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Issue 587 / January 17, 2019

News | ResourcesResearch | Opportunities  | Jobs

OPDI has a new fax number.  You may send faxes toll free to 1-866-441-2741

OPDI Peer Support Training

Announcement of OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials™ Training
OPDI is planning a training program in Toronto for March 18 – 22, 2019.  If interested, please email
Full details will be posted on our website. The link is Deadline for registration is March 1st, 2019.
Please note: this training requires a minimum of 10 participants to run.
  Training Expectations Webinar

The next (optional) Training Expectations Webinar will be February 13th from 12:00pm – 1:00pm. If you are interested in learning more about OPDI Peer Support Training, please email for more information and login information.

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

Special Advisors Appointed to Begin Regional Government Review

Consultations to start in early 2019
Prison System

Prison drug scans for visitors potentially unreliable and keeping families apart, researcher says 

Ion scanners cause stress for families of prisoners, research shows.

Read now...

'An incredible window into the brain': New treatments target severe depression

'I felt what I call lighter ... and the suicidal thoughts diminished,' patient says

Electroconvulsive therapy or ECT, better known as shock treatment, is still considered the go-to treatment but comes with the common side effect of memory loss. So doctors are now exploring less invasive experimental approaches like brain stimulation that rewires the brain's circuits. 

"Hard-to-treat depression is a huge public health problem" says Dr. Jeff Daskalakis of Toronto, at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's Temerty Centre for therapeutic brain intervention. "The idea that we have treatments that could potentially rectify or improve their illness can be very reassuring to patients."


A virtual treatment for real depression 

Like reading a great novel, virtual reality can be a totally immersive experience. It can put you in a new place and make you feel, for a period of time, like a different person. And that can have a powerful effect on your emotional state. So what happens if we use it, with purpose, to change how we feel? 

Read now 

Sunnybrook using VR to ease 'misconceptions' about electroconvulsive therapy

Mental health videos are latest additions to a Sunnybrook VR catalogue

Lived Experience

Why the man behind a business devoted to excess quit alcohol

Metro Morning: We're continuing our series looking at society's relationship with alcohol, and the many reasons people give it up. Today, David McMillan, the chef, wine-maker, and co-founder of the renowned Joe Beef restaurant in Montreal. We speak with him about why he's drawing awareness to addiction issues in kitchens and beyond -- all the while serving up a substance he himself won't touch.

Listen now...
Suicide Science

Tangling with the Science of Suicide 

Can our genetic markers or an MRI of our brain predict suicide? What defines suicidal behaviour? Is there merit to all those "black box warnings?

Opioid Crisis

First Smartphone App to Detect Opioid Overdose and Its Precursors

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a cellphone app that uses sonar to monitor someone's breathing rate and sense when an opioid overdose has occurred.


How benzos and Xanax culture propel the opioid crisis

"People are fatally overdosing en masse ... and yes, opioids are driving a lot of these, but there's also a ton of drug mixing going on."

Why have benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax been involved in a large number of Canadian opioid overdose deaths?



6 Ways to Ensure Your Website is Accessible


Workplace 'resilience' programs might not make any difference

Currently widely used in military and civilian sectors to bolster mental health and wellbeing



Depression, anxiety may take same toll on health as smoking and obesity

Incidence of arthritis, heart disease, stroke -- but not cancer -- strongly swayed by psychological status



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 Support Worker
Hong Fook Mental Health Association - Toronto, ON
View job posting

Peer Support Worker
Patient/Client & Family Council - Penetanguishene, ON
View job posting

Peer Support Specialist, Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Durham
View job posting

Peer Support Specialist
North Bay Regional Health Centre
View job posting

Peer Support Worker - Safe Beds
Canadian Mental Health Association, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge Branch - Peterborough, ON
View job posting

Passport Coordinator (2 positions)
Family Service Toronto
View job posting

Vocational Specialist, Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Durham
View job posting

P-187-18 Peer Specialist - MHS-CMH
Pembroke Regional Hospital
View job posting

Community Network Facilitator
Family Service Toronto
View job posting

Newcomer Group Facilitator - POP
Carizon Family & Community Services - Kitchener-Waterloo, ON
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

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