Reprinted from "Women's" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2 (4), p. 3
This edition of Visions marks a fairly dramatic change in the way the magazine is created. Eric Macnaughton, Visions’ long-time researcher and editor, has gone on to pursue his PhD. His contributions have been immense and his will be a difficult role to follow. I am filling in one part of his work by taking on the challenging role of policy/issues editor. We have, as in the past, a guest editor. Many thanks also to our new structural editor, Vicki McCullough, as well as Cynthia Row, Sarah Hamid-Balma and the entire story line committee for pulling all the ideas together.
This edition focuses on the issues and experiences of women and girls with mental health and or addiction issues. Some of the work is controversial, some is technical, all are meant to make us think through our long-held assumptions about what living with mental illness or addiction mean to women and girls and the relevance of using a gender lens in designing policies and services. Gender plays a key role in diagnosis, treatment, stigma, and recovery. And not just for women. Our next issue of Visions looks at the issues that men and boys face. The differences may astound you, or they may simply reaffirm that while we have come a long way in the diagnosis, treatment, and support for persons living with these conditions, we still have a long way to go.
We present to you articles that cover a range of issues: eating disorders; illness/addiction and mothering, differing services that work with women who have mental illness and/or addictions, rural issues, benzodiazepines and workplaces. What we have been unable to do is to include articles on all possible issues. Notable by their absence are articles on women and poverty/homelessness or women in the sex trade; what happens when a physical problem is also present; more examples of how culture and social role play a part in women seeking treatment and how services can adapt for them; the diagnosis, treatment, and service for women with personality disorders; other reproductive mental health issues beyond postpartum and pregnancy such as menopause or premenstrual dysphoric disorder; and more articles featuring girls and young women, just to name a few.
About the Author
Christina is Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mid-Island Branch. She has an MEd in Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies and is working towards her doctorate in Policy and Practice in the Faculty of Human and Social Development at the University of Victoria