Mental Health Urban Health

Foundry Sea to Sky begins offering services to young people

Foundry Vancouver-Granville was the first Foundry youth centre. They now exist across BC, with more in development. Photo: Jeff Topham

Young people in Squamish and surrounding areas can access much-needed mental-health and substance-use supports as Foundry Sea to Sky begins providing services.

Foundry Sea to Sky offers young people between 12 and 24 and their families free, confidential, age-friendly and supportive mental-health and substance-use services, as well as social and recreational programs to fit their unique needs. Foundry Sea to Sky is operated by Sea to Sky Community Services Society (SSCS) and will provide interim services at their own and throughout partner locations in Squamish as construction for the centre’s permanent site continues.

“Young people have been dealing with immense pressures and health challenges, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, the toxic drug crisis and climate emergencies,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, in a news release. “Foundry Sea to Sky will help many young people get the supports they need right in their own community.”

Foundry’s roots at St. Paul’s Hospital

Foundry began in St. Paul’s Hospital in 2015 and has grown into a network of care for young people across the province.

Currently, 13 Foundry centres are open throughout the province, including Vancouver-Granville, North Shore (North Vancouver), Campbell River, Ridge Meadows, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Prince George, Victoria, Penticton, Richmond, Terrace, Comox Valley and Langley.

Staff at Foundry Vancouver-Granville. The Foundry model began at St. Paul’s Hospital. Photo: Jeff Topham (taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic).

“We recognize the growing need to reach young people and those who care for them across B.C. We are grateful to the Sea to Sky community for launching interim Foundry services so youth can find help now,” said Karen Tee, associate executive director, Foundry. “These interim services will also enable the many partners involved in Foundry Sea to Sky to start working together earlier for a smooth transition into their permanent space.”

8 new Foundry centres in development

The Province is providing annual funding for operations and services at Foundry Sea to Sky and also provided one-time funding of $800,000 for the establishment of the centre.

In addition to the Sea to Sky centre, eight new Foundry centres are in development in Burns Lake, East Kootenay (Cranbrook), Port Hardy, Surrey, Cariboo-Chilcotin (Williams Lake), Fort St. John, Tri-Cities and Kamloops. Foundry services can be accessed from anywhere in the province through the Foundry BC app, by phone or at: foundrybc.ca/virtual.

Enhancing supports for youth living with mental-health and substance-use needs is an integral part of A Pathway to Hope, B.C.’s roadmap for building a comprehensive system of mental-health and addictions care for British Columbians.

Read the full news release about Foundry Sea to Sky here.