Lives

Regulatory amendment enables police officers to administer naloxone to save victims of opioid overdoses without facing automatic criminal investigation if unsuccessful

Ontario Releases the Government’s Fiscal Roadmap — Restoring Trust and Putting Money Back in the Pockets of Taxpayers


Lived Experience

Starving for Help: A search for mental healthcare ends tragically at the Putnam County Jail

When the deputies came, Vicki Futch expected them to take her mentally ill son to the hospital.

She’d been in touch with a captain from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office about her son, Gregory Allan Futch, 54, trying to arrange an escort.

Read more and watch the video

Health Determinants

Canadian study finds major traumatic injury increases risk of mental-health diagnoses, suicide

Patients seriously injured in car accidents, violence and falls are at greater risk of developing a mental illness or dying by suicide, according to a new study that suggests those patients need better mental-health support.

...“Anyone involved in the acute management of these patients needs to be thinking about mental health as importantly as we think about the physical injuries that someone has suffered,” says lead author Christopher Evans, director of trauma at the Kingston Health Sciences Centre.
Harm Reduction

On the front line of a crisis, overdose-prevention staff could use some help

It's 'a system that isn't designed to help people', and the work is precarious

...Every day she hopes to bring drug users off the streets and into safer spaces, where they can use under the supervision of both medical professionals, and support workers like herself who have been trained on the job. But unlike safe-consumption sites, which are permanent and offer a wider range of support, overdose-prevention sites across Ontario were emergency, pop-up solutions to an escalating crisis that were never meant to be long-term....
Lived Experience

How creative arts can change the way people deal with mental illness

A crack in the wall. Most people wouldn't even notice it. But for Danielle Hark, it was a spark of inspiration.

Six months after giving birth to her first daughter in 2010, Hark, a writer and photographer from Millburn, N.J., fell into a severe depression. Getting out of bed became impossible. Anxiety struck whenever she considered leaving the house. Thoughts of suicide loomed.

One day in the shower, she suddenly felt she couldn't breathe. "I thought I was dying," she recalled. "I didn't need to kill myself because I was about to be dead."

Hark reached for her phone to call for help, but accidentally snapped a photo instead. Then she noticed the crack and thought, "That would make a good picture."


Use weed revenue for addictions treatment centre, Nunavut mayor says

"The federal government ... will be earning billions of dollars in the years to come from cannabis sales"

The western Nunavut community of Gjoa Haven is still in dire need of more mental health and addictions services.

That’s why Gjoa Haven’s mayor, Joanni Sallerina, continues to lobby for a new regional mental health and addictions facility to be located in Gjoa Haven, as revealed in his letter to Nunavut’s premier and cabinet, tabled by Gjoa Haven MLA Tony Akoak, on Nov. 7, in the Nunavut legislature.


How to Stop Feeling So Damn Depressed: The No BS Guide for Men. 

Dr. Jonas Horwitz

From the author: I wrote this book for men who are wrestling with terrible depression. In the book, I focus on direct strategies that men can use right now to start feeling better.

On my book’s website  you can find a sample chapter, reviews, as well as psycho-educational videos I have created which are based on the book. These videos are also available on my YouTube channel.

A sample of the audio version of the book can be found here.

Peer support can help curb acute care for persons with depression and diabetes

A new study describes the impact of a peer coach intervention on hospitalizations and emergency room visits for individuals with diabetes and depression.
Workshops & Training

Overdose Awareness and Prevention: A Free Workshop for Front-Line & Peer Workers

19 November 201812:3016:30 EST
METRO HALL Room 310 (Toronto ON)

 In this interactive workshop we’ll cover:

  • Experiences of overdose.
  • Risks of overdose & how to mitigate them.
  • How to spot an overdose – opiates & stimulants.
  • Responding to overdose, including the use of Naloxone.
  • Talking to clients about use, risks, overdose.
  • Why your agency & other places in your community need an overdose protocol.
  • Emerging issues & trends.

We will offer Naloxone training and Nasal Naloxone Kits.

To register, email

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training - ASIST 11 - Toronto, ON

12/6/18 8:30 AM - 12/7/18 4:30 PM EST United Church Meeting Hall

This highly interactive, practice-dominated 2 day workshop is intended for anyone over 16 years who wish to be better prepared to aid individuals at risk of suicide

  • ASIST is the most widely used suicide intervention training in the world. Over 100,000 people attend ASIST each year in over 30 countries.
  • Learn how to recognize people at risk of suicide, hear their story, understand their situation and then help them stay safe with a life-affirming intervention.
  • ASIST works.  A major 2013 study showed that the ASIST intervention process significantly reduces thoughts of suicide and helps people at risk feel more hopeful


WORKSHOP FEE:  $195 (includes manual, materials and continental breakfast/lunch).  Discounted rate for students, peer supporters and groups of 5 or more - $175


Input Wanted

Seeking input on care for people living with Anxiety Disorders and OCD

Participate in a virtual focus group about system-level challenges and enablers to adopting the care outlined in the Health Quality Ontario Anxiety Disorders and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) quality standards.

We are interested in hearing from a cross-section of professionals from a broad range of organizations who are working to deliver care for children, youth, and adults living with anxiety disorders and OCD, including but not limited to front-line staff, program managers, and senior leaders. Your feedback will inform the recommendations for adoption developed by Health Quality Ontario to support uptake of the quality standards.

The Provincial System Support Program (PSSP) at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) will be hosting a number of discussion groups on behalf of Health Quality Ontario through Adobe Connect web conferencing software, with approximately 8–14 participants per group. Each session will focus on a specific area of service delivery:

  1. Identification and Assessment of Anxiety Disorders and OCD (November 22, 12 noon– 1:15 PM)
  2. Monitoring and Follow-Up for People with Anxiety Disorders and OCD (November 23, 12 noon-1:15 PM)
  3. Managing Anxiety Disorders: The Stepped Care Approach (November 26, 12 noon–1:15 PM)
  4. Effective Approaches to Managing OCD (November 28, 12 noon–1:15 PM)
  5. Support for Families and Continuity of Care for People with OCD (November 29, 12 noon–1:15 PM)

Click here to learn more and to sign up for one of these groups.

Research Opportunity

LGBTQ+ parents’ experiences discussing sex and sexuality with their children.


To participate in this study, you must:

  1.  Self-identify as LGBTQ+
  2. Have a child between the ages of 3-16 years old
  3. Have talked to your child, at least a little bit, about sex and sexuality (for example body development, sexual orientation, gender, how people show affection, etc.)


Participation in this study involves the completion of an online survey, which will take approximately an hour. There will also be the option to participate in an in-person follow-up interview, which will take approximately 1-2 hours.

Download the poster

All identifying information will be kept entirely confidential. To participate in the survey, click on the following link:

Questions?  Contact Riley Easterbrook

Peer Support Worker
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health - Toronto, ON 
View job posting

Drop In Community Support Worker
Sistering - A Woman's Place - Toronto, ON 
View job posting 

Peer Outreach Worker (Addiction Support Services)
Stonehenge Therapeutic Community - Kitchener-Waterloo, ON
View job posting

Peer Mental Health Support Worker
Good Shepherd Non Profit Homes - Hamilton, ON
View job posting

Indigenous Harm Reduction Worker
Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy - Toronto, ON 
View job posting

Peer Group Facilitators – Purchase of Service
Interim Place - Mississauga, ON
We require 6 Peer Group Facilitators to participate on an advisory committee, develop a curriculum and co-facilitate a support group for women who have experienced violence for 12 weeks.
View job posting

PT Peer Mentor- Early Intervention Program
Halton Healthcare Services - Oakville, ON
View job posting

Laughing Like Crazy Facilitator
Mood Disorders Association of Ontario - Toronto, ON  
View job posting

Peer Mentor
Peel Addiction Assessment and Referral Centre - Mississauga, ON
View job posting

Family Peer Supporter - Ottawa
Parents' Lifelines of Eastern Ontario - Ottawa, ON 
View job posting

Peer Support Specialist Contract
CMHA York Region - Vaughan, ON
view job posting

Shelter Worker Supervised Injection Site
Shepherds of Good Hope - Ottawa, ON 
View job posting

Communiyy Engagement Worker - Indigenous Health & Wellness
YWCA Toronto - Toronto, ON
View job posting

Outreach Worker
Aamjiwnaang First Nation - Sarnia, ON
View job posting
Please send your job postings to for inclusion in this segment
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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 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


"From Madhouse To Our House"


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