Squamish has been selected as one of eight communities to open a new Foundry Centre, offering critical supports and services for youth mental health and wellness.

Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy announced today that Sea to Sky Community Services (SSCS) will be lead agency responsible for opening and operating “Foundry Squamish.” As lead agency, SSCS will receive up to $800,000 to establish the centre.

“Youth in the community deserve one central place where they can go to access all the services to support and enhance their lives,” said Jaye Russell, SSCS Executive Director. “Foundry Squamish will offer a wide range of supports and programs designed to help young people navigate everyday life, as well as through times of crisis. The new facility will be located in the new 76-unit residential Buckley Avenue Affordable Housing Project, replacing the former Youth Resource Centre, and providing local youth with the critical care and peer connections they need, when they need them most.”

“Our young citizens are the future of this community,” said Squamish Mayor Karen Elliott. “Ensuring our youth have access to mental health and wellness resources tailored to their needs is an ongoing priority and one that is especially important in the wake of a global pandemic. The District of Squamish wholeheartedly supports this initiative which will offer our youth a safe space to connect and receive one-to-one support and care in our community.”

Foundry is a province-wide network of integrated health and social service centres providing young people, ages 12-24, with a safe and judgement-free environment, where they can feel comfortable asking for help and accessing the services they need. Foundry centres provide comprehensive care through integrating mental health, substance use services, primary care, social services, and peer support.

While SSCS is the lead agency operating Foundry Squamish, this is truly a community-based project with support from many local partners, including Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCH), Ministry of Children & Family Development (MCFD), District of Squamish (DoS), and Squamish Nation. Strong partnerships are at the heart of the collaborative model that Foundry BC is based upon. This includes partnerships with local youth and families who will also play a vital role in the development of Foundry Squamish.

Community members can get involved right now by donating to the Foundry Squamish Capital Campaign. SSCS is currently fundraising for the remaining $900,000 to build the Foundry Squamish Centre and needs the community’s support.

Go to sscs.ca/foundry-squamish to donate.