B.C. announces 10 new Foundry centres for mental health, addiction support

Ten new centres aimed at providing youth with better access to health-care services are opening in B.C.

Jennifer Whiteside, B.C.’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, announced the opening of ten new Foundry centres on Monday, where people aged 12 to 24 in B.C. can access free walk-in and online health and wellness services.

The new locations include Vancouver, Burnaby, South Surrey, Chilliwack, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Quesnel, Sooke-Westshore, Vanderhoof and the West Kootenays. These centres will join the 25 other Foundry centres already open or in development across the province.

Services offered at the centres include mental health and addiction counselling, physical and sexual health care, peer support and social services.

Lillian Brown, a peer support worker at Foundry Cariboo Chilcotin, says she thinks the opening of more centres will be beneficial because each centre can cater towards the unique needs of youth in their own community.

“At my centre, we prioritize a holistic and decolonized approach to wellness so Indigenous youth who visit don’t feel limited to Western forms of health care,” Brown said in a statement.

“This expansion will allow youth from all walks of life in communities with distinct cultural and social needs to feel seen, supported and celebrated.”

More than 17,500 youth and their families accessed Foundry services in B.C. during the 2022/2023 fiscal year, according to the province.

The new centres are part of the about $75 million the province has invested into Foundry expansion and enhanced services.

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