Last year in Kelowna, more than 1,200 youth arrived at Kelowna General Hospital’s Emergency department in crisis, citing mental health or substance issues as the primary cause.
The provincial statistics reveal that 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. That is something that KGH Foundation Day of Giving fundraiser is hoping to turn around.
The Not Alone campaign will support Foundry Kelowna, an integrated care facility for youth and families struggling to navigate mental health and substance issues.
At age 18, Cam McAlpine’s daughter Georgia took her own life in the fall of 2016. Since then, the Kelowna father has bravely advocated for Foundry, sharing Georgia’s story to underscore the desperate need for change.
“It’s not an easy story to tell,” McAlpine said, in a press release. “But together with my family I believe it’s important to do so… the system to manage and treat mental illness is splintered, disconnected and inadequate.”
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 Thursday, June 1, the KGH Foundation will host its first ever Day of Giving, a call to action to the community to support excellence in health care for the 750,000 newborns, children, youth, adults and seniors throughout the interior of B.C.
For the past eleven years, the Have-A-Heart Radiothon hosted by SUN FM, EZRock and AM1150 has been a time when the community has come together to support world-class care at Kelowna General Hospital.
Kelowna has been selected as one of five sites in British Columbia for the clinic, which promises to serve youth age 12 – 24. The KGH Foundation and CMHA – Kelowna joined forces in launching the Not Alone campaign to raise the $2million needed to open Foundry Kelowna.
Donations can be made online at kghfoundation.com; by text ‘NOTALONE’ to 45678; phone 250-862-4438; or in person at the KGH Foundation office. The Change Bandits will be stationed at the corner of Rose Avenue and Pandosy Street accepting drive-up cash donations.
Live updates and interviews supporting the fundraising effort can be heard throughout the day on SUN FM, EZROCK and AM1150, thanks to the generosity of the Bell Media stations.
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.