Artist’s rendering of Foundry Comox Valley, which is set to open in the spring of 2022.

Artist’s rendering of Foundry Comox Valley, which is set to open in the spring of 2022.

Foundry Comox Valley receives $310K donation from Children’s Health Foundation

Foundry Comox Valley is $310K closer to opening thanks to a generous donation from the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.

This spring, a new multi-service centre will open in Courtenay to help youth ages 12-24 and their families. The John Howard Society of North Island is the lead agency for Foundry Comox Valley, and has successfully operated Foundry Campbell River since 2017.

“We’re really looking forward to opening this much-needed facility for young people,” said Wendy Richardson, executive director of The John Howard Society of North Island. “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 supports.”

John Howard is working with community partners, including youth and parent advisory committees, to renovate the Foundry Comox Valley building into a safe and welcoming space for young people. At this time, donations are greatly needed to help fund this exciting project. Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island has made a generous gift of $310,000 towards the $1.9 million renovation project. This donation includes a $10,000 gift from RBC Foundation to support youth and family engagement in the lead up to opening.

“Guided by mental health professionals, medical experts, and community partners, and with the generous support of our donors, we’re here with targeted funding to help children and youth access the mental health care they need,” said Children’s Health Foundation CEO Veronica Carroll. “There are significant inequities between the services available for youth in different communities across Vancouver Island and the surrounding islands, particularly those in rural and remote areas. Children’s Health Foundation provided seed money for one of the first Foundry locations on Vancouver Island in 2016, and now, with donor support and a generous grant from the RBC Foundation, is pleased to make this important investment in the health and wellness of youth in the Comox Valley.”

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. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer than 25 per cent of young people in Canada received appropriate mental health support. COVID-19 has heightened the need for integrated youth services and easy access to appropriate care. In BC, and across Canada, the highest increases in rates of anxiety, post-traumatic stress, depression, and behavioural challenges are occurring among young people.

“Now more than ever, young people and their family members need a place to go where they can feel safe and find the help they need, when they need it,” said Steve Mathias, Foundry BC executive director. “This important gift from Children’s Health Foundation helps open the doors to Foundry Comox Valley, providing easy access to a wide range of welcoming and youth-focused services. No longer will youth and their families have to ask: where can I go for help?”

In addition to Children’s Health Foundation’s support, an anonymous donor has agreed to match up to $100,000 in individual donations to the Foundry Comox Valley renovation project! The agency has raised $57,000 towards this goal. To help realize this dream of providing a multi-service centre for youth, online donations are accepted at canadahelps.org/en/dn/14026

E-transfers can be sent to colleen.ross@jhsni.bc.ca and donations can be mailed to: The John Howard Society of North Island, 140 10th Avenue, Campbell River, BC, V9W 4E3.

Comox Valleymental health