Finding a new way to support young people

Foundry’s beginnings can be traced back to 2007 when a small team of psychiatrists at St. Paul’s Hospital – an academic health sciences centre operated by Providence Health Care in downtown Vancouver – decided to take a completely different approach to helping young people before, and after, crisis. They knew that young people needed better access to mental health and substance use care, and primary health care. Also numerous social issues such as homelessness, unemployment, sexual identity issues and lack of education needed to be addressed. As a result, St. Paul’s Hospital launched the Inner City Youth (ICY) program.

With the help of donors, the ICY program was expanded in 2012 and diversified to fully support young people’s wellness – going beyond health and helping young people build relationships and connections to community, peers and resources.

In March 2015, the Granville Youth Health Centre opened its doors

Through the support of the Ministry of Health and generous donors and St. Paul’s Foundation, St. Paul’s Hospital opened the Granville Youth Health Centre as a home for the ICY program and additional services. This allowed the team to reach more young people with an integrated approach to care. The Granville Youth Health Centre was Canada’s first integrated health and social service centre for youth and young adults.

Foundry is formed

Throughout this journey, it became apparent that there was a gap in reaching young people with mild-to-moderate mental health challenges and that a similar integrated approach that focused on prevention and early-intervention was needed.

We needed to reach young people earlier, and empower them with tools and support before their health problems became severe and negatively impacted their families, relationships, education, employment and other aspects of their lives. This is what inspired Foundry.

Foundry was created in 2015 (originally known as the BC Integrated Youth Services Initiative) through funding from the government of British Columbia, Graham Boeckh Foundation and commitments from St. Paul’s Foundation and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. Providence Health Care became host of Foundry’s central office.


The Granville Youth Health Centre helps young people find a path from healing to health to wellness by providing safe, supportive care and fun activities that empower youth to create stability, rebuild family relationships and thrive.

Learn where Foundry centres will be located.

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