The fundraising effort to raise $2 million to open a new integrated youth and family mental health care centre in Kelowna has received a massive boost thanks to a $50,000 donation from the Central Okanagan Foundation (COF).
The gift, presented by the COF to Allison Ramchuk from the KGH Foundation and Shari Slattery from CMHA Kelowna, to support the two organizations joint campaign to open Foundry Kelowna, a care centre specifically aimed at supporting youth age 12 to 24 suffering with mental illness and substance issues.
“Foundry Kelowna is a giant step forward in how we support our young people suffering with mental illness and substance issues. The need is urgent,” said chair Sharon McCoubrey. “We know that this funding will truly make a difference in the future health of our communities’ youth and families.”
One in five youth in BC need mental health or substance use services, and less than 25 per cent are getting the help they need. Foundry Kelowna aims to change that by consolidating up to 24 service agencies from primary care, counselling services and clinical care, to social services such as access to housing, employment and education support, all under one roof.
“This gift is truly incredible,” said Ramchuk. “While we knew that this campaign was so important, the gift from the COF further validates that our community is ready to really take a stand for our young people.”
Indeed, the KGH Foundation’s ‘Not Alone’ fundraising campaign, which launched publicly last month, has seen unprecedented community engagement thanks to a series of personal impact stories being shared on Facebook. The short videos featuring young people and families from the community who have been touched by mental illness, have been shared thousands of times in just the past few weeks.
The KGH Foundation is an independent, volunteer-driven charitable organization committed to enhancing the delivery of healthcare to the patients of Kelowna General Hospital and its associated facilities.