MLA Conroy says youth will have better access to care with new Foundry centre coming to West Kootenays

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CASTLEGAR – New Democrat MLA Katrine Conroy says more young people will have better access to vital health care services, including primary care, counselling, early intervention, prevention, and addictions supports closer to home with a new Foundry centre on the way to the West Kootenays.

The New Democrat government has dedicated $1.5 million in provincial funding for a Foundry centre to be located in the West Kootenays. The exact location will be determined through a community and youth engagement process.

“As a mom and a granny, I know how challenging the teenage and young adult years can be,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West. “Having care and support that is geared towards young people at this new Foundry centre will help ensure that challenges are addressed early, and that youth are set up for lifelong success.”

Approximately 75 per cent of serious mental health issues emerge before age 25, and the pandemic, global uncertainty, and climate emergencies continue to disproportionately impact young people, resulting in increased rates of depression and anxiety.

Foundry centres are a critical part of the province’s work to address this increasing need for supports by offering young people ages 12-24 and their families access to free and confidential services including mental health and addiction counselling, physical and sexual health care, peer support and social services. There are currently 34 other Foundry centres open or in development across B.C.

The province continues to build on Budget 2023 investments of $236 million in new and expanded addictions care for youth and young adults, including almost $75 million for Foundry expansion and enhanced services.

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