“This space feels really safe.”
Those five words from a Langley youth were exactly what the team at Foundry Langley were hoping to hear as they celebrated the centre’s opening this summer.
“We’ve been excited to see young people coming through the doors already,” says Kristin Coyne, Manager of Foundry and Clinical Services with Encompass Support Services Society, the operating organization for Foundry Langley.
Providing mental health and substance use support, primary care, peer support and social services, “Foundry Langley is an integrated health and wellness centre for youth ages 12 to 24 and their family members, so they are better equipped to support their young person,” Coyne says.
In addition to scheduled appointments, the centre offers drop-in services Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 2 to 7 p.m. There’s also access to laundry and shower facilities, and food, if needed.
Beyond the statistics – including that 70 per cent of mental health challenges start during childhood or adolescence – “the youth told us they need this,” Coyne says.
She emphasizes that youth, families, teachers or others don’t need to have the answers – or even know which questions to ask – to benefit from Foundry’s services.
“That’s one of the real benefits to young people – they don’t need to figure out exactly what they need beforehand. We can provide that wrap-around holistic care.”
Caring for the community
Sheila Malcolmson, B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, officially opened Foundry Langley’s doors July 19 in a celebration with Foundry partners, including Encompass Support Services Society and Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation.
At the Township of Langley Mayor’s Gala last week, the Foundation closed its $2.1 million Foundry funding campaign.
“We couldn’t be more grateful to our Langley community,” says Terra Scheer, Communications and Stewardship with the Foundation. “Within less than a year, donors raised $2.1 million to help build a space of safety, trust and healing for Langley’s young people. And thanks to that community support, youth aged 12 to 24 who once couldn’t see a way out of the problems that consumed them, now have a place to go.”
While the campaign to build Foundry Langley is now over, the Foundation is committed to ongoing funding of Foundry to ensure they have the necessary resources to continue providing those vital services to local youth.
“We were so grateful that Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation partnered with us,” Coyne says. “It was so clear to us that the community rallied behind the campaign to make it happen.”
Local youth, community organizations and others were also key in developing everything from the location and programs to the look and feel of the centre, she adds, saluting the Family Advisory Committee, Youth Advisory Committee and Indigenous Advisory Council for their efforts.
“It can be really challenging for young people to get the courage to come through the door,” Coyne says. Previous services may not have been a “fit” or teens could be discouraged at being placed on a waitlist, for example. “Now, when they come in, we can connect them.”
To help ensure ongoing funding for Foundry Langley’s vital programs and initiatives throughout the year, visit foundrylangley.ca/donate.
Visit FoundryLangley.ca to learn more about how you can support local youth and their families.
(As published on the Langley Advance Times)