A downtown youth hub helps young people access sexual health, addictions and mental health services.
A youth-focused mental health center in Richmond has found a permanent home.
The foundry, originally located on Westminster Highway, recently moved to Cooney Road, offering help with sexual health, mental health and addictions.
The Foundry was co-designed by young people to be an “open, welcoming and accessible space”, explained Karen Barclay, Operations Manager for Mental Health and Addictions in Richmond, “for them to address the difficult topics for get the help they need. ”
This includes the design and color palette, devised by a peer group of young people, called Foundry Youth Advocates.
One of the requirements of the foundry is for its location – it should be a location facing the street so young people can just walk in, it should be centrally located and accessible to people with reduced mobility, and close to from the city center and public transport, explained Barclay.
Since its opening in July 2020, the Foundry has had approximately 1,800 young people who have accessed its services with approximately 300 monthly visits.
The idea is for young people to build a relationship of trust with healthcare workers, so that if there are other issues, they feel comfortable discussing those as well, Barclay said.
The Foundry serves young people between the ages of 12 and 24, and this is specifically designed recognizing that, although legally 19 year olds can be adults, the brain is still developing long after this age.
“What we understand is that adult brain development does not match the age of majority,” Barclay said.
But the Foundry’s services are designed to integrate young people into adulthood, teaching them “healthy behaviors” when accessing health care, Barclay explained.
Since opening in 2020, Barclay said they’ve heard “dozens and dozens” of stories from young people you’ve been able to get the mental health support they need, whether they’re young people who live in Richmond for a long time or new arrivals.
Not only can young people get help, but the families of young people who are struggling can also get support from their peers.
The Foundry’s services are designed to integrate young people into adulthood, teaching them “healthy behaviors” when accessing health care, Barclay explained.
The foundry is now located at #101-5811 Cooney Rd. and is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information and to make an appointment at the Foundry, click here.