East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook. Google maps photo

EKFH Starlite campaign to support youth mental health care centre

Together with the Ktunaxa Kinbasket Family and Child Services Society (KKFCSS), the East Kootenay Foundation for Health is raising $1.4 million to support the opening of Foundry East Kootenay – a new, integrated youth and family care centre designed to provide critical mental health, substance use, and primary care for our young people and their families.

Not Alone.

Two simple words but they can be so powerful. To someone with mental illness, ‘not alone’ is like a beacon of light in a dark space. It means someone hears you, sees you, and cares.

Foundry East Kootenay, led by KKFCSS, is a massive step forward in the way in which we address youth mental health in our community. Through early intervention and cooperation between clinical and social support programs, Foundry East Kootenay will become the central support resource to young people suffering with any degree of mental illness in our community.

Services such as primary care, substance use and counselling will be brought together with social services that include employment and education support under one roof. For the youth there will be no waitlists. No having to repeat their story multiple times.

The reality of youth mental illness is staggering.

• 300,000 youth in BC – 1 in 5 – need mental health or substance use services

• Of those, as few as 25% receive the care they need

• Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people in Canada

• 75 per cent of mental illness begins before age 25

• Youth mental illness is ranked as the 2nd highest Canadian hospital care expenditure

“Everyone knows someone who has been touched by mental illness or substance use in our youth. Mental health concerns and substance use can affect any person from any background. It does not discriminate. There is a crisis going on right here at home and it is about time that this is made a priority. Suicide and overdoses are stealing our children. Foundry will change that.” stated Brenna Baker, Executive Director of the EKFH.

So, this Starlite season please give. Donate today and light a star in honour of our youth. Let’s make Foundry a reality and give our youth and their families a place to go so they are not alone!

Information and contributions to the campaign can be made by donating online, calling 250-489-6481, or mailing a donation to East Kootenay Foundation for Health, 13 24th Ave N. Cranbrook BC, V1C 3H9.