Foundry Abbotsford has officially opened its doors, providing local youth and their families with supports for their mental-health, substance-use and overall wellness needs.
“There is nothing more important than ensuring young people get the support they need to take them through life’s challenges. For years, youth in B.C. have been underserved by mental health and addictions supports,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Foundry Abbotsford’s one-stop-shop provides that support by bringing together mental health, substance use and social services, so youth have the care they need and deserve, all under one roof.”
The new centre serves young people ages 12-24, and provides a safe and judgement-free environment where they can feel comfortable asking for help and accessing the services they need. The centre provides integrated wellness services, such as physical and mental-health care, substance-use supports, social services, and youth and family peer supports.
“The number of young people dealing with anxiety, depression and substance use issues is growing, and we know that prevention and early intervention are critical in helping them get back on track,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “Now Abbotsford youth will benefit from this long-overdue one-stop model of care.”
Located at 101-32555 Simon Ave., Foundry Abbotsford offers an interdisciplinary team of dedicated youth-focused health care providers focused on providing holistic, person-centred care to young people and their families. The centre provides access to a skilled team of knowledgeable and compassionate health-care and social-service professionals. They work together to prepare the most well-rounded and appropriate plan and course of action, based on the unique needs and circumstances of each youth that comes into the centre.
“Foundry takes a prevention and early intervention approach, helping overcome gaps and barriers in systems so young people and their families can access the support they need, when they need it — and not have to re-tell their story over and over,” says Dr. Steve Mathias, Foundry’s executive director. “We want to remove the stigma of seeking help, and reach young people early on — before small problems become big ones.”
The centre, operated by Abbotsford Community Services, brings together a variety of local organizations. These include services provided by Fraser Health, Ministry of Children and Family Development, Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and other community partners. The focus is to transform the way substance use and mental health and wellness services are provided to the city’s youth. Youth and families have been active members in the leadership of Foundry Abbotsford’s design and programming.
“There are rare moments in time when an individual is afforded the opportunity to be a part of a game-changing collective — something bigger than oneself,” said Rod Santiago, executive director of Abbotsford Community Services, the lead agency for Foundry Abbotsford. “Foundry offered such a moment for youth, families, advocates, service providers, funders, donors and dreamers who, together, have believed for a long time that there must be a better way for youth and young adults to access the full range of supports truly needed to be healthy and connected. Foundry is our dream come true.”
Services are provided in an integrated manner, working to ensure each young person receives the help they need on their path to wellness. The team includes physicians, nurse practitioners, mental health and substance use clinicians, youth and family peer support and navigation workers, supported employment service workers, outreach workers, and other supports for the diverse needs of youth in the community.
Foundry Abbotsford is one of seven sites now open throughout the province, joining two locations in Vancouver (Granville and the North Shore), Kelowna, Campbell River, Prince George and Victoria. An additional four centres are in development