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Vol. 5 | No. 2 | 2009

Online Table of Contents and PDFs:


Editors Message
-- Sarah Hamid-Balma





Visions’ editor points out that there is no one face of mental health and substance use in the classroom. So how can we be sure kids don’t fall through the cracks? If you can help the most vulnerable, then most times you can help them all.

The Rise in “Non-typical” Students
A Challenge for Our Times

-- Cheryl Ashlie
As a veteran school trustee, Cheryl has watched as the “typical” learner has become less and less common in the classroom. With these changes come challenges; and to overcome these challenges there must be changes. 

Youth and Mental Health/ Substance Use Problems
How Schools Are Involved

-- Lynn D. Miller
One in five BC school kids have some type of mental disorder. Only one in five of those kids will get the help they need.  The school years are also when many kids use substances for the first time.  Here we learn what schools – and the government – can do to help.

Alcohol and Other Drug Use Among BC Students
Myths and Realities

Elizabeth M. Saewyc
Drug and alcohol use is running rampant in our BC schools. Or is it? An expert in youth health clears up common substance use myths, and highlights the facts.

Experiences and Perspectives

My School Years
The Wild Ride From Basements to Bikes

-- Chris
Having a mental disorder can be quite the journey at any time, but in the unruly adolescent years it can be downright wild. A brave student shares the years he lost because of his illness, and how he rode his way to a brighter future.

To Tell or Not to Tell?
The question of disclosure

-- Caris Smythe
It can be a struggle to find the right support for your child with special needs, but what if you yourself are facing mental health issues? One mother outlines her struggle to help her son while facing stigma because she was open about her illness.

Let’s Not Talk About It?
Teaching teens about substance abuse

-- Andy Sibbald
After years of struggling to teach teens about drug and alcohol use one educator, and recovering alcoholic, found what works: Learning from the mistakes of others and not talking about healthy lifestyles, but living them.

Bullying at School Can Take the Sunshine Out of Life
A student and parent share their experiences

-- Lenette and Darlene Doskoch
We have all heard about the devastating effects of bullying. Here one extraordinary young girl opens up her painful past and a mother celebrates the return of her Sunshine Girl.

Weathering the Storms
A family’s journey through earthquakes, loss—and bullying at school

-- Shabana
When it rains it pours. An “instant” mother shares the struggles of helping her two beautiful nieces through loss, bullying and natural disasters. While navigating the school system is tough she’s found that keeping an open mind helps open doors. [Online only]

Educating Youth About Mental Illness
-- Shelby Rankel
Teaching the teachers. One extraordinary young woman is using her battle with a mental disorder to arm teachers and student s with Mental Illness First Aid. [Online only]

Alternatives and Approaches

School Connectedness: It Matters to Student Health
-- Laura MacKay
Having a sense of belonging has been shown to improve the well being of students. This article explores the connection between connectedness and healthy choices and lets us know what schools can do to improve the odds.

Rethinking Drug Education
-- Dan Reist
While the idea of drug education in schools is well meaning, its results are iffy at best. An addictions expert tells us that when it comes to talking to our kids about drugs it’s time to get real.

Student Mental Health: Teachers Can Help
-- Cheryl Hofweber
Teachers spend a lot of time with our kids. Because of this, they are often the first line of defence when our children develop a mental disorder. This article takes a look at what teachers can do to prepare themselves to help our kids.

Making the Most Out of Making Your School Smoke-Free
-- Gerald Thomas
It will take more than just banning smoking on school grounds to reduce smoking rates among students. Here we learn the 7 steps to a smoke free school.

Regional Programs

FRIENDS Parent Training
Helping parents help their children deal with worries and anxiety

-- Donna Murphy
No parent wants to feel the hopelessness of watching a child struggle with anxiety and depression. One mother turned her tragic loss into a powerful program that arms parents with the knowledge they need to help their kids cope.

A New Path in School District #22 (Vernon)
Our substance abuse prevention policies and procedures

-- Doug Rogers
It used to be that if you were caught using drugs at school, you were kicked out. Now by asking one simple question: “What would I do if my child had a drug problem?” one school district is changing the way kids who use substances are “treated”.

Reaching Out
Two BC Programs Bring Mental Health Awareness to Youth

-- Sophia Kelly and Judy Gray
Two innovative programs are changing student lives here in BC. ReachOut  is using hip approaches to teach students about psychosis. Youth Net Delta is helping kids teach each other about mental health – and combating stigma along the way.

Jessie’s Hope Society Celebrates ‘EveryBody’ by Fostering Healthy Resilience
-- Brian Chittock, Quinn Cashion-Vosburgh, Healther Rajala
One BC program is educating teachers and students about the importance of resilience. By teaching kids how to use the power of thought they teach them to celebrate EveryBody.

What is eVisions?





You asked and we answered. Visions, BC’s award-winning mental health and addictions journal is now just a click away! Visions is a forum for the many voices of people who care about mental health, mental illness and substance use issues. Each edition looks in-depth at a different theme and features articles by people living with mental illnesses and/or addictions and their families, mental health and addiction professionals and other concerned citizens. It is written for the mental health and addictions community, by the mental health and addictions community and now it can be delivered straight to your inbox, a week before it hits the press.

Four times a year you’ll receive an eVisions newsletter with brief summaries of each article in the issue—so you can better choose which articles interest you—with links to the full HTML article online. Read only what you want, when you want. Share it easily with others. No PDF readers needed. Best of all, eVisions is free!

Visions: BC's Mental Health and Addictions Journal is produced by the BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information, and funded by BC Mental Health and Addiction Services, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority. The project is coordinated by the Canadian Mental Health Association’s BC Division.


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More about us





Visions: BC's Mental Health and Addictions Journal is an award-winning, policy-to-practice magazine of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information.

The BC Partners is a group of provincial mental health and addictions agencies in BC including the Anxiety Disorders Association of BC, BC Schizophrenia Society, Canadian Mental Health Association's BC Division, Centre for Addiction Research of BC at UVic, FORCE Society for Kids' Mental Health Care, Jessie's Hope Society, and Mood Disorders Association of BC. Our reason for coming together is that we recognize that a number of groups need to have access to accurate, standard and timely information on mental health, mental disorders and addictions, including information on evidence-based services, supports and self-management.

The BC Partners and Visions Journal are funded by BC Mental Health & Addiction Services, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority. More than 15,000 people read the hard copy of the journal and thousands more access it online at Visions is available free to any resident of BC such as people with mental illness or addiction issues, their friends and family, members of the BC Partners member agencies, mental health and addictions services providers (one per address), MLAs, other concerned citizen groups, libraries, academics and policy-makers.


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