Two people seating on an outdoor bench talking. (

Media Contacts

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions

Media Relations
778 584-1255


Expanding supports for children, youth facing mental-health and addictions challenges

The well-being of young people in British Columbia is a top priority of government.

The Province has invested significantly in improving mental-health and addictions services for young people throughout the province since 2017, with a focus on early intervention and prevention services, crisis supports and treatment and recovery.

Early intervention and prevention:

Foundry centres:

Foundry is a provincewide network of integrated youth centres and virtual supports, offering free and confidential counselling, primary-care, sexual-health and substance-use services to young people from 12 to 24 and their families.

There are 16 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, Cariboo-Chilcotin (Williams Lake), Sea to Sky (Squamish) and Port Hardy.

An additional 19 Foundry centres are in development in Burns Lake, East Kootenay (Cranbrook), Surrey, Fort St. John, Sunshine Coast, Tri-Cities, Kamloops, Vernon, Powell River (qathet), Burnaby, Chilliwack, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Quesnel, Sooke-Westshore, South Surrey, Vancouver, Vanderhoof and West Kootenay.

In 2022-23, 17,567 young people accessed Foundry services. This included:

  • 14,987 young people accessing in-person services at Foundry centres; and
  • 2,580 young people accessing Foundry virtual services.

Integrated child and youth teams:

Integrated Child and Youth (ICY) Teams help to fill gaps in mental-health and substance-use care, bringing together multidisciplinary teams and removing roadblocks to deliver better care. On the ground, these teams help families navigate services and provide mental-health and substance-use supports for children and youth.

The Province committed $55 million to implement teams in 20 school districts by 2024, to be fully operational by 2025.

ICY Teams are operating in these school districts: Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows; Comox Valley; Richmond; Coast Mountains (Terrace and Hazelton); and Okanagan-Similkameen (Oliver, Keremeos). Seven more school district communities have ICY Teams in development: Mission; Fraser-Cascade (Hope, Agassiz-Harrison); Kootenay-Columbia (Castlegar-Trail); Nanaimo-Ladysmith; Okanagan-Shuswap (Salmon Arm); Pacific Rim (Port Alberni); and qathet (Powell River).

Eight new communities are expected to receive ICY Teams, with an announcement expected in spring 2024. This will bring the total to 20 school districts with ICY Teams that will be operational by 2025.

Y Mind and Mind Medicine:

This is a free seven-week early intervention program for young people from 13 to 30 experiencing mild to moderate anxiety. Programs are offered in-person and virtually and are grounded in mindfulness, and acceptance and commitment therapy to teach participants skills to effectively cope with their anxiety symptoms. The program has also been adapted for Indigenous communities as the Mind Medicine program.

Confident Parents: Thriving Kids:

Skill-building programs that support parents with children from 3 to 12 experiencing behavioural or anxiety challenges offered through the Canadian Mental Health Association – B.C. Division.

We Are Indigenous: Big Worries/Fears Parent/Caregiver Support Program:

Building off the evidence-base and success of Confident Parents Thriving Kids Anxiety Program, the development of the Big Worries/Fears program was guided, created and developed through Indigenous perspectives for Indigenous families. 

EASE - Everyday Anxiety Strategies for Educators:

EASE is an online course for educators that helps bring mental-health support and resources right into the classroom for K-12 students. It includes strategies for effective everyday anxiety management skills.
Developed by Ministry of Children and Family Development, in partnership with Ministry of Education and Child Care and Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, EASE at Home is provided to educators, parents and caregivers to support children and teens in understanding and managing anxiety.

Treatment and recovery:

Bed-based care:

The Province has committed to doubling the number of youth treatment and recovery beds to increase their availability in all parts of British Columbia. As of March 2024, 72 new publicly funded youth treatment beds have opened, and it is anticipated that the additional new 28 bed Sanctuary program at Covenant House will open in June 2024. 

There are 170 publicly funded youth substance-use beds throughout the province.

Addictions care:

Bed-based treatment represents only one part of a much broader spectrum of treatment options for people living with addictions. Beds are typically most appropriate for people who require a higher intensity of services and supports to address complex or acute mental-health or substance-use problems.

Children and youth can benefit from outpatient treatment services, such as:

  • transition services;
  • concurrent disorders services;
  • case management services;
  • outreach programs;
  • community counselling;
  • day treatment;
  • harm-reduction supports;
  • crisis intervention services; and
  • medication-assisted treatment.

Urgent and Primary Care Centres (UPCC) and Primary Care Networks (PCNs): 

Mental-health and addiction support for young people can also be found at urgent and primary care centres in 32 locations in B.C. where clinicians are available 365 days a year for same-day access.

Support for youth is also available through community-based primary-care networks, which build a team of professionals around patients and their needs. The networks also improve access to early interventions for people experiencing mild to moderate mental-health and addictions challenges and to more specialized supports when needed.

Early psychosis intervention:

In 2021, the Province invested $75 million over three years for early psychosis intervention, which expands existing specialized programs, increases access to treatment and helps young people and their families thrive.

This investment expands these specialized programs throughout all regional health authorities. Care providers may include psychiatrists, nurses, case managers and peer support workers.

Child and youth mental-health (CYMH) intake clinics:

There are 93 CYMH intake clinics across the province. CYMH clinicians provide initial assessments and ensure children and youth are connected to the right supports. CYMH teams can provide support through individual or group treatment, family therapy interventions and in-home support.

Crisis supports:


A 24/7 counselling and referral line connecting post-secondary students to services when they need it.

KUU-US crisis line:

An Indigenous specific crisis line available 24/7.

The Kids Help Phone:
24/7, immediate counselling, support, information, and referrals.