Reprinted from the Young People: Transitions issue of Visions Journal, 2015, 11 (2), p. 4
Transitions are tricky—and they matter to Visions readers. In fact, based on your votes, this is the first of two issues focusing on transitions.
You are going to encounter some amazing stories in the pages ahead. One familiar theme to watch out for is just how many youth and families feel lost, vulnerable, and generally set adrift between late adolescence and early adulthood. Too old for one (youth) system, but emotionally not ready for the new (adult) system. Using birthday candles as the rule to be granted or denied service just doesn’t make much sense anymore, if it ever did—and especially given how much growing up has changed (see next page). As another article tells us, “Youth said they were frustrated with losing the supports they had grown up with. They wanted someone who could stay involved with them regardless of their age.” It seems such a simple and reasonable request. Why can’t our systems be designed to do that better? We are so honoured that the BC Representative for Children and Youth was involved in helping Visions ask these difficult questions.
In the previous issue of Visions, Treatments: What Works?, a table (p. 36 of that issue) about effective treatments in children and youth contained an error. In the row for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the authors mistakenly labeled atomoxetine as a stimulant medication. It is an evidence-based medication to treat ADHD but it actually belongs to an entirely different class of medication: norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. We have corrected the online versions of the issue and article. A special thank you to Dr. Patrick Lydon, a psychiatrist from Victoria, for noticing the error and letting us know
Fortunately, while we wait for policies to catch up, you will read ahead how supportive adults play a key role in helping a young person cross various bridges. You will also learn what youth would like that support to look like. That’s the reason I loved our designer’s choice of art for the cover: all the hands gently helping a seedling to thrive.
Goodbye to a valued team member
The cover is also a good metaphor for all the people behind the scenes who help a program or resource to flourish. I want to say a huge thank you and goodbye to Visions’ professional substantive editor, Vicki McCullough. Vicki is leaving Visions as she moves into semi-retirement. She has left an enormous legacy after 11 years of service and 37 issues. As an integral part of our team, she helped more than 660 contributors to tell and polish their stories. On behalf of all of us, thank you and all the best, Vicki. Perhaps we’ll see you on our Letter to the Editor page one day! Your successor, Jillian, will have big shoes to fill, indeed.
About the author
Sarah is Visions Editor and Director of Mental Health Promotion at the Canadian Mental Health Association’s BC Division