This winter, a new multi-service centre will open in Courtenay to help youth ages 12-24 and their families.
Foundry Comox Valley will offer a variety of free services under one roof, including mental health and substance use counselling, primary and sexual health care, peer support, and social services including employment. The John Howard Society of North Island (JHSNI) is the lead agency for Foundry Comox Valley, and has successfully operated Foundry Campbell River since 2017.
John Howard is working with community partners to renovate the Foundry Comox Valley facility into a safe and welcoming space for young people. At this time, community donations are greatly needed to help fund this exciting project.
Why invest in youth’s mental health and wellbeing? Young people are full of promise and potential, but face challenges to their wellness – including higher rates of mental illness and substance use than any other age group. In Canada, an estimated 70 per cent of mental health problems begin during childhood or adolescence. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, one in five young people aged 15-24 reported experiencing mental illness or substance use problems, yet fewer than 25 per cent actually received appropriate services. Suicide remains the second leading cause of death for Canadian young people. COVID-19 has amplified these concerns.
More young people are seeking help as mental health literacy increases and stigma fades. But there is still a lack of accessible, low-barrier services. Foundry is increasing access to health and wellness services for young people and their caregivers through a network of youth-friendly centres across BC and online. In the words of one Comox Valley parent: “There are families out there running out of time and they have nowhere to go … no hope, no path. They need to feel safe, they need a Foundry.”
On Monday, Aug. 30, JHSNI announced that an anonymous donor has agreed to match up to $100,000 in donations to the Foundry Comox Valley renovations project.
There are numerous ways to contribute to the cause.
To make a secure online donation, visit https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/14026
To send an e-transfer, email firstname.lastname@example.org
To mail your donation via Canada Post, mail to The John Howard Society of North Island, 140 10th Avenue, Campbell River, BC, V9W 4E3.