Mental Health Urban Health

Foundry youth centres are expanding

Foundry Vancouver Granville was the first Foundry youth clinic. They now exist across BC, with more coming. Photo: Jeff Topham

BC communities now have an opportunity to establish a Foundry health and social service centre for youth age 12-24 and their families. From now until November 26th 2019, Foundry is inviting Expressions of Interest (EOI) through foundrybc.ca/expansion2019.

Foundry is a network of community-based centres and online tools and resources that enable young people to access mental health and substance use supports, primary care, peer supports and social services from a single place.

“Foundry is transforming how young people access health and social services in BC,” says Steve Mathias, Foundry’s Executive Director. “Dropping in to see a peer support worker or asking for help finding a job in a warm, friendly space designed by fellow young people—this is what young British Columbians are seeking in order to feel safe and heard.”

Since spring 2018, eight Foundry centres have served over 10,000 young people across BC.

As part of the Province’s “A Pathway to Hope: B.C.’s mental health roadmap”, Foundry is looking to partner with organizations across BC to open and operate a minimum of six new Foundry centres. Non-profit and health and social system agencies serving youth are invited to submit an EOI through foundrybc.ca/expansion2019.

“We have already seen great success from the Foundry model that brings health and social services together under one roof for young people – a “one stop shop” – right in their community,” says Judy Darcy, BC’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “A Pathway to Hope builds on that success and supports the further expansion of the Foundry Network, adding eight new centres to the eight already open and three in development for a total of 19 Foundry youth centres across B.C. “

Foundry embraces, empowers and supports youth. It welcomes young people and their families without judgment.

The Foundry centres are located in Vancouver, Campbell River, Kelowna, Vancouver North Shore (North and West Vancouver), Prince George, Victoria, Penticton and Abbotsford, with three more in development in Terrace, Richmond and Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows.

Interested organizations can learn more about submitting an Expression of Interest at foundrybc.ca/expansion2019.

Hosted by Providence Health Care, Foundry is supported by the Government of British Columbia, the Graham Boeckh Foundation, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and donors to St. Paul’s Foundation. foundrybc.ca is powered by BC Children’s Hospital.

“I find myself having a difficult time not describing Foundry like it’s some kind of miracle, but I guess that’s because I truly believe it is,” says Tooth, Provincial Youth Advisory Member, Foundry North Shore. “I think every community needs a Foundry, or something similar to it, all around the world. Maybe then we’d have less youth struggling in pain all on their own.”

Give us your comments and story ideas