(Foundry Victoria)

In an effort to address mental health and substance abuse issues that plague the youth of today, the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has just announced the opening of Foundry Victoria: a comprehensive mental health centre for youth.

The new Foundry Victoria centre is a continuation of the Victoria Youth Clinic, and gives young people, aged 12 to 24 years, a one-stop-shop for all their health care needs.

The centre includes physical and mental health care, substance-use supports, social services, and youth and family peer supports. It also houses NEED2 Suicide Prevention Education & Support – a project that aims to prevent suicide by providing community programs and online support.

“We need a youth mental-health system where you ask once and get help fast. Foundry is a successful example of that model,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

“Our young people are dealing with incredible pressures impacting their mental health, including anxiety, depression and substance use. Foundry brings together supports and services under one roof – a one-stop shop – so youth know where they can receive the care they deserve and need.”

Funding and development

Foundry Victoria has received funding from several contributors, including $200,000 from the Government of BC, $200,000 from philanthropic donors to the Victoria Youth Clinic, and $3 million over 8 years from the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.

Island Health is also providing $300,000 to the clinic per year, $380,000 per year for general practitioner sessions, and $110,000 per year for speciality psychiatry sessions.

“Foundry is about transforming access to care for young people,” said Dr. Steve Mathias, executive director of Foundry. “By bringing a variety of wellness services together in one place, we want to remove the stigma of seeking help and reach young people early on – before small problems become big ones.”

The centre is located at 818 Douglas Street and is one of six sites that are now operational across the province. Five more mental health centres are currently being developed throughout BC.

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