A new Foundry centre is open in the Comox Valley to provide youth with access to mental health and wellness services.
The B.C. government says the centre will support young people between the ages of 12 and 24 along with their families. They add the services will be free and be designed to fit the needs of the community.
The center is the 12th to open in the province and will be operated by the John Howard Society of North Island along with community partners.
B.C. has given one time funding of $800,000 towards the establishment of the centre, with John Howard Society raising the remaining $1.4 million required with support from the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.
Mental Health and Addictions Minister Sheila Malcolmson says the centre is needed because of increased pressure on youth.
“Young people have been dealing with immense pressures and health challenges, which have only been made worse as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the toxic-drug crisis, and climate-related emergencies,” said Malcolmson.
“With the opening of Foundry Comox Valley, more young people will be able to get health, wellness and substance-use supports that meet their needs.”
Children and Family Development Minister Mitzi Dean says the centre will create an open environment for young people to get help.
“The opening of Foundry is great news for young people in the Comox Valley,” said Dean. “This means young people will now have a non-stigmatizing point of access to a range of services they need, when they need it. I’m hopeful that Foundry will help many on their pathway to hope.”
The province says 11 other centres are located across B.C. including Vancouver, Prince George and Campbell River.
Seven new centres are in development including in Port Hardy, Cranbrook and Williams Lake.