Youth benefit from significant increase in mental-health, addiction care

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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.

“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,” said 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.”

Foundry 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. 

Approximately 75% 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.

“What makes Foundry centres so unique is their commitment to creating safe spaces that provide tailored wellness services to fit each person’s needs and lived experiences,” said Lillian Brown, peer support worker, Foundry Cariboo Chilcotin. “At my centre, we prioritize a holistic and decolonized approach to wellness so Indigenous youth who visit don’t feel limited to Western forms of health care. This expansion will allow youth from all walks of life in communities with distinct cultural and social needs to feel seen, supported and celebrated.”

Foundry centres are a crucial part of the Province’s work to provide better primary and mental-health supports to youth closer to home by offering 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.

Quotes:

Grace Lore, Minister of Children and Family Development –

“The health and well-being of children, teens and young adults in our communities is essential. It is important that we provide wraparound, evidence-based care that meets their unique needs and supports them throughout their journey, so they have the tools to be successful.”

Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers –

“When young people feel a sense of safety, belonging and acceptance, it positively impacts their overall well-being and supports their learning. By expanding the Foundry network, we’re giving even more young people access to mental-health supports.”

Steve Mathias, executive director, Foundry –

“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. It is imperative that we create supportive spaces that allow youth to express who they are without fear and live a good life on their terms. There is still a lot of work to be done, and Foundry will continue our unwavering commitment to revolutionize the health and wellness landscape for young people.”

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.

Learn More:

For a backgrounder listing new Foundry centres and locations, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/FoundryExpansion_March2024.pdf

In September 2023, the Province announced the opening of this application period: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023MMHA0061-001407

For information about Foundry, visit: https://foundrybc.ca

Learn about mental-health and addictions supports in B.C.: https://helpstartshere.gov.bc.ca

 

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