Cranbrook getting a Foundry centre for youth
Youth around British Columbia and their families will have faster, easier access to mental health and substance use services and supports with eight new Foundry centres to be developed throughout the province, including one in Cranbrook.
The new Foundry centres will be in Cranbrook, Burns Lake, Comox Valley, Langley, Squamish, Surrey, Port Hardy and Williams Lake.
The new locations, as with all Foundry centres, will offer increased access to integrated health and wellness services for young people aged 12 to 24 in both rural and urban communities. Each centre will offer primary care, youth and family peer supports, walk-in counselling, mental health and substance use services, and social services all under one roof, making it easier for youth to get help when they need it.
“I am so excited that young people in eight more communities in rural and urban B.C. will be able to get quick access to the mental health and substance use services they need and deserve,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “With COVID-19 impacting the mental health of young people in a big way, and with the overdose crisis continuing, it’s more important than ever that they have quick access to the excellent supports that Foundry provides.”
The new Foundry centre in Cranbrook will be opened and operated by Ktunaxa-Kinbasket Child and Family Service Society.
“A new Foundry within a community is a sign that lets young people know there’s a place just for them where they can get the support they need, right where they live,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “Child and youth mental health workers at Foundry centres play a key role, matching young people with early interventions to help them take on challenges and get back on the road to wellness.”
The new locations were chosen after a two-step evaluation process. The process began in October 2019 with a call for expressions of interest and included several independent panels, a two-day in-person convening session, a second written submission and phone and in-person interviews with representatives from interested community organizations.
“We were inspired by the communities that participated in the expansion process to identify the next eight lead agencies,” said Steve Mathias, executive director, Foundry. “Communities from all over B.C., urban, rural and remote, felt that this was something that their youth and families needed and wanted. We look forward to our network growing to 19 centres and eventually seeing the great impact these Foundry centres will have on youth, families, care providers and communities.”
For youth and families not living near a Foundry centre, Foundry recently launched a new province-wide virtual service accessible by voice, video and chat for young people ages 12-24 and their caregivers in British Columbia. Foundry’s virtual services include drop-in counselling, peer support and family support, and will soon include primary care.
The Foundry model is an integral part of A Pathway to Hope, B.C.’s roadmap for making mental health and addictions care better for people in British Columbia.
“Integrated and accessible services are essential for wellness. These new Foundry centres will provide hope for thousands of youth. Over the past four years, Foundry has led the movement towards a better, healthier British Columbia by chipping away at the shame and blame that controlled the conversation around mental health and addictions for so long,” stated Laila Ferreira, provincial family advisor with Foundry.
“As a parent with lived experience, I know first-hand that when a young person lives with mental health or substance use challenges, it impacts the entire family. Foundry’s integrated model ensures families, whether natural or chosen, are connected to available and welcoming programs and resources that assist them in supporting the health of their youth and family. I am optimistic that the opening of these eight new centres across B.C. will provide much needed support, connection and hope to youth and the families that love them.”
In 2019, 9,770 young people accessed services at Foundry centres around B.C., with more than 35,000 visits recorded in total.
More than 42% of young people accessing services at Foundry centre were referred by a friend or family member.
According to Foundry’s 2019 Youth Experience Survey:
* 92% of young people accessing services either strongly agreed or agreed that they got help for the things they wanted to get help with;
* 96% of young people accessing services either strongly agreed or agreed that they would describe Foundry as a “youth friendly” place;
* 96% of young people accessing services either strongly agreed or agreed that if a friend needed this sort of help, they would suggest Foundry; and
* 91% of young people accessing services either strongly agreed or agreed that they felt more able and prepared to manage their current situation or health condition because of their contact with Foundry.
Lead image: An example of a Foundry centre. Image from foundrybc.ca