British Columbia

More support for youth mental health and substance use services announced for B.C.

Eight new Foundry centres are being developed to deliver primary care, youth and family peer supports, walk-in counselling, mental health and substance use services all under one roof.

Foundry centre services coming to 8 new B.C. communities

Judy Darcy, British Columbia's minister of mental health and addictions, says eight new Foundry centres will offer primary care, youth and family peer supports, walk-in counselling, mental health and substance use services and social services all under one roof. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The B.C. government says eight new Foundry centres being developed in the province will give young people and their families faster and easier access to mental health and substance use services.

Foundry is an integrated health and wellness service for people aged 12 to 24.

According the the news release, each new centre will offer primary care, youth and family peer supports, walk-in counselling, mental health and substance use services and social services all under one roof.

"We provide safe, non-judgmental care, information and resources, and work to reach young people earlier — before health challenges become problematic," reads the Foundry website.

The eight new Foundry centres will be operated by the following agencies:

  • Burns Lake: Carrier Sekani Family Services.
  • Comox Valley: John Howard Society of North Island.
  • Cranbrook: Ktunaxa-Kinbasket Child and Family Service Society.
  • Langley: Encompass Support Services Society.
  • Squamish: Sea to Sky Community Services Society.
  • Surrey: Pacific Community Resources Society.
  • Port Hardy: North Island Crisis and Counselling Centre Society.
  • Williams Lake: Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre Association.

Today's announcement brings the total number of Foundry centres in B.C. to 19.

Judy Darcy, the minister of mental health and addictions, says it's more important than ever that young people have access to the supports Foundry provides. 

"We know that most mental health issues develop before a young person turns 25," said Darcy. "Starting early … is absolutely critical."

Darcy said the programs which help youth and their families is all about realizing the provincial government's plan to make sure access to mental health is quick and stigma-free.

"It is very individualized care, and the whole idea is not for young people to languish on wait-lists," she said, adding there are virtual care supports so that care is available across the province.

According to a government spokesperson, it takes one to two years to open a Foundry centre.

With files from On The Coast

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