In the attempt to make youth support services accessible across B.C., a new Foundry centre will open in Kamloops. The facility will serve as another resource for youth in Kamloops and surrounding areas, like Merritt, to address both mental health and substance issues.
Foundry Kamloops will serve young people aged 12-24 along with their families. Services are catered to fit unique needs, such as drop-in counselling, physical and sexual health care, youth and family peer support and social services.
“We’re thrilled to announce that another Foundry centre is coming to a community in BC,” said Dr. Steve Mathias, executive director, Foundry.
“We recognize that as a health-care system and Province, we need to provide stronger and better supports for our young people who may be looking for help for a number of reasons: mental health; substance use; physical health; and employment. The opening of Foundry Kamloops will continue to expand access to free and confidential health and wellness supports, and ensure that communities are able to support young people and meet them wherever they’re at.”
To help establish Foundry Kamloops, the Province will be providing a one-time funding of $1 million. Annual funding for operations and services at will be provided thereafter.
“I look forward to celebrating the opening of the centre, which will help countless youth get the help they need,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.
“A new Foundry centre for youth in Kamloops will give young people a safe and judgment-free space to find mental-health, wellness and substance-use supports right in their own community,”
‘A Pathway to Hope’ is the province’s guide to a well developed system of mental-health and addictions care for British Columbians. An important component of this guide is the youth’s access to supports for mental-health and substance-use.
“The past few years in particular, during the pandemic and the opioid crisis, have highlighted the need for enhanced social and medical services and peer support for youth,” said Val Janz, chief operating officer, Interior Community Services.
Foundry Kamloops will be operated by Interior Community Services. Janz is the lead agent for Foundry Kamloops.
“Foundry Kamloops will provide a single access point for youth and their families to get their needs addressed in a timely and co-ordinated manner.”
Expected to open in 2024, Foundry Kamloops is the third of four new Foundry centres announced recently. An additional eight new Foundry centres are in development in Burns Lake, East Kootenay (Cranbrook), Port Hardy, Sea to Sky (Squamish), Surrey, Cariboo-Chilcotin (Williams Lake), Fort St. John and the Tri-Cities. In addition, Foundry provincial virtual services can be accessed from anywhere in the province through the Foundry BC app, by phone or foundrybc.ca/virtual.