I have more than one good friend who happens to have a mental illness. Two friends have recently ‘outed’ themselves to me as having been diagnosed with a mood disorder and schizophrenia respectively. I also have a close friend I have taken to the emergency department, and waited there with her all night, so she could get admitted and get the help she needed. She’s part of my ‘family’ and that’s what family does.
Lately I’ve been a bit immersed in the world of mental health services. One of my main clients in Technology Tailoring, my management and technology consulting business is the BC Schizophrenia Society. They’ve hired me to set up and run an online support group for families like ours who have people we care about with a mental illness. The society has lots of good information on how to cope well with having a loved one with a serious mental illness as well. The support group is just getting started so it could use some brave lesbians (& other queer folks) to get the discussion rolling. I think it’s good for us to have a place to talk about supporting our kinds of families. You need to register to get access to the group. It’s a private discussion area and you can use your real name or a fake one if that suits you better. I hope you’ll check it out at www.support.bcss.org
Another program helping lesbian, gay, bi & trans families is Prism Alcohol and Drug Services, a Vancouver Coastal Health funded program which “offers counselling and groups for substance-use-affected lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirit and queer people, and for trans people regardless of sexual orientation”. As the program site says, “With Prism, you can be open about all of who you are, and know that you will receive respectful treatment from knowledgeable counsellors.” This edition features an article about Prism and an interview with a lesbian staff member of the organization.
On a lighter note, this edition also features lesbian book blogs and book reviews and some miscellaneous and amusing bits of internet fluff about lesbians. I was pleased and amazed to discover all the good lesbian content out there, so I brought it home to show you. We also have a feature on lesbian musical duo Sugar Beach, who performed at this year’s Dyke March stage and are getting married September 1st here in Vancouver.
This edition has more stories than it’s had in a long time. I hope you enjoy this edition and please keep in mind that I post lots of juicy events listings in between quarterly editions. You can subscribe to the RSS feed to keep in touch or just check back from time to time when you’re looking for places to go and women to see…
As always, you can check out our regular features: Lesbian Resources, Lesbian Agenda, Supporting Businesses and the list of stories containing lesbian and women-owned businesses and lesbian and lesbian-led community organisations.
In this issue: