Learn about what inspired the creation of Foundry and our story.
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, InnerChange Foundation and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.
On June 15, 2020, the Province of BC announced eight new Foundry centre locations joining the Foundry network, which will significantly improve access to health and wellness resources, services and supports for young people ages 12 to 24 and their families across British Columbia. More information here.
Foundry’s online platform, foundrybc.ca, powered by BC Children’s Hospital, offers information, resources and connection to services for young people across BC. Foundrybc.ca provides young people and their families with a one-stop access point for mental health and well-being, substance use, social support and services, navigation assistance and self-management. The new platform integrates resources and tools from the youth mental health website, mindcheck.ca.
We would like to acknowledge Fraser Health’s role as the originator and lead developer of the early intervention framework and associated content on mindcheck.ca, which has now been transferred to foundrybc.ca. We would also like to thank Fraser Health for their role supporting the transition of mindcheck.ca to foundrybc.ca.
mindcheck.ca initially began in 2009 as part of Fraser Health’s Youth and Young Adult Mental Health and Substance Use Early Intervention Pilot Project. In 2010, Fraser Health and the Provincial Health Services Authority’s BC Children’s Hospital formed a partnership to expand mindcheck.ca into a provincial website for youth and young adults. The provincial mindcheck.ca website was launched in 2012, with support from the Canucks for Kids Fund in memory of former Canuck’s player, Rick Rypien.
Click here for more information on the mindcheck.ca transition to foundrybc.ca.
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.