Young people living in the Comox Valley and surrounding areas will soon have access to new mental health, wellness and substance-use services with the opening of Foundry Comox Valley where they can get the supports they need to thrive.
Foundry Comox Valley will provide young people between the ages of 12 and 24, along with their families, free and confidential age-friendly and supportive health, wellness, and substance use services to fit their unique needs in their own community.
“Young people have been dealing with immense pressures and health challenges, which have only been made worse as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the toxic-drug crisis, and climate-related emergencies,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “With the opening of Foundry Comox Valley, more young people will be able to get health, wellness and substance-use supports that meet their needs.”
Foundry Comox Valley is the 12th Foundry centre to open in British Columbia and will be operated by The John Howard Society of North Island in collaboration with community partners. The centre will provide mental-health and substance-use services to young people, as well as primary and sexual health care, youth and family peer support, and social services.
"We're so heartened by the commitment of the Foundry Comox Valley team to ensuring that its young people and those who care for them have access to health and wellness services," said Steve Mathias, executive director, Foundry. "A lot of work and engagement of young people and families goes into building and operating these centres. What you see today is a testament to an incredible commitment by the community to this new centre."
The Province is providing annual funding toward operations and services at Foundry Comox Valley, and has provided one-time funding of $800,000 toward the establishment of the centre. The John Howard Society of North Island is raising the remaining $1.4 million required for the centre's establishment with support from the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island and many community champions.
In addition to the Foundry Comox Valley centre, there are 11 centres open throughout the province, in Vancouver-Granville, North Shore (North Vancouver), Campbell River, Ridge Meadows, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Prince George, Victoria, Penticton, Richmond and Terrace.
An additional seven new Foundry centres are in development in Burns Lake, East Kootenay (Cranbrook), Langley, Port Hardy, Sea to Sky (Squamish), Surrey and Cariboo-Chilcotin (Williams Lake). In addition, Foundry virtual services can be accessed from anywhere in the province through the Foundry BC app or website, or by phone.
“The opening of Foundry is great news for young people in the Comox Valley,” said Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development. “This means young people will now have a non-stigmatizing point of access to a range of services they need, when they need it. I’m hopeful that Foundry will help many on their pathway to hope.”
Enhancing supports for youth living with mental-health and substance-use needs is an integral part of A Pathway to Hope, B.C.’s roadmap for building the comprehensive system of mental-health and addictions care that British Columbians deserve.
Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Comox Valley –
“Youth in the Comox Valley and surrounding areas deserve appropriate mental-health and substance-use supports. Now they can walk into Foundry Comox Valley, where they will be met with friendly and helpful staff, who will get them supports fast.”
Wendy Richardson, executive director, The John Howard Society of North Island –
“We’re delighted to open this much-needed facility for young people in collaboration with our community partners. Foundry Comox Valley will offer a variety of free services, including mental-health and substance-use counselling, primary and sexual health care, peer support, and social services, including employment supports.”
Cam Hautcœur-Boyer, youth ambassador, Foundry Comox Valley–
“Having a Foundry centre here means that I’ll see a lot more independence possible for peers and friends my age. Foundry in itself is wonderful for allowing youth to take the lead on their own well-being, and having a centre in the Comox Valley will make doing so that much more accessible. It’s a massive step forward.”
Learn about A Pathway to Hope, government’s vision for mental-health and addictions care in B.C.: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021MMHA0049-001787
For more on Foundry, visit: http://foundrybc.ca