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Issue 586 / January 10, 2019

News | ResourcesResearch | Opportunities  | Jobs


Why the Definition of "Disability" Matters to People with Lived Experience in Ontario

Ontarians head into the New Year, more than a month since the November 22nd press conference that outlined social assistance changes. Apart from remarks by the Minister at that time that any changes would take up to 18 months to implement, we are left with a press release and a backgrounder as the only official information from the secretive Ford government.

Please see the news release from OPDI here (and on

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

Casting a Light on Mental Health in Agriculture

Helping to Remove Stigma and Support Hopefulness

Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman, launched a public awareness campaign to highlight mental health challenges suffered by farmers and encourage people to ask for help when daily struggles become too much to bear.
First Responders

Ontario's Chief Coroner launches review into police suicides

Ontario's chief coroner is launching a review into nine police officer suicides that took place in 2018. Chief coroner Dr. Dirk Huyer talks about why, and how it will work.

Listen now...

The next frontier in the 'right to die': advance requests, minors and the mentally ill

Just days before breaking for the holidays, the Liberal government received three expert panel reports from the Council of Canadian Academies which looked at the possibility of extending medical assistance in dying (MAID) to 'mature' minors — people under age 18 considered by doctors to be capable of directing their own care — people with psychiatric conditions and those making requests in advance.

The reports don't offer specific recommendations, but are intended to guide discussion around potential legislative changes.



In Screening for Suicide Risk, Facebook Takes On Tricky Public Health Role

A police officer on the late shift in an Ohio town recently received an unusual call from Facebook.

Earlier that day, a local woman wrote a Facebook post saying she was walking home and intended to kill herself when she got there, according to a police report on the case. Facebook called to warn the Police Department about the suicide threat....

Addiction Treatment

In Rehab, ‘Two Warring Factions’: Abstinence vs. Medication

A reluctant evolution is taking place in residential drug treatment for opioid addiction. Here’s a look at one center’s wary shift.


Oshawa addiction clinic takes a stab at opioid crisis with acupuncture treatment

With Canada’s deadly opioids crisis continuing unabated, authorities are trying every tool in their kit to help drug users survive and recover, from substitute drugs and cognitive therapy to supervised-consumption sites and prescribed heroin. Here in Oshawa, Ont., a city of 166,000 on the eastern edge of the Greater Toronto Area, one of the most popular is acupuncture.

Substance Use

The common pill that's killing in the shadow of the opioid crisis

When benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax are combined with opioids, the consequences can be lethal


Toronto Police Encounter Deadly Opioid for First Time in Ontario



Kids Help Phone launches texting service for youth nationwide, in both English and French


Note: Crisis Services Canada also provides phone, text and chat services more...

Brains of people with severe mental illness are not all the same, study shows

A new multi-site brain imaging study in The American Journal of Psychiatry shows that sub-groups of people use their brains differently when imitating emotional faces - a task that reflects their ability to interact socially.

Interestingly, individuals with schizophrenia do not have categorically different social brain function than those without mental illness but fall into different sub-groups that may respond to different types of treatments.


Conferences & Forums

Ontario Housing First Forum on Evidence-based Practices

The Ontario Housing First Regional Network Community of Interest (OHFRN-CoI) is excited to host our 2nd annual Housing First (HF) forum for stakeholders from across Ontario to come together to share resources and experiences with implementing HF in their communities. Please share widely with your networks.  
This event is taking place on Friday March 8, 2019 from 9am – 4pm, in Toronto, with a keynote presentation from Dr. Vicky Stergiopoulos, Clinician Scientist and Physician-in-Chief, CAMH, discussing the long-term follow-up of the Toronto At Home programs. A number of concurrent sessions on topics related to HF will also be included.
For more information and to register, visit:
Please also have a look at a policy brief released by the OHFRN-CoI on Assertive Community Treamtment (ACT) and HF, as well as a letter that was just submitted to Ministers Elliott and Clark on the topic.
Call for Proposals

We are now accepting proposals for the  41st Guelph Sexuality Conference. This year's theme is Redefining Relationships & Sexual Health - June 20-21, 2019.

This year we are seeking three types of proposals:

1. Full-Day Applied Trainings: Experienced presenters with deep, applied content that will change
how attendees navigate social, political, and professional systems.

2. Concurrent Workshops: Concise, thought provoking presentations of just over an hour that
encourage attendees to consider new ideas, practices, and research.

3. Research & Program Briefs: 5- or 15-minute presentations to share exciting information that will
spark interest and inspire new areas of exploration for attendees.

Visit to submit your proposal by January 15, 2019.

Download the call for presentations
Online Workshops

Peer Staff Supervision Training

The Centre for Innovation in Peer Support is pleased to announce another Online Peer Staff Supervisors Training opportunity for three, 2 hour sessions January 22-24 daily from noon until 2 pm ET.
As a former training participant, if you know of someone who would benefit from this training, please forward the flyer along.  As always, don’t hesitate to connect with us or check out our website at:

Download the poster

OPDI is working in alliance with the Centre for Innovation in Peer Support and serves on the Stewardship Group.

MHCC webinar: Supporting Mental Health in a Non-Traditional Work Environment

January 24, 2019  at 12:00 PM-1:00 PM EST



Using Emotional Mapping to Improve Experiences with OCAN: Part 1

22 January 2019    10:00-11:30 EST Online

Do you use the Ontario Common Assessment of Need (OCAN) or work in community mental health? Are you interested in different ways to improve quality within your organization?

If so, register for this upcoming webinar on using a quality improvement approach called experience based co-design (EBCD) to improve the OCAN process. This is the first webinar in a two part series on using EBCD with
OCAN. EBCD is an approach to capture different stakeholder experiences. Emotional mapping is one tool within the EBCD approach that quickly identifies what’s working well and where the pain points are in a process.

Download the flyer

Peer Specialist
Penbrook Regional Hospital - Crisis Team
View job posting

Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP®) Facilitator
Hope and Me - Mood Disorders Association of Ontario - Toronto, ON
View job posting

Student Wellness Coordinator
University of Waterloo
View job posting

Get in touch
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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"


January 9, 2019
Why the Definition of “Disability” in Social Assistance Matters to PWLE in Ontario

Ontarians head into the New Year, more than a month since the November 22nd press conference that outlined social assistance changes. Apart from remarks by the Minister at that time that any…

Read More

What People Are Saying