Young people and their families living in the Victoria region now have access to a new one-stop shop to support their mental health and wellness needs, thanks to the official opening of the new Foundry Victoria centre.

“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.”

Foundry Victoria, as with all Foundry centres, provides young people, aged 12 to 24 years, who are living with mental-health and substance-use challenges with a safe and judgment-free environment, where they can feel comfortable asking for help and accessing the services they need.

“The opening of Foundry Victoria builds on the legacy of the Victoria Youth Clinic, and this new project is possible, thanks to the leadership of the city’s service providers,” said Carole James, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill. “Our government is proud to support this innovative partnership, which will make a real difference for young people and families in our city.”

The centre’s services include integrated wellness services, including physical and mental-health care, substance-use supports, social services, and youth and family peer supports. NEED2 Suicide Prevention Education & Support, a program that works to prevent suicide through community programs and a strong online presence, is located in the centre.

Foundry Victoria, which is operated by Victoria Youth Clinic, brings together a variety of local organizations – including Island Health, the Ministry of Children and Family Development and other community partners – to transform the way mental-health and wellness services are provided to the city’s youth. Foundry Victoria is phasing in additional services and expanding on current ones in the next couple of months to provide the full scope of Foundry services to meet the wellness needs of local youth.

“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.”

“By working together and building relationships, we can do so much more to advance the well-being of each young person we serve,” said Barbara Thompson, executive director of Victoria Youth Clinic, the lead agency of Foundry Victoria. “Taking a team approach enables us to better determine and meet the individual needs of each client that comes through our doors. Foundry’s integrated model is simply the most responsible way to support the wellness needs of our young people.”

In 2017-18, the Government of B.C. provided $200,000 to each regional health authority to support the establishment of five additional Foundry centres. Philanthropic donors provided the Victoria Youth Clinic with one-time funding of $200,000 for initial development costs. The Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island is contributing $3 million toward the centre over eight years, with Island Health providing $300,000 in annual funding to the Victoria Youth Clinic, as well as $380,000 annually for general practitioner sessions and $110,000 annually for specialty psychiatry sessions at the centre.

“We are so proud to be part of investing in this resource for our community, thanks to our generous donors,” said Veronica Carroll, CEO of Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. “Through this collaboration with our community partners and sustainable funding, we can truly make a difference for youth in Victoria.”

“We know children and youth are struggling with mental-health and substance-use challenges, and by creating strong community partnerships, we will collectively strengthen the range of appropriate and accessible services and supports for young people,” said Cheryl Damstetter, chief of Community Health and Care for Island Health. “Island Health is pleased to be a partner in two Foundry locations on Vancouver Island: Victoria and Campbell River.”

Located at 818 Douglas St., Foundry Victoria’s interdisciplinary team of dedicated practitioners work collaboratively with youth 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 in to the centre.

Foundry Victoria is one of six sites that are now open in the province, joining two locations in Vancouver (Granville and the North Shore), Kelowna, Campbell River and Prince George. An additional five centres are in development. Learn more about Foundry Victoria here.