The ups and downs of adolescence can be tough to navigate for all young people. Peer pressure, bullying, changing dynamics with friends and family, and new, unfamiliar stressors can leave youth feeling overwhelmed and unsure where to turn. In addition to the customary difficulties associated with being an adolescent, one in five youth in BC need help with mental health and substance use issues. Only a staggering 25% receive the care they need because the current system for getting help is extremely complex. Long waitlists, geographic distance and the high fees associated with private care, can often deter youth and their families from getting the care they need. The result is that too many of our children are falling through the cracks – “Foundry” aims to change that.

Foundry, a province wide initiative supported by the BC Government, is a place that young people (12-24) in crisis can go (either with family, friends or unaccompanied) and get access to mental health support and counselling, substance abuse support and counselling and various other youth-serving agencies IMMEDIATELY and without a referral.

The demand is high and the impact is huge. There are currently five Foundry Centres including: Vancouver, North Vancouver, Kelowna, Campbell River, and Price George, with six more in development across B.C. (including a location in Penticton).

Prior to Foundry opening its doors, a young person struggling with an immediate mental health concern would likely end up in the emergency room. They would be treated for the urgent physical or medical symptoms and then likely referred to a psychologist or rehabilitation facility; a process that could take weeks or months. Foundry gets youth in front of the appropriate mental health care providers at the time of crisis.

By providing safe, non-judgmental care, information and resources, Foundry “hope[s] to transform the way that people access care” says Melissa Feddersen, Foundry Kelowna Manager. The aim is to offer hope and support to families who have been walking a tremendously difficult path.

Interior Savings is a proud Partner Organization of Foundry Kelowna. We look forward to being a part of the journey as they change lives, communities and the current system. Watch the video to learn more.