By Veronica L. Holyfield
When it comes to coming out, many LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning) folks face shame, homophobia, transphobia, discrimination and even downright hate. Compound that with abnormally high rates of substance abuse disorder and mental health issues—often related to the stigma attached to their sexuality—and the outcomes can be catastrophic.
Envision:You, an LGBTQ mental health and substance use disorder initiative based in Colorado, understands the potentially fatal results of delivering subpar or insufficient treatment support to gender-diverse individuals. Aimed at supporting educating and empowering those who identify as LGBTQ and those who serve that population, Envision:You operates with a sense of urgency.
“It’s not about prescribing solutions—it’s not about telling folks what they should or shouldn’t do. It’s about listening to the community, understanding their needs, creating programs with the community that are going to help address those needs, and then working with the community to roll those programs out,” says Envision:You co-founder Steven Haden.