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Bulletin July and August 2019 – Heat, public space, rights and mindfulness

Here is a link to the July August 2019 MailChimp version of the Bulletin. Find past issues here.

the Bulletin

 July – August 2019

1. Too much heat and not enough housing – Can positivity save us?

This summer challenges our right to exist in a city that is short of housing and space. This Bulletin issue asks many questions: Does everyone deserve to access parks and cooling spaces? Deserve is already a moral judgment that erases the rights of all of us to be in public. Who gets access to cooling, parks, services, social justice? Can positivity or mindfulness deal with these social questions or is it being used to individualize and isolate usWhat is more humane: Tents, Housing, Shelters?

Trinity Bellwoods park as sun sets. Underneath a large tree, people are drinking.

Stay wet and cool and Mad! Navigate Below

  1. Intro: Heat, parks, social vs individual problems
  2. Moments in C/S Bulletin History – Heat
  3. Rights and News: Health, Housing, Heat
  4. Resources
  5. Jobs
  6. Key Free Events
  7. Crackdown – Tenants and Police
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DOWNLOAD and Print for your friends and clients!
DOWNLOAD August Event Guide! thx Amber Graydon

Surveys and feedback help us improve!

We are only publishing electronically as of July 2019. You can access more news and resources throughout the month at Sound Times Website

2. Moments in C/S  History – Heat in 2005

Bulletin 305 August 15th 2005 – Heat

In 2005…Psychiatric survivor dies of “heat related” causes during heat wave Richard Howell, a psychiatric survivor who was living in a boarding home in Toronto’s west end, recently died of what the Coroner’s office described as “heat related” causes. In response, the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee (TDRC) held a press conference at PARC, urging that * there be “a Coroner’s Inquest to review the physical standards and operating requirements of the mental health boarding home system, including the use of psychiatric drugs and other medication and provision of air conditioning. [July 5, 2005]

In 2019, Is cooling accessible for Survivors in Toronto? 

The list for supportive housing is longer. Rooming house rooms are disappearing. There are no cooling centres opening this summer. Stay healthy. Stay wet and cool. Watch out for friends and neighbours especially if they are dealing with meds and drugs.

Find heat resources below.

3. News, Health, Housing, Rights, Advocacy


Accommodations for learning disabilities – more than ramps

Accommodations are more than ramps. Disability justice requires accommodations and barrier removal for all types of disabilities. All learners can benefit from Universal Design Learning systems (flexibility, different forms of communication through visual, oral, videos, powerpoints, test accommodations (s. 8.3).


Mindfulness has privatised social problems

Imagine if 5 of your friends lost housing, jobs or their lives from overdose? Would you rather have housing, jobs, and access to safe drugs or a mindfulness class? Would individual mindfulness classes help deal with these social catastrophes?
How mindfulness privatised a social problem

Validation vs Toxic Positivity

How many times have you been told inspiring quotes that didn’t match reality? When do helpful phrases sound fake and meaningless? Or worse: insulting? Toxic Positivity

“Validation: This is hard. You’ve done hard things before and I believe in you. I know there’s a lot that could go wrong. What could go rights?
“Toxic Positivity”: You’ll get over it! Just be positive!

A Helpful Chart to Explain the Difference Between Support and ‘Toxic Positivity’

Warning: mix of opioids and benzo-type drug

Key: Still use naloxone at an overdose. But if the naloxone has not worked, there may be a benzo (etizolam) mixed with the drugs warn doctors.

Bulletin asks: Do you think it would be a better solution for government and doctors to focus on antidotes against this specific drug mix or should it focus on making sure there is a safe (not-poisoned and known) supply of drugs? #safesupply #theytalkwedie.

Does legal aid affect your health?

When you are waiting in line for a doctor, you probably don’t think about legal aid. Dr. Gary Bloch identifies the ways that access to justice is a social determinant of health.

For people seeking ODSP Access to a legal clinic and advocacy help are absolutely vital for many people getting ODSP.

Cuts to legal aid mean worse health for vulnerable people – Toronto Star July 2, 2019

Fun FYI about Recovery Colleges

CAMH is working on creating a Recovery College (RC) and there have been consultations and there is an email but no website: recovery college <>. You might have heard about it in the elevator at CAMH or on your Facebook feed if you know anyone who works at CAMH. Some quick questions to consider about an RC: Who decides the goals, programming, resources, outcomes, timing and the ways the RC will relate to the broader world and social-economic-disability issues?

Recovery in the Bin is a critical theorist and activist collective from the United Kingdom where there is a long history of Recovery Colleges. RITB is a great source for when are stuck in the loop of frustration-waiting-services-waiting-disappointment.

* Housing *

Right to Housing is a Canadian Law

We still need to advocate and reach politicians to make sure they know that we have a Right to Housing (R2H). Get on the email/phone/post office! Interesting Background Document on the R2H

Tents. Housing. Shelters. Better alternative than the other?

Black sign with a tent in the centre. Text reads See a tent? Cool. Leave them the fuck alone.This poster was made to respond to a campaign to eliminate homeless camping in Seattle.

What do you think is more human? To leave people alone or to call the city?

Seattle’s campaign: See a Tent? Report a tent. … Living outside without access to sanitation is inhumane. …Report a tent using the City of Seattle App.

How often are survivors left without resources and services? Or left without peace and harassment?

Tenant Rights Advocacy

PART 1: 15 Etobicoke ACORN members rallied for a speak out against condo management corruption: mould, roaches, sewage leaking from the ceiling, and constant flooding of their basement, which is documented on film by CityTV news.

PART 2: A leader, Peter D’Gama, was physically restrained, held overnight and then released…for allegedly throwing PAPER at/near the property manager!

PART 3: ACORN tenant advocates will have a chance to embarrass the management company and get media coverage at future stages.

4. Resources

Look for the new Presto App

  • to load, get low balance warnings, view history and the Google Play and App Store
  • And New TTC Presto App

TTC – Fair Pass Discount Program

Find the forms and the details at: //
And more info at //

Hot Weather – Cool off where you can

Cannabis Record Suspension Process

  • Apply now for a Record Supension / Pardon if you have a simple possession convictions. The criminal record suspension (not quite a pardon) will be free and expedited (“no wait”).
  • You will still have to wait if you have other convictions. And your record may show up on USA records and it could reappear if you are convicted of another charge in the future.
  • Download the Application guide and forms

Chalmers Chatbot App – Connect to resources

Chalmers is a desktop and cellphone app to help you access services and resources for homeless and community services. It was designed by ample Labs, which “is a non-profit empowering those of us facing homelessness with technology”. You can type what you want and it responds with nearby resources.
The developers include folks who have experienced homelessness and they are open to input. This is a great time for us to help design accessible and relevant tool:

  • We co-create tech solutions with a community of youth between 16 and 35 who are at-risk of and/or experiencing homelessness and come from intersections of diverse identities and situations such as…

5. Jobs & Funding

Research about Peer Researchers Peers Project!

Want to work in the Mad service sector: Charity Village has lots of job listings – search “mental health”, “substance use”  //

JOB: Fresh Start Cleaner  

Fresh Start is currently accepting applications from  Consumer/ Survivors for Extreme Cleaning Services.  Apply to Karen Schwartz at 416-504-4262, #227 or

TCHC Housing Job

TENANTS: Looking for a job? Come out to our Job Fair on August 21! Meet local employers and learn about upcoming job opportunities. Bring copies of your resume and be prepared for on-the-spot interviews!

Date: Wednesday, August 21
Location: YMCA, 20 Grosvenor St., Toronto
Time: 4 to 7 p.m.
Link: //

6. Fun Free Events in August

General Tips on finding events:

The Big List of fun community events – compiled by Amber Graydon

  • over 40 pages of community events
  • daily, weekly. Free. Fun.

Housing and Justice Actions, events, consultations – compiled by Melissa Goldstein

  • housing action network, Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness, City of Toronto and more…

Highlights for August

Prisoners Justice Day 2019 Toronto August 10, 2019 at 5:00.

Meet at Church of the Holy Trinity – Trinity Square. March to City Hall for 9:00 Balloon release.
Every year on August 10, prisoners fast and refuse to work in a show of solidarity to remember those who have died unnecessarily — victims of murder, suicide and neglect.

7. Crackdown Podcast – Tenants, Police

  • Episode 6 – Room 821 – Tenant Advocacy – dealing with slumlords that exploit and evict vulnerable people including people who use drugs.
  • Episode 7 – Stand down – Policing public spaces where people who use drugs socialize – Police Accountability

Great resource for dealing with police from Pivot Legal Society in BC.

The Bulletin

Resources for Consumer / Survivors / People who use substances / Service and Substance Users / Fun Folks in TORONTO AREA

#18 – 615 July – August 2019
An oak tree comes from a single nut that stood its ground.” –Author Unknown Organizing Guide for Psychiatric Survivors MindFreedom International
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Where we post even more information and resources.The Bulletin is free to receive. We are only publishing electronically as of July 2019.

All previous issues are available on our website:
The Bulletin is published monthly by Sound Times Support Services. Funding for this Consumer/Survivor initiative has been provided by the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).

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Disclaimer: The views expressed herein 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.
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