Mental Health

New Foundry BC app transforms access to vital services for youth, caregivers

Disclaimer: photo taken pre-COVID.

Youth and their caregivers around British Columbia now have faster, easier access to mental health and substance use services and supports through the new Foundry BC app.

Co-created by youth for youth, the Foundry BC app offers young people aged 12-24 and their caregivers access to integrated health and wellness services through their mobile device or an online web portal: www.foundrybc.ca/virtual.

Services offered through the app and web portal include drop-in and scheduled counselling, primary care, peer support and group sessions.

COVID has amplified young people’s mental health issues

“Our young people were dealing with immense pressures even before the pandemic, but COVID-19 has amplified the stress on their mental health, including increasing anxiety, depression and substance use,” says Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

App launch coincides with Child and Youth Mental Health Day

“I’m grateful that today, on Child and Youth Mental Health Day, we are removing more barriers to create faster and easier access to the help our youth need.  

App lets young people and caregivers book virtual appointments

At a time when in-person services have been reduced due to COVID-19 safety measures, the Foundry BC app and web portal will allow young people and their caregivers to schedule virtual appointments in advance, access same-day support through messaging, audio or video sessions, join group sessions with peers, and access web-based tools and resources.

Youth helped design the App

“Foundry envisions all young people in BC having the supports they need to live a good life,” says Steve Mathias, Executive Director at Foundry, which has its roots at Providence Health Care. “The Foundry BC app, designed alongside youth, will make Foundry services easier to find and simpler to access – from anywhere. We are grateful to the members of our youth advisory committee, the Province of BC, and FreshWorks for coming together with our team to make the Foundry BC app possible. Especially now, as young people navigate the many challenges of COVID-19, this is an important investment in the future of this province.”

App will evolve to include more features

As with all Foundry services, no referrals are required, and services are free and confidential. For youth and caregivers who have limited or no access to the internet, Foundry’s provincewide virtual services team also provides support by phone at 1-833-FØUNDRY (1-833-308-6379).

The Foundry app will continue to evolve over the coming year to offer additional services, including new features such as wellness goal-setting, medication tracking, employment supports and a “circle of care” program where youth can allow service providers and their caregivers to collaborate online. 

The Foundry app and its virtual supports and services broaden Foundry BC’s reach and complement in-person services currently offered through a network of 11 centres throughout the province in Abbotsford, Campbell River, Kelowna, Richmond, Ridge Meadows, Terrace, Victoria, Penticton, Prince George, and two locations in Vancouver (Granville and the North Shore). Work is also underway to expand the Foundry model to 19 centres provincewide.

The Province has provided approximately $1.6 million to support the Foundry’s virtual services, including the development of the Foundry app. 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, with a focus on children, youth and young adults.

The Foundry BC app is available for download through the Apple Store and Google Play store.

Quick Facts:

Since the soft launch of the Foundry BC app in early March 2021 and until May 4, 2021:

Learn More:

To learn more about the outcome of the Foundry’s first year of provincial virtual service, visit: http://foundrybc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/VIC_-Foundry-Virtual-BC_InfographicEvaluationReport_FINAL.pdf

For additional virtual mental health and substance use supports, visit:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/COVID19MentalHealthSupports

To learn more about A Pathway to Hope, visit: https://bit.ly/33HyFHy

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