An innovative model of care that’s supporting Kelowna’s youth is having considerable impact. Since opening its doors in September 2017, 900 youth have visited Foundry Kelowna and for most, this is the first time they are seeking help.
“Foundry Kelowna is transforming the way youth and their families are getting help in our community,” says CMHA Kelowna Executive Director, Shelagh Turner. “Now, youth don’t have to ask where to go to get help, they just need to walk through the doors and we can provide the counselling and services they need.”
The clinic is open Monday to Friday with mornings reserved for appointments and walk – in counselling available between 2pm and 5pm. “We are seeing from 12 – 15 youth walking in each day,” explains Turner. “The most commonly requested service at Foundry Kelowna is mental health supports,” Turner adds. “But we are seeing these youth return, on average, three times and they are accessing multiple services.”
Foundry Kelowna addresses mental health, primary care, substance use, counselling and social services of youth aged 12- 24 and their families. Additionally a number of community organizations are utilizing the space, after hours and on weekends, as a meeting space for youth groups and other activities such as yoga.
Turner says that about 65% of the youth coming through the doors are getting help for the first time. “Pulling together 25 agencies in one place has been a tremendous task. But we see every day that there is a need in our community, and Foundry Kelowna is there to help.”