(Left to right): Shari Slattery, CMHA Kelowna and the team from Raymond James Kelowna: Darlene La Valley, Brendan Willis, Rita Faber, Lori Samuels, Cheryl Penner, Kaiyo Muir, Jay Dowhaniuk, Sandy McAfee. - Image: Contributed

Foundry getting help; helping youth

Kelowna business steps up to help the Foundry deal with youth mental health issues

A Kelowna business reached its goal to help the Foundry in half the time it expected.

Investment dealer Raymond James originally made a two-year fundraising commitment to Foundry Kelowna for $50,000 but ended up surpassing the goal—raising $50,140 in just one year.

“Our signature fundraiser Christmas in November has raised more than $194,000 for local charities during the last four years,” said Brendan Willis, branch manager for Raymond James Kelowna Corporate. “This past year, Foundry Kelowna was selected as our charity of choice to receive this event’s proceeds.”

The Foundry is focussed on better access to care for youth, and their families, so they can live their best lives possible.

“We know that mental wellness affects people from all walks of life and by supporting Foundry Kelowna we are helping dramatically change the delivery of these essential services for youth and their families,” added Willis.

Using an early intervention approach, Foundry Kelowna unites partner organizations that provide health and mental health care services, enabling young people to open one door to get help with life’s big and small wellness challenges.

Scheduled appointments are a part of the ongoing framework of care, but for three hours a day, five days a week the clinic operates as a walk in service. The ‘open access’ hours are proving to be greatly needed. Since Foundry Kelowna opened in September 2017, an average of 200 youth aged 12 to 24, per month, have accessed services within the walk in hours.

Melissa Feddersen, Foundry Kelowna’s Centre Manager, says the vast majority are receiving mental health and/or substance use services for the first time.

“We are hearing from young people and families alike that they would not have known where to go if Foundry Kelowna had not been available and so easily accessible for them,” she said. “Our unique approach means we are able to offer a holistic approach in connecting them to the services that are right for them at that time, we are ensuring we are supporting their entire well-being.”

For more information on Foundry Kelowna, please visit www.foundrybc.ca/kelowna

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