Young people in the Cariboo Chilcotin region can access more mental-health and substance-use services with the opening of a Foundry centre in Williams Lake.
Foundry Cariboo Chilcotin provides young people aged 12-24 and their families free and confidential age-friendly services to fit their unique needs, such as mental-health and substance-use counselling, medical services, peer support and social services.
“Young people have been dealing with immense pressures and health challenges made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, the toxic drug crisis and climate emergencies,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Foundry Cariboo Chilcotin will be a beacon for young people in Williams Lake and surrounding communities, supporting youth with access to the help they need, when they need it.”
Foundry Cariboo Chilcotin is the 14th Foundry centre to open in British Columbia and is operated by Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre in collaboration with multiple partner organizations. The centre is located at 51 4th Ave. S. in Williams Lake.
The Province has provided one-time funding of $800,000 for the centre’s establishment and is contributing $700,000 in annual funding for operations and services. Foundry Cariboo Chilcotin aimed to raise $1.2 million to build and establish the centre, and is more than 90% to the fundraising goal, thanks to support from donors and community champions.
“The opening of Foundry Cariboo Chilcotin is part of our ongoing commitment in ensuring young people and families across B.C. continue receiving accessible supports closer to home,” said Steve Mathias, executive director, Foundry. “The Cariboo Chilcotin communities have worked in partnership with the young people of the region to create a vision for an amazing centre. From the mural outside to the gathering spaces inside, the centre is welcoming and friendly. We express our gratitude to everyone who contributed countless hours on this beautiful space.”
There are 14 Foundry centres open throughout the province in Vancouver-Granville, North Shore (North Vancouver), Campbell River, Ridge Meadows, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Prince George, Victoria, Penticton, Terrace, Comox Valley, Langley, Richmond and Cariboo Chilcotin.
An additional nine new Foundry centres are in development in Burns Lake, East Kootenay (Cranbrook), Port Hardy, Sea to Sky (Squamish), Surrey, Fort St. John, Tri-Cities, Kamloops and the Sunshine Coast. Foundry services can also be accessed from anywhere in the province through the Foundry BC app, by phone or at: foundrybc.ca/virtual
Enhancing supports for young people living with mental-health and substance-use needs is an integral part of A Pathway to Hope, B.C.’s roadmap for building a comprehensive system of mental-health and addictions care for British Columbians.
Vanessa Riplinger, executive director, Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre –
“Foundry Cariboo Chilcotin brings a new model of care to Williams Lake that is built on community collaboration, relationships, youth empowerment and ease of access to essential health and wellness services. As an isolated region, the Cariboo Chilcotin has an ongoing need for youth wellness. Opening Foundry Cariboo Chilcotin in our region is thanks to many individuals’ efforts. I am so incredibly proud of all the hard work and many efforts that have been invested by the youth, community partners and Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre’s board and staff. It is a testament to the commitment of building a brighter future for our community.”
George Warr, clinical counsellor, Foundry Cariboo Chilcotin –
“Youth from across the Cariboo Chilcotin asked us for support in living their best life. It has been a long journey, but through our partnerships, Foundry Cariboo Chilcotin is becoming a powerful resource of innovative wellness tools and services for all young people. I am thrilled to be a part of this adventure.”
Rylee, youth peer supporter, Foundry Cariboo Chilcotin –
“Foundry Cariboo Chilcotin will fill a much-needed role in the community to uplift and support youth, as well as bring together resources and services from our partner agencies. I’m really excited about this project as a youth and professionally as someone invested in the well-being of youth around the Cariboo Chilcotin. As a youth, many of my friends and acquaintances feel isolated and powerless, and I really think that Foundry Cariboo Chilcotin could be a big part of the solution to this problem that so many local youths face today.”
A Pathway to Hope, government’s vision for mental-health and addictions care in B.C.: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021MMHA0049-001787
Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre: https://www.ccchild.org/