Youth Mental Health

Foundry youth centres poised for big expansion

Another 10 Foundry youth centres will open across BC, bringing the total number open or in development to 35.

More young people will have better access to vital health-care services closer to home, such as primary care, counselling, early intervention, prevention and addictions supports, with 10 new Foundry centres throughout the province, it was announced today.

That is the largest number of the clinics to be announced at the same time since Foundry was launched at St. Paul’s Hospital in 2015.

“There’s nothing more important than helping kids and their families. That’s why we’re making a significant expansion in child and youth health and wellness supports so more young people can get connected to the services they need,” says Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Foundry centres provide a welcoming, stigma-free place where young people can connect to health and wellness supports so they can address mental-health and addiction challenges before they become roadblocks.”

The centres are coming to Burnaby, Chilliwack, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Quesnel, Sooke-Westshore, South Surrey, Vancouver, Vanderhoof and the West Kootenays. These communities will join the 25 others with Foundry centres that are open or in development, bringing the province’s total to 35 centres. 

Judgment-free health care and social services

“Young people, now more than ever, desperately need safe spaces where they can access mental-health, physical-health, substance-use, and social services without feeling judged or stigmatized,” says Dr. Steve Mathias, Foundry’s Executive Director.

Dr. Steve Mathias

Approximately 75 per cent of serious mental-health issues emerge before age 25. The pandemic, global uncertainty and climate emergencies continue to disproportionately affect young people, resulting in increased rates of depression and anxiety.

Free, confidential services

Foundry centres offer young people aged 12-24 and their families access to free and confidential services, such as mental-health and addiction counselling, physical and sexual health care, peer support and social services.

The Province continues to build on investments of $236 million in new and expanded addictions care for youth and young adults, including approximately $75 million for Foundry expansion and enhanced services.

Quick Facts:

  • In fiscal year 2022-23, 17,567 people aged 12-24 and their families accessed Foundry services in British Columbia.
    • 14,987 young people accessing in-person services at Foundry Centres.
    • 2,580 young people accessing Foundry Virtual services.

For a list of new Foundry centres and locations, visit here.

To read the full news release on today’s announcement, visit here.