(Pictured from left to right: Bruce Davies, Executive Director, Central Okanagan Foundation; Cheryl Miller, Director Central Okanagan Foundation; Shari Slattery, Philanthropy Officer, Canadian Mental Health Association – Kelowna; Allison Ramchuk, Senior Development Officer, KGH Foundation; Sharon McCoubrey, Board Chair Central Okanagan Foundation.)
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 Central Okanagan Foundation 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 – 24 suffering with mental illness and substance issues.
One of the foundation’s primary aims is to support important local initiatives where the impact can be felt immediately, and promote the long-term sustainability of our community.
“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 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% 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.
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