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Young people in East Kootenays benefit from more mental-health, addiction care

May 23, 2024 at 9:25 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

More young people struggling with mental-health and addictions challenges will benefit from a first-of-its-kind Foundry centre in Cranbrook.

“Children and youth are facing a lot of challenges, and we are ensuring that supports are available for them to be healthy, both physically and mentally,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “This new Foundry centre is a vital part of this effort, providing Indigenous youth and all young people in the East Kootenay region with access to culturally relevant care and support to help them live healthier lives.”

Foundry services are a vital part of the health-care system. The state-of-the-art centre will provide a range of free, confidential services to young people between 12 and 24 as well as their families and caregivers. As the first Indigenous-led Foundry in B.C., the centre also offers a culturally responsive environment grounded in Indigenous values, ways and knowledge systems.

Mental-health and addiction supports, physical and sexual health care, peer support and social services will be provided under one roof in a youth-friendly, welcoming space. Services will be fully integrated with the Foundry BC App platform, allowing young people to book in-person and virtual appointments.

“The greatest act of love you can show to yourself and those closest to you, is advocating for yourself,” said Isabella Willoughby, youth adviser, Foundry. “Foundry East Kootenay provides opportunity for young individuals to voice their personal needs in a judgment free environment, where professional support and guidance is provided to help youth progress.”

Operated by Ktunaxa-Kinbasket Child and Family Services, this centre will be at 100 12th Ave. S. in Cranbrook and will serve all youth in Cranbrook, Fernie, Creston, Invermere, Golden and surrounding areas. This is a social-services organization that offers a variety of programs from early years to prevention services, mental health, guardianship and kinship services for all Ktunaxa citizens, First Nations, Métis and Inuit living in Ktunaxa territory in a culturally relevant and holistic manner.

“I’m beyond excited and proud of Foundry East Kootenay to be opening its doors,” said Colin Sinclair, chief executive officer, Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Service Society. “This project has represented four years of unwavering commitment and work from so many, especially the youth advisory who spent countless hours designing the spaceOur hope is to be a pillar of wellness for all youth of the East Kootenays. Foundry East Kootenay, t̓ikxawiȼikimik: for all things to be connected.”

Foundry centres are a fundamental part of the Province’s delivery of mental-health and health care for youth and young people. The Province has provided one-time funding of $800,000 for Foundry East Kootenay and is providing annual funding toward operations and 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 over three years.

Quotes:

Grace Lore, Minister of Children and Family Development

“The youth-focused mental-health and addiction interventions offered through Foundry Cranbrook will connect young people in this community with wraparound, evidence-based health care. Tailored, integrated services like those delivered through Foundry improve the health and well-being of our young people and our communities.”

Julie Zimmerman, provincial director, Primary Care & Virtual Services Foundry

“A healthier and happier future for all of us is predicated on the youth of today feeling seen and validated. Young people are the leaders of tomorrow and it is incumbent upon us to create safe wellness spaces where the innate genius of each young person is allowed to blossom. I can’t wait to witness the connection, community and healing this space will bring to the youth in this community.”

Quick Facts:

  • Approximately 75% of serious mental-health issues emerge before the age of 25.
  • More than 16,000 youth in B.C. have accessed Foundry services in fiscal year 2023-24.
    • Since April 2018, more than 45,000 young people have accessed these services.
  • This Foundry centre joins 16 others across the province, with 18 more in development that will bring the province’s total to 35.      

Learn More:

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

For information about Ktunaxa-Kinbasket Child and Family Services, visit: https://kkcfss.org

To learn about mental-health and addictions supports in B.C., visit: https://helpstartshere.gov.bc.ca

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