Submitted by a Foundry Terrace youth
I am eager to share how the environment and services provided at Foundry gave me the opportunity to reshape my life completely.
First, I will go over my history a little bit. I am currently 24 years old and I graduated high school in 2016. I moved out of town to pursue goals and spread my wings. Towards the end of 2017 I became chronically depressed and dealt with regular suicidal ideations. I could no longer hold my jobs and I ended up returning to Terrace in spring 2018. The suffering continued and worsened, unfortunately leading to a suicide attempt in the summer. I was also involved in a vehicle accident on the highway which left my spirit broken into pieces.
From 2018 to 2022 I saw the hospital multiple times and the psychiatric ward twice. I met many different doctors, therapists and other professionals in the field. I have been treated with medications like mood stabilizers and antidepressants, none of which did anything aside from suppressing symptoms leaving the core problem untouched.
After the vehicle accident I isolated myself from the world completely, I spent day and night in my bedroom playing video games on my computer, for nearly three and a half years. I developed a substance use dependency, and the isolation started playing a toll on my mental health. I degraded myself down to the point where even going to the grocery store was causing serious anxiety. I avoided interaction and did everything with haste to return home as quickly as possible. During this time, I was in therapy, doing weekly sessions. I saw little to no progress in three years.
I got the tour of Foundry in summer 2021 and sometime around the beginning of 2022, I started seeing my therapist at Foundry. This slowly eased me into the new environment which I quickly began to like very much — the colours and artwork along with the very approachable and friendly staff. Foundry is a fun and safe environment. I pushed myself to attend the scheduled groups hosted during the week and I eventually progressed into a daily attendance, not missing even one day in multiple months.
The biggest impact for me in the beginning was to be back into society and engaged in socialization, a very scary thing for me at the time. The groups hosted during the week presented healthy challenges to my old ways of thinking and beliefs. This where a big part of my growing took place. I essentially broke out of my old shell and formed a new one. I pushed myself to try anything new like arts and crafts, something I never would have thought of doing in my past manual labour days. Foundry gave me the opportunity to safely try these new activities with no judgment or obligations.
The staff and other youth have given me healthy memories I will carry for the rest of my life. The people of Foundry have impacted me in so many positive ways I don’t know how to articulate.
Foundry feels more home than home, with people that feel like family.
Being supported by others who have experienced the gruesome walks of life and understand pain makes the dynamic welcoming. The emotional support from an individual with lived experience provided an invaluable amount of comfort and security. I am also very grateful to have had access to the clinical support if needed. The easy to access, seamless availability is truly amazing.
The end of 2022 is near, I am proud and grateful to be able to present that I am no longer on any medications. I quit my cannabis habit with grace and have even lost 40 pounds since February. I have formed many healthy daily habits like exercise and meditation. I am extraordinarily grateful to have met every individual in Foundry and I always look forward to every single group hosted during the week and contribute in any way that I can. I absolutely love Foundry and truly believe it is where wellness takes shape. I continue to grow and I strive to be the change I want to see in the world.
Right now, Foundry is hosted by Terrace & District Community Services Society (TDCSS) at an interim (non-permanent) site at 101-3219 Eby St., but there are plans to create a purpose-built space with plenty of room for services, socializing and support.
Visit https://tdcss.ca/foundry to donate.