Reprinted from the "LGBT" issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 6 (2), p. 4
Welcome to the new Visions! Although the content and approach haven’t changed, we hope the new layout will make Visions easier to read and enjoy. The redesign is part of an overall refresh of the look and feel of materials produced by the BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information. You may have also noticed the new, green Heretohelp logo on the cover page. This new logo builds on the well-recognized work and promise of the Heretohelp.bc.ca website where Visions and other BC Partners products live.
Now, back to the current issue...
Someone once said there are two “s”’s about our humanity that always seem to get lost in conversations about health: sexuality and spirituality. This Visions issue deals with some aspects of the former, specifically sexual orientation and its connection to mental health and substance use. It’s a subject not talked about enough in mental health and addictions circles. LGBT refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered individuals, although you’ll see that there are several acronym variations in this issue. What do all these terms mean? Because language and history are so central to understanding this area, I really encourage you to read the glossary at the end of Visions before you read any articles.
Like our upcoming issue looking at immigrants and refugees, this issue also looks at culture, community and diversity. And it deals with issues of identity, disclosure, prejudice, and pathology—concepts all too familiar to those involved in mental health and/or addictions. Contributors to Visions are always special, eloquent and courageous, but especially so in this issue. They’re also great champions in reminding us, with practical examples and passion, that we need to remember the needs of the whole person and the multiple layers each of us wear.
About the authorSarah is Visions Editor and Director of Public Education and Communications at the Canadian Mental Health Association's BC Division. She also has personal experience with mental illness.