Foundry Kelowna - representatives from multiple services available to help youth

Arlene Howe

Helen and I had a tour of the newly completed Foundry last night!

The initial presentation on arrival in the foyer is an atmosphere that is inviting and calm. Green, turquoise and blue hues have a relaxing effect, plus there is an abundance of light creating an airy atmosphere, not an enclosed, (institutional), feel.

The Foundry will be the home to a dozen different agencies. The key, of course, is to provide early intervention, diagnosis and support before serious, chronic issues arise. There are several physician exam rooms for GP's to assess physical /sexual health of the youth. To date, four General practitioners have committed to part time hours. The facility will also house psychiatrists, counsellors, paediatricians, RN's and various support personnel.

The space is comprised of counselling rooms, dictating stations (for consultations), staff lunch rooms, two conference rooms and a family room.

The Foundry also has an amazing kitchen area for youth-it will also be used to teach cooking classes- promoting healthy independence. Staff will move into their offices and work spaces slowly throughout July, and will see their patients at the Foundry. August will slowly transition to walk In Traffic and referrals. (From schools, physicians, parents, walk ins).

The Foundry mandate that a slow/soft opening will allow them to ensure all protocols are in place and properly executed. They truly want this to be perfectly deployed and a positive experience for all.

Who is the Foundry?

The Foundry is a "one stop" service provider for youth age 12-24. A variety of services will be available to youth, all under one roof.

Family support, youth and family navigation Services, health care, sexual health, mental health counselling, substance misuse counselling, housing support, employment assistance, free courses and groups and specialized services!!!!!!

All services are free and confidential.

Making mental health a priority for our youth not only aids them and their families, but creates strong supportive communities where are children are valued.

I am optimistic and excited to see the Foundry lead the Okanagan, and the Interior-perhaps even the province and the country, in promoting this service for our kids!

I believe they will have a strong voice In educating the general populace and in decreasing, or eliminating, stigma and shame.

The Foundry staff are a strong, youthful, innovative and committed team!

I am excited to watch them develop, morph and grow!