B.C. communities can apply for new Foundry centres to support young people

MORE young people in British Columbia will soon have access to vital mental-health and substance-use supports as communities can now submit applications to bring a Foundry centre to their area.

Foundry services are a vital part of our health care system, provided by Providence Health Care, an affiliate of Vancouver Coastal Health. In conjunction with the Province, health authorities and community partners, the centres provide young people 12-24 and their caregivers free and confidential assistance to fit their unique mental-health and wellness needs.

Services include mental-health and substance-use support, physical and sexual health care, peer support and social services. For those who cannot visit a centre in person, Foundry services can be accessed virtually.

“Every young person in British Columbia needs access to health-care services that meets their unique needs, regardless of their location,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, on Wednesday. “Expanding the Foundry network will make it easier for young people and their families to get the help they need, right in their own community.”

As of September 6, Foundry is accepting applications from communities around the province that are looking to establish a local Foundry centre. All non-profit and health and social-system organizations serving youth, including First Nations, Métis and urban Indigenous service providers, are eligible and encouraged to apply. Communities are advised to apply by October 27 at: https://foundrybc.ca/expansion/

“I am incredibly excited that the day has finally come where we are officially accepting applications from communities across the province – I urge all interested communities to apply as soon as possible,” said Toni Carlton, provincial director for community, culture and connection, Foundry. “We’ve heard numerous times from people using our services that they would have had nowhere to turn to for help if they didn’t have a Foundry centre in their community. It’s undeniable that Foundry saves lives.”

Children and youth have faced unprecedented challenges over the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, toxic-drug crisis and climate-related emergencies. That’s why the Province invested $74.9 million over three years to enhance Foundry services, including the addition of 12 more Foundry centres, for a total of 35 Foundry centres across the province. Vernon and Powell River were recently selected for a new centre, and 10 more communities will be selected through this application process. The Province will provide annual funding for operations and services at Foundry centres, as well as one-time funding of $1.5 million to establish them.

There are 16 Foundry centres open in Vancouver-Granville, North Shore (North Vancouver), Campbell River, Ridge Meadows, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Prince George, Victoria, Penticton, Terrace, Comox Valley, Langley, Richmond and Cariboo-Chilcotin (Williams Lake), Sea to Sky (Squamish) and Port Hardy.

An additional nine new Foundry centres are in development in Burns Lake, East Kootenay (Cranbrook), Surrey, Fort St. John, Sunshine Coast, Tri-Cities, Kamloops, Vernon and Powell River (qathet).

Enhancing supports for young people living with mental-health and substance-use challenges is an integral part of A Pathway to Hope, B.C.’s road map for building the comprehensive system of mental-health and substance-use care that British Columbians deserve.


Quick Facts:

* It is estimated that 75% of mental-health issues emerge before age 25.

* In 2022, Foundry centres supported 14,420 young people across B.C.

* On average, Foundry centres supported 3,122 young people per month.

* In 2022, Foundry Virtual BC supported 2,011 young people.

* Foundry Virtual BC supports an average of 322 youth per month.


Learn More:

A Pathway to Hope, government’s vision for mental-health and addictions care in B.C.: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021MMHA0049-001787

For information about Foundry BC, visit: https://foundrybc.ca/


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