Bulletin #603 Summer heat, debts, pets

the Bulletin #603

Resources for Consumer / Survivors/ Service and Substance Users / Fun Folks in TORONTO AREA

#6 – 603 July 1, 2018 Navigate Below:

    1. Summer Coolness
    2. Moments in C/S Bulletin History
    3. News – New Stuff
    4. Resources
    5. Free Events
Photo of a big brown dog wearing a small cat as a hat.

(Image—@henrythecoloradodog on Instagram below)

[Apologies for delayed print delivery…Go electronic. We had a postage problem – Tim][Enable pictures at the top of email to see pictures]

We will be updating the website in the next week to increase the flow of information. Let us know about your events and important issues if you please at bulletin@soundtimes.com.


DOWNLOAD the Print .PDF version of The Bulletin issue #603 for July 2018


All of the Free July Events you have been asking about! Download the Word file. Prepared by Amber Graydon. Errors responsibility of Tim Brown.

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We would love to hear from you to focus the future of the Bulletin: Email: bulletin@soundtimes.com
You can add your events at: Add events //soundtimes.com/events/community/add

1. Summer Coolness

Summer and Psych meds

If you are using psych meds (and lots of other medications), you may want to ask your pharmacist about sun and heat sensitivity and danger. Stay hydrated and cool. This is easy when you have housing, healthy drinks, and a fan. If these are more difficult then try to plan ahead and have backups for cooling centres, agencies, friends, community spaces.
3 ice cubes filled with a strawberry, a chili, and a raspberry.
Toronto Public Health:

Beat the Heat – Tips on how to stay cool and prevent heat-related illness.

· Keep blinds or drapes closed to block out the sun during the day
· Make meals that don’t use an oven, especially if you don’t have air conditioning
· Unplug electronics and turn off lights when not in use
· Use fans properly:
· Place fans in or next to a window to bring in the cooler air from outside
· Place a bowl of ice in front of fans to cool air
Do not use fans when the temperature in a room is 34 degrees Celsius or higher. If you are taking lithium, drink lots of water because lithium is a salt.

And heck, City Hall is cold and open from 7:30am-9:00pm! Pro tip: if you are taking lithium, drink water and be careful about drinking too much of electrolyte solutions because lithium is a salt.

Stay Cool, Crazy and Calm or at least hydrated.

2. Moments in C/S  Bulletin History

Research studies: Are we research guinea pigs or drivers of research … or do we just need to know about research opportunities?

Bulletin 302 June 15th; 303 July 1st, 2006: Responses to Research Ethics Dilemna Helen Hook:
Issue 302:
I am really torn about putting announcements in. I don’t want to use the Bulletin as a vehicle for us to be used as subjects or guinea pigs in yet another research project that may end up being used against us. There’s the danger of people seeing an implied stamp of approval simply because the request was in the Bulletin …

Issue 303:
Most people were in favour of putting the announcements in, but with some kind of statement that the Bulletin and the C/S Info Centre were not endorsing the studies listed. Some people just quietly made the point that the decision was up to the individual involved, and said post the announcements and let the person reading them decide. Others though, were vehement in their assertions that they should be there because of freedom of information, or on the other hand, that they shouldn’t be there and we’d be capitulating to the system if we put them in.  …

 What does that mean for the Bulletin in 2018?

We will include calls for studies by “peers”,  and people with lived experience (PWLE) that focus on  learning and building community.  We would like to share the results of studies as well. We are also inviting readers to participate in consultations about public policies that relate to the interests and needs of survivors.

Do you have topics that you think need to be studied more? Examples of research + production by survivors include Clearing a Path: A Psychiatric Survivor Anti-Violence Framework, and Key Practices for Community Engagement in Research on Mental Health or Substance Use

3. News

Deportation, detention children … survivors

In the US and Canada (and Sweden), we see examples of children, immigrants and refugees who are caught in inhumane systems that cause and increase mental distress.  Survivor-analysis would be that the detention context causes trauma that will require drugs and institutionalization later.

Hanna Gros, author a 2017 study of Canada’s child detainment: Children can end up housed in detention in order to accompany their detained parents.
The international community has been clear on the fact that children should not be in detention. It is always a violation of their human rights.
The mental health evidence is clear that even brief periods of detention or family separation can have lasting and huge consequences for children’s health and well-being. We’ve seen children deteriorate even after being detained for 48 hours.

The Trauma of Facing Deportation

by Rachel Aviv
In Sweden, hundreds of refugee children have fallen unconscious after being informed that their families will be expelled from the country. 
Uppgivenhetssyndrom, or resignation syndrome, is said to exist only in Sweden, and only among refugees. The patients seem to have lost the will to live. “They are like Snow White,” a doctor said. “They just fall away from the world.” …The patients have no underlying physical or neurological disease, but they seem to have lost the will to live. The Swedish refer to them as de apatiska, the apathetic. “I think it is a form of protection, this coma they are in,” Hultcrantz said. “They are like Snow White. They just fall away from the world.”

… Every culture possesses what Edward Shorter, a medical historian at the University of Toronto, calls a “ ‘symptom repertoire’—a range of physical symptoms available to the unconscious mind for the physical expression of psychological conflict.” In parts of India, patients are said to suffer from dhat syndrome: they complain of impotence and have the delusion that they are losing their semen. In Nigeria, students who can’t retain information and report feeling a burning sensation in their heads are sometimes given a diagnosis of “brain fag.” The illnesses are reinforced by a local belief that the symptoms are a sign of authentic suffering, worthy of expert attention and care.

The Swedish government’s report proposed that the apathetic children were from “holistic cultures,”…The report seemed to ignore the influence of Sweden’s own culture on the illness. //www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/04/03/the-trauma-of-facing-deportation

Imagine if you could choose the services you need rather than what they thought you deserved…

From a submission from a New Zealand advocacy, peer, community building and group and Mary O’Hagan: We call on the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction to recommend that all people with mental distress or addiction have open access to a full menu of services, so that no-one who seeks help is turned away and everyone is offered more than medication.
To read or download the full submission, The Wellbeing Manifesto for Aotearoa New Zealand, go to: //www.wellbeingmanifesto.nz/ Campaign created by Mary O’Hagan
Restaurant Menu that offers - Personal and whandu support (Whandu means extended family/kin group). Income, work and housing. Therapies and treatments. Spiritual Healing. Crisis response.

Grant Faulkner Inquest Recommendations: fire safety, more services in Scarborough, rooming houses

The Jury made some practical recommendations about survival shelter including providing camping supplies. If you do stay outside for part of the year, what would you prioritize? If people are not going to stay in shelters should they be helped or hassled by the system?

City Website: Temporary Respite Structures for 24-Hour Services

To provide high-quality, accessible respite services in 2018/2019, City staff have secured four temporary respite structures that can be operational in locations across the City as part of the 2018/2019 Winter Respite Plan. The temporary respites will be provided by Sprung and built by BLT Construction Services. Amenities
Sprung tents for shelters.
Is this what You would like to see? How could the survivor community be involved?Especially, given the Grant Faulkner Inquest recommendations, the experts who are already living in small tents through the winter need to be involved in the process.

 A community member pointed out: “They don’t want us to have [our own] tents…they want to make their own tents now…we have to stay in them?”

4. Resources

Got Debt? —Help!—ACORN has Resources

The ACORN Canada Debt Portal has information and links to resources that can help people in Ontario to manage, and prevent, debt.
ACORN Canada (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) is an independent national organization of low- and moderate-income families. We have over 113,000 members organized into twenty-four neighbourhood chapters across Canada. We believe that social and economic justice can best be achieved with a national active membership who are invested in their organization and focused on building power for change!
Learn more about how to deal with debt and finances:
Þ Banking/Alternative Financial InstitutionsLogo ACORN Canada
Þ Collection Agencies/Creditors
Þ Hydro/Internet, etc.
Þ Credit Rating
Þ Dealing with Debt
Þ Dealing with Debt: 3 steps

Contact: 416-461-6696 //debtresources.acorncanada.org/

Harm Reduction Approach to coming off Psychiatric Drugs Resource

Icarus Project and Freedom Center’s 52-page illustrated guide gathers the best information we’ve come across and the most valuable lessons we’ve learned about reducing and coming off psychiatric Book cover: Harm Reudction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugsmedication. Based in more than 10 years work in the peer support movement, this Guide is used internationally by individuals, families, professionals, and organizations. //theicarusproject.net/resources/publications/harm-reduction-guide-to-coming-off-psychiatric-drugs-and-withdrawal/

TTC – Fair Pass Discount Program

The Fare Pass Presto card saves money: $2.00 per ride, 115.50 month. If you receive a transport allowance from OW or ODSP check with a worker before you apply for the pass so that you don’t have that subsidy cut from your cheque.

Find the forms and the details at: //www.toronto.ca/transitdiscount/

Overdose prevention safe injection site

Find an injection site and connect to community experts. You can get Naloxone for free from most pharmacies (with health card) and at mental health and addiction agencies.

NEW Site at Street Health

Overdose Prevention Site 338 Dundas St. E
Regular hours of operation 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Opening: Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Regular Hours:
Monday – Friday 11 am – 4 pm
The service is located in the fully-accessible backyard coach house within our existing space.
The service has two booths for supervised injection and a small area for post-consumption monitoring.
The service operates during our current opening hours and is staffed by experienced harm reduction workers with nursing back up.
For further information please contact: Kapri Rabin, Executive Director or Joyce Rankin Clinical Manager @ 416-921-8668

[For your information. This is not a survivor initiative but it does provide resources for women]

Building Foundations for Women(BFW)

is an 8-week life skills and personal development program. BFW supports women experiencing poverty and other life challenges to build stable and active lives and move toward their employment and education goals.

New program starts at beginning of August BFW provides TTC tokens, stipends and lunch.
For more information contact:

Through Ruff Times—Pet Help

 At Through Ruff Times (TRT) we hope to reduce barriers for people who experience poverty, homelessness, mental health and substance use challenges, violent living conditions and/or any other hurdles. Logo: Cartoon dog in profile. with words Through Ruff Times

​How does it work if I need TRT to look after my dog or cat?
You can fill out our Pet Profile and you will hear back from us as to whether or not we’re able to provide care.

Is there a chance I will lose my pet?
No, we want you and your pet to stay together. The reason we exist is to provide an option so that you do not lose your dog/cat.

Where will my dog/cat stay?
We have an amazing team of volunteer cat and dog Sitters who also want your and your pet to stay together. They are animal lovers who have gone through an application process, including a home visit. Your dog/cat will stay in a Ruff Sitter’s home until you are ready to be reunited.We operate based on the belief that humans and animals have a fundamental right to exist and to be treated with dignity, compassion and respect.


Farley Foundation—Funding for Vet bills

Never alone: When a person is feeling lonely, many doctors will recommend getting a pet as a cure. Pets give us the feeling we are not alone, and have someone offering unconditional love to us.

Farley cartoon with words the Farley Foundation

From their website //www.farleyfoundation.org
Sharing our lives with an animal helps us treat stress, depression, high blood pressure, and increases social interaction and physical activity. The simple act of petting an animal has been shown to lower your heart rate and increase a sense of well-being.
The Farley Foundation assists those who are struggling financially to pay for veterinary care for their pets. Pet owners who cannot afford medical care for their sick or injured pet, and who fall into one of the categories below, are encouraged to talk to their veterinarian about the availability of Farley Foundation funding:

  • · Seniors receiving the Federal Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).
  • · Disabled individuals receiving the Ontario Disability Support Payment (ODSP) or the Canada Pension Plan Disability Payment (CPP Disability).
  • · Women at risk of abuse who are entering a registered Ontario women’s shelter and who are participating in OVMA’s SafePet Program.
  • · Individuals receiving assistance through the Ontario Works Program.
  • · Supportive housing for seniors, retirement homes or long-term care facilities with live-in pets.
  • Questions?

If you belong to one of the groups who we help and meet the eligibility criteria, talk to your veterinarian about the possibility of applying for Farley Foundation funding.

Applications for funding can only be submitted by veterinarians. The Farley Foundation can’t discuss funding applications with pet owners or recommend a veterinarian. For more information, email info@farleyfoundation.org.

Logo of Farley by Lynn Johnston, artist and cartoonist For Better or For Worse®, visit the official web site for the comic strip at www.fborfw.com.

Reva Gerstein Legacy Fund

The Reva Gerstein Legacy Fund is seeking submissions for 2018/19.

The Legacy Fund has been set up through a generous gift from Reva Gerstein’s sons in honour of their mother’s significant contributions to the mental health community and her interest in education, research and other projects that celebrate the independent spirit of the survivor community.
Successful submissions include a variety of initiatives including tuition, art and film, educational and small business support.
Proposals should have a budget of no more than $4000 (most grants are in the $500-$1500 range).
Applications should include contact information, a description of the initiative and a budget.  For more information or to access a proposal outline, please visit Gerstein Crisis Centre website at www.gersteincentre.org

All proposals should be sent to
Gerstein Crisis Centre, 100 Charles St. E, Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1V3
e-mailed to legacyfund@gersteincentre.org.
Follow-up conversations or meeting may also be arranged
Submission deadline August 15, 2018

The process for application includes a letter of interest outlining the following;
1. A brief description of how the project achieves the goals of the Legacy Fund;
2. A short overview of the project or purpose for which assistance is requested (2 pages max)
3. A brief description of past projects that will indicate your ability to complete this endeavour;
4. A brief budget and time-line of activities.  (up to $4000 however most projects funded fall into the $500-$1500 range)
5. Alternative funding sources to complete the project if the Legacy Fund is unable to fund the whole budget.

The Stop has a new Peer Support Group:

Emotional wellness peer support groupLogo of a pot - the stop community food centre

==> where you can share your lived experiences, ispirations, successes and challenges. Strengthen self-care knowledge while finding support through engaging and connecting together.
Thursdays starting July 4 from 10:00-12:00 at 1884 Davenport Road. Also drop-in for one-on-one time with Sharon or Sara
Light snacks and learning about the Stop
Sara sara@thestop.org Sharon sharon@thestop.org  416-652-7867

DemocracyKit Workshops: Learn Campaign

Are you ready to drive political change and make a difference in your community? Never volunteered on a political campaign, but interested in learning how?
These workshops, presented with DemocracyKit, can be taken individually or as a series. They explain the workings of political election campaigns and deliver practical lessons, tools and connections to get started and make a meaningful contribution to a campaign team, for the upcoming 2018 municipal election in Toronto.All workshop series participants will receive:

  1. A copy of DemocracyKit Civic Campaign Guide
  2. Introductions to local candidates, campaigns and experts
  3. Access to 2018 municipal campaign training programs and events

DATE AND TIME Sat, 7 July 2018 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EDT
LOCATION: Toronto Public Library – Richview Library 1806 Islington Avenue Toronto

Street Soccer Toronto

Find more information about the league on Facebook.  You can also find highlights from the Homeless World Cup. We may also have walking football (All the kicking without the running).

Location is changing. Stay tuned. Contact Bulletin@soundtimes.com for updates.

ALL welcome you can come as an individual or a team. No expertise or fancy shoes required! Totally free.

5. Fun Free Events

Accessibility is more than ramps, colouring, playdates

Why accessibility in the queer community is still a problem

Disabled queers want more than just to be able to get up the doorstep to your party. We want to be part of our community

…What is hardest to deal with is when a disabled queer person brings up accessibility, they are often met with “Well just don’t go then” or the recommendation for a monthly afternoon social, usually involving colouring pages or even high tea. These seem to be the only events that promote accessibility or have more accessible venues.

While I take no issue with colouring pages and board games on their own, there is something infantilizing about having all of your social outings planned out very similarly to playdates your mother would organize for you in elementary school. It’s as though because I am disabled, I could not possibly want to partake in grownup activities like going out for drinks or being out past 10pm.

By Mari Ramsawakh Mari Ramsawakh is a freelance writer, podcast producer, and angry disabled non-binary queer. They have been published on The Establishment and xoJane. They have also just started a podcast called Sick Sad World to explore true crime from an intersectional lens. Jun 26, 2018 Publisher dailyXtra.com  //www.dailyxtra.com/why-accessibility-in-the-queer-community-is-still-a-problem-87764 .

General Tips on finding events:

  • We know there are lots of folks collecting events for Survivors so we don’t want to duplicate their efforts. If you do have a consumer survivor event, please submit it. If we don’t receive your event we probably won’t include it.   Sources of events:
    • Toronto Public Library
    • Now Magazine, Torontoist (torontoist.com) BlogTo (BlogTO.com)
    • Facebook

Toronto Public Library

Big events with huge authors and speakers at the Reference Library (789 Yonge Street //www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/programs-and-classes/appel-salon/

There is no central Mad Pride organizer or organizing committee there are 2 events that we know about:

Mad Pride BBQ 

HIGH PARK Wednesday July 11, 2018 From 1 PM- 5 PM
Area 26, beside High Park Blvd & the Adventure Playground – TC LHIN CSI Network

Poetry and Song – Help to envision a better world

– Evening of Poetry and Song – organized by Friendly Spike Theatre Band for Mad Pride
July 11, 2018 6:00-9:00 at May Robinson Auditorium at 20 Westlodge Avenue.,
One Block east of Lansdowne, north of Queen W. Wheel chair access. Light supper. Free.
FriendlySpike@primus.ca or call 647.729.9068

Lots more newsletters

  • · Ontario Peer Development Initiative OPDI “News to go” //www.opdi.org/news-events/news
  • · Empowerment Council //www.empowermentcouncil.ca/
  • · Citizens With Disability Ontario (CWDO) //www.cwdo.org/
  • · Housing Action Now—Great resource on housing advocacy in Toronto //housingactionnowto.wordpress.com/
  • HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO) Newsletter)
  • · ARCH Alert, ARCH Disability Law Centre  //www.archdisabilitylaw.ca/arch-alerts
  • · Voice of Our Own, Newsletter of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), published four times per year //www.ccdonline.ca/en/publications
  • · AODA Alliance – subscribe to e-news by emailing aodafeedback@gmail.com
  • · The Advocate – A Government Affairs Advisory Newsletter, Ontario March of Dimes //www.marchofdimes.ca

Looking for Resources in the Regent Park and Moss Park area?

Check out the resource booklet prepared by Regent Park Community Health Centre. The booklet is meant to be printed and shared. Consider printing out a copy or two and sharing with friends. Could your area use one of these?

 Cover of Community Resource Booklet June 2018 by Regent Park Community Health Centre

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Where we post even more information and resources.The Bulletin is free to receive.

All previous issues are available on our website: www.soundtimes.com/bulletin
The Bulletin is published on the 1st of every month
by Sound Times Support Services. Funding for this Consumer/Survivor initiative has been provided by the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).

Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network logo
The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the
Toronto Central LHIN, the Government of Ontario,
Sound Times Support Services Staff or Board Members.
Thanks: to survey participants, callers and emailers and the C/S Info Bulletin Team helping with the handoff.
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