Youth counsellor Lorna Mace at the entrance to the Victoria Foundry, November 2018. (Victoria News)

Youth counsellor Lorna Mace at the entrance to the Victoria Foundry, November 2018. (Victoria News)

B.C. continues expansion of Foundry youth mental health network

Eight new centres to help deal with COVID-19 isolation

The B.C. government has announced an expansion of its Foundry youth mental health and addictions centres, with new centres in Port Hardy, the Comox Valley, Williams Lake, Burns Lake, Cranbrook, Langley, Surrey and Squamish.

The Foundry network also has counselling and treatment centres being developed in Terrace and Richmond, bringing the total communities served by Foundry to 19, Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy announced June 15.

The centres are run by local non-profit organizations, providing support to young people aged 12 to 24, with walk-in counselling service and referrals to primary health care and substance abuse.

The Foundry network also has a virtual counselling service for communities that do not have a local drop-in centre. The province reports that 9,770 young people used Foundry centres in 2019, with 42 per cent referred there by a friend or family member.

Expanded Foundry services were promised by the former B.C. Liberal government, and then become part of the B.C. Green Party’s agreement to support the minority NDP government.

RELATED: B.C. Liberals’ 2017 campaign promises Foundry expansion

RELATED: B.C. funds expansion from COVID-19 emergency budget

The new centres are administered and funded through the following agencies:

• Burns Lake: Carrier Sekani Family Services

• Comox Valley: John Howard Society of North Island

• Cranbrook: Ktunaxa-Kinbasket Child and Family Service Society

• Langley: Encompass Support Services Society

• Squamish: Sea to Sky Community Services Society

• Surrey: Pacific Community Resources Society

• Port Hardy: North Island Crisis and Counselling Centre Society

• Williams Lake: Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre Association


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