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Foundry Richmond opens its doors to young people

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 3:40 PST, Wed November 16, 2022

Young people in Richmond will have access to more mental-health and substance-use services with the opening of the Foundry centre's permanent location.

Foundry Richmond provides young people aged 12 to 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.

"Vancouver Coastal Health is pleased to open the new Richmond Foundry location, providing an inclusive and welcoming space for young people and their families,” said Karen Barclay, director for Richmond mental-health and substance-use at Vancouver Coastal Health. “Foundry has improved the continuum of care in Richmond by integrating services under one roof, with a focus on easy access."

Sean Ford, a youth and caregiver counsellor at Vancouver Coastal Health, said: “When facing struggles with mental-health and substance-use challenges, it is essential for youth and their families to have access to support services that are prompt and sensitive to their unique needs. The opening of Foundry Richmond will provide youth and their caregivers services that are accessible in a space that creates a sense of safety and support. We are here to ensure that when young people are struggling they do not have to feel alone while searching for their next steps."

Foundry Richmond is operated by Vancouver Coast Health, and after providing limited services at a temporary location, the centre is fully operational at 101–5811 Cooney Rd. The province is providing $700,000 in annual funding for operations and services at Foundry Richmond. Richmond Hospital Foundation also provided $1.5 million towards the establishment of the centre.

"The Foundry community acknowledges the tireless efforts by Vancouver Coastal Health, Richmond Addictions Services Society, and their partners to bring integrated youth services to Richmond," said Steve Mathias, Foundry's executive director. "We also express our gratitude to the young people and caregivers who came together to co-design this amazing space and create a communication strategy to connect with youth in Richmond."

Gabrielle Cometa, a youth advocate for Foundry Richmond, said: “Foundry Richmond opens up a world of possibilities for youth mental health in this community. It serves as an avenue to accessible health care for youth and helps open up the conversations around mental health that youth here have been speaking about for years. Now, we have physical proof of the importance of youth wellness and youth-led health care within the Richmond community."

There are 13 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, and Richmond.

An additional 10 new Foundry centres are in development in Burns Lake, East Kootenay (Cranbrook), Port Hardy, Sea to Sky (Squamish), Surrey, Cariboo-Chilcotin (Williams Lake), Fort St. John, Tri-Cities, Kamloops, and the Sunshine Coast. Foundry services can also be accessed from anywhere through the Foundry BC app, phone or at foundrybc.ca/virtual.

Enhancing supports for youth 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.

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