Foundry News Release by CFJC News

KAMLOOPS — Young people in Kamloops, as well as surrounding areas, will eventually have access to mental-health and substance-use supports, as a new Foundry Centre was announced this morning (July 28) by BC Mental Health and Addictions Minister Sheila Malcolmson.

Foundry Kamloops will offer young people aged 12-24 and their families a variety of services around mental health and substance-use challenges. Minister Malcolmson also noted that the facility will give youth safe place to engage with support systems.

“When young people walk into a Foundry Centre they are met by dignity, respect, with services that are designed for them, by them. They might come in for – maybe birth-control support and then find out there is substance-use counselling or group anxiety counselling. There such an array of supports,” said Malcolmson.

Interior Community Services, along with several community partners will be heading up the Foundry in Kamloops. Step one is finding the right location.

“Location seems to be the biggest barrier for communities to find a space, because you need 7,000 to 10,000 square feet. The youth that we surveyed for our original application really had identified downtown or that Lower Sahali area as the best location because all youth access those locations,” said Valerie Janz of Interior Community Services.

An optimistic timeline for when the Foundry could open in Kamloops was said to be early 2024. However, while that progresses, Foundry services will still be available to Kamloops youth.

“In the meantime, there is a foundry virtual app, Foundry BC, that young people can get counselling same day or next day. It’s made a big difference through the pandemic,” adds Malcolmson. “So anywhere people are we want them to be able to connect in with the foundry model whether they can walk into a centre or not.”

In recent weeks, the minister has announced three new foundry locations in British Columbia, with one more announcement planned. That brings the total number in the province to 22.

“It’s really a stigma free place, a place supported by peers and there is a real range of services that youth design. That’s what gets built into all Foundries, and will in Kamloops,” said Malcolmson.