Vernon and Powell River are the latest BC communities whose young people will benefit from Foundry clinics, which provide integrated health and wellness services, including mental-health and addiction care.
Foundry Vernon and Foundry Powell River, serving the qathet region, will offer young people ages 12-24 and their families safe, welcoming and youth-designed health and wellness services, including mental-health and addiction support, drop-in counselling, physical and sexual health care, youth and family peer support and social services.
Foundry’s origins at St. Paul’s Hospital
Foundry began in St. Paul’s Hospital in 2015 and has grown into a network of clinics for young people across the province.
“Every young person in British Columbia deserves health-care services that meet their unique needs, including access to primary care and mental-health support, no matter where they live,” Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, says.
Children and youth have faced challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, toxic-drug crisis and climate-related emergencies.
The BC government is investing $74.9 million through its 2023 budget to open 12 more Foundry centres in B.C., for a total of 35 Foundry centres throughout the province.
Vernon and Powell River are the first two of those communities that have been selected to host a new centre. The process to select the remaining communities will launch in September and applications will be due by November 2023.
Safe, accessible spaces for young people
“It brings me enormous joy to see the strides Foundry is continuing to make in realizing its vision of making safe and accessible wellness spaces a living reality for young people in every part of the province, including rural and remote communities,” says Toni Carlton, Foundry’s provincial director for Community, Culture and Connection.
Foundry Vernon will be operated by the Canadian Mental Health Association Vernon and District Branch. The Powell River Child, Youth and Family Services Society will operate the Foundry in that community.
There are 16 Foundry centres open throughout the province in Vancouver-Granville, North Shore (North Vancouver), Campbell River, Ridge Meadows, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Prince George, Victoria, Penticton, Terrace, Comox Valley, Langley, Richmond, Cariboo-Chilcotin (Williams Lake), Sea to Sky (Squamish) and Port Hardy.
An additional seven Foundry centres are in development in Burns Lake, East Kootenay (Cranbrook), Surrey, Fort St. John, Tri-Cities, Kamloops and Sunshine Coast. In addition, Foundry’s virtual services can be accessed from anywhere in the province through the Foundry BC app, by phone or: foundrybc.ca/virtual