Photo courtesy Government of British Columbia.

Youth supports coming to Cranbrook through new Foundry centre

Cranbrook is one of eight communities that will benefit from a new Foundry Centre, which offers increased access to mental health and substance use, and social services supports, according to an announcement from the provincial government.

The Foundry Centre in Cranbrook will be opened and operated by the Ktunaxa-Kinbasket Child and Family Service Society, offering primary care, youth and family peer supports, walk-in counselling, mental health and substance use services, and social services — all in one central location.

The services are available for young people aged 12-24, according to the news release.

“I am so excited that young people in eight more communities in rural and urban B.C. will be able to get quick access to the mental health and substance use services they need and deserve,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, in a press release. “With COVID-19 impacting the mental health of young people in a big way, and with the overdose crisis continuing, it’s more important than ever that they have quick access to the excellent supports that Foundry provides.”

The eight new communities were chosen after a two-step evaluation process that began in October last fall which included expressions of interest, independent panels, in-person interviews and more.

“We were inspired by the communities that participated in the expansion process to identify the next eight lead agencies,” said Steve Mathias, executive director, Foundry. “Communities from all over B.C., urban, rural and remote, felt that this was something that their youth and families needed and wanted. We look forward to our network growing to 19 centres and eventually seeing the great impact these Foundry centres will have on youth, families, care providers and communities.”

Additional Foundry Centres were announced for Burns Lake, Comox Valley, Langley, Squamish, Surrey, Port Hardy and Williams Lake.

“A new Foundry within a community is a sign that lets young people know there’s a place just for them where they can get the support they need, right where they live,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “Child and youth mental health workers at Foundry centres play a key role, matching young people with early interventions to help them take on challenges and get back on the road to wellness.”

The cost of each Foundry Centre has yet to be finalized, however, each centre will receive up to $800,000 for start up costs and approximately $700,000 in annual operating funding.

Just under 10,000 young people accessed services offered at Foundry Centres around B.C. last year, with 35,000 visits recorded in total.



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

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