One stop shop for youth mental health needs launched in Kelowna

Foundry Kelowna, a new integrated youth-service centre, was launched this week.

Premier Christy Clark speaks at press conference held Monday morning in Kelowna

Foundry Kelowna, a new integrated youth-service centre focused on mental health, was launched this week.

The centre will bring existing services under one roof so families and young people can access a ‘one-stop shop’ for primary care, mental health and substance use, and social services.

“Asking for help is hard, but getting it shouldn’t be,” said Premier Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna,  at the Monday morning event.

“By launching this centre, we’re making it as easy as possible for youth and families to take charge of their health by providing a variety of services through an integrated and personal approach.”

Health Minister Terry Lake said this approach has been very successful at the Granville Youth Health Centre in Vancouver, and we look forward to Kelowna youth and families experiencing the same growth, learning opportunities and support.

Foundry Kelowna is one of the centres announced in June 2016 as part of a provincial network of easily accessible, youth-friendly mental-health, substance-use, primary-care and social-service sites hosted by local non-profit organizations. This model will allow for earlier therapeutic interventions, when mental-health problems are just emerging. Intervening early can help to prevent challenges with mental health from becoming more serious.

“Many youth who struggle with mental-health challenges and other complex issues face significant barriers to getting the help they need,” said Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux.

“This new centre will provide vulnerable youth with a comfortable, safe and welcoming space where they can easily access the essential services they need in order to improve their health and their lives.”

The other centres announced were North Shore, Prince George, Campbell River and Abbotsford, which are all working with community partners on their own upcoming launches. The centres will offer easy access to core services including primary care, mental health and substance use, youth and family navigation supports, housing, supported employment, income assistance and education supports.

Access to integrated services will help improve the health and social outcomes of young people aged 12 to 24 years in the community

“We are so inspired by the level of collaboration in our community to ensure young people and families get access to help that will make all the difference in the trajectory of their lives. We know when you intervene early and reduce barriers, the outcomes for citizens are so much better,” said Shelagh Turner, executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association Kelowna Branch, lead agency for Foundry Kelowna.

Foundry Kelowna, hosted by the Canadian Mental Health Association-Kelowna Branch, anticipates being fully operational and accepting clients by spring 2017.

The Canadian Mental Health Association Kelowna Branch has partnered with the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation to raise a further $2 million dollars over the next three years to ensure Foundry Kelowna meets the unique needs in the local community.