Amy Schactman, clinical co-ordinator at Foundry, joins operations manager Jordan Trousdell as they tour Finance Minister Carole James and Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy through Foundry Victoria, a health and social services centre supporting youth. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

Amy Schactman, clinical co-ordinator at Foundry, joins operations manager Jordan Trousdell as they tour Finance Minister Carole James and Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy through Foundry Victoria, a health and social services centre supporting youth. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

Centre for youth seeking mental health and addictions support opens in Victoria

Foundry Centre joins six other B.C. locations, to provide one-stop shop for wellness needs

A new hub broadening both health and social services in Victoria aims to provide supports for youth and their families, with a focus on mental health and wellness.

In an announcement Tuesday, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy joined Finance Minister Carole James in cutting the ribbon on Foundry Victoria, in its brand new location at 818 Douglas St.

“We know we need to build a seamless system of supports … where you ask once and you get help fast,” said Darcy, who noted the needs of youth often intersect in a system not designed for that. “[Foundry] overcomes those silos, and brings the care together.”

Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Judy Darcy, chats with social worker and counsellor Lorna Mace, about her role at Foundry Victoria. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

Counsellors are available on a walk-in basis to address issues ranging from anxiety and depression, to issues surrounding body image, substance use challenges and pregnancy and STI testing and support. Working in close partnership with local First Nations, culturally appropriate and safe programs are also included.

Peer support is available, an important and often overlooked element to care, said Cecily Killam, who described her experience seeking help dealing with mental health and substance use challenges, and homelessness as a sequence of “navigating barriers.”

“As a youth, accessing health care services relating to three of the most alienating and adverse experiences a human being can go through … can be intimidating and anxiety-provoking,” she said.

Roughly 70 per cent of mental health issues emerge before the age of 25, Darcy said. In B.C., there are an estimated 84,000 people between the ages of four and 17 living with these challenges, yet only one in three will receive support.

There are too many children in Victoria struggling to get help, the minister added, calling the system disconnected and unco-ordinated with “huge gaps.”

For a province living through the worst public health emergency in decades (the opioid epidemic), Darcy said an initiative like this “has never been more important than it is today.”

Foundry Victoria, at 818 Douglas St. is open daily from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

The government has provided $200,000 to establish Foundry centres in B.C. and in Victoria. An additional $3 million was received from the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island and $790,000 came from Island Health.

James said during her time as an MLA she’s spoken with many youth and their parents who have struggled with a fragmented system. She recounted her firsthand experience navigating the system with her son Evan, a recovering alcoholic.

“I know how important it is to have those supports in place to be able to ask for that help and get that help quickly,” she said.

The goal is not to tweak the way care is provided, but to transform it, said Dr. Steve Mathias, executive director of Foundry.

“If we believe in our kids the way we say we do, we need to really put the bar at a place that makes us all want to achieve what we’re trying to achieve, and that is amazing care when they need it, support for families and kids when they come through the door,” he added.

Foundry has been created with 120 partners across the province; the centre joins other Foundry locations in Campbell River, Kelowna, Prince George, and Vancouver. Another five are in the works in such centres as Abbotsford, Penticton, and Ridge Meadows.

Said Matthias, “This is a generational initiative … and we will continue to do the work.”

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Foundry Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health has confirmed the first long term care facility outbreak in Greater Victoria at Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich. (Google Maps)
Island Health records first long-term care COVID outbreak in Greater Victoria

Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich confirms one positive staff member

Itty, a Siamese cat, has been missing since a house fire in Victoria’s Fernwood neighbourhood on Friday, Nov. 27. Her owner says she has white fur with blonde and grey markings. (Facebook/ROAM)
Cat goes missing after house fire in Fernwood neighbourhood

‘Itty’ has white fur, blonde and grey markings and blue eyes

An aerial view over Oak Bay. (Black Press Media File Photo)
An aerial view over Oak Bay and the Marina. Oak Bay residents pay the highest taxes on Vancouver Island. Don Denton/Black Press
Oak Bay secondary suites study considers units old and new

Secondary suites draft report due in new year

Westcoast Impressions plans to organize a COVID-19 friendly version of the event in 2021 at the Mary Winspear Centre after having cancelled the 2020 version against the backdrop of pandemic. The opening night of the 2019 Sidney Street Market featured more than 150 vendors lined along Beacon Avenue. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sidney Street Market plans for 2021 return at Mary Winspear Centre

Tentative plan calls for the event’s return to Beacon Avenue after COVID-19 pandemic

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

Most Read