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Terrace home to province’s newest youth support centre

Foundry offers access to a variety of health and wellness services under one roof
Judy Darcy, B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, shakes hands with Michael McFetridge, executive director for TDCSS, after hearing Terrace would be one of the newest members of the Foundry network at a knowledge sharing event in North Vancouver on June 25. (Contributed photo)

Terrace has become one of the newest members of the Foundry network, a system of support centres for young people to access a variety of health and wellness resources, services and supports.

These spaces offer easy access for youth between the ages of 12 to 24 to find counselling, medical help, educational support and housing options under one roof, both in-person and online.

Judy Darcy, the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, announced that Terrace and Richmond would be the two newest members of the Foundry network at a knowledge sharing event in North Vancouver on June 25.

“Growing this vital network of care for youth by adding Richmond and Terrace to the Foundry network will give more young people the support they need to create a future full of hope, happiness, and success,” Darcy said.

The news is the product of a collaborative effort led by the Terrace and District Community Services Society (TDCSS), the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) and Northern Health. TDCSS will receive $200,000 to help establish a centre in town, and while a location hasn’t been determined yet, TDCSS has hired a Foundry project manager who will start this month on initial community outreach efforts.

“It brings online tools and resources, it brings all the health and wellness practioners together in one space with an understanding that a youth and their family just needs to come through one door, rather than being redirected or having to travel across town for multiple different needs,” said Michael McFetridge, executive director for TDCSS.

McFetridge said TDCSS started advocating for a centre in Terrace more than a year ago once he learned more about the impact Foundry centres have had on other communities in B.C. He called the announcement for Terrace a step in the right direction.

“I was ecstatic, I couldn’t keep the smile off my face. It was just a huge sense of relief,” he said.

“The Foundry represents the way forward in meeting the health and wellness needs of youth in communities across the province. It reflects best practice, so bringing best practice to our community is something that our board and our organization has been really intentional about, and I know that it’s going to save lives in our community.”

Foundry also works with the First Nations Health Authority, aboriginal friendship centres and Indigenous communities at the local level to make sure mental health and wellness supports are culturally appropriate and safe for each centre.

Terrace and Richmond will join nine other communities in the Foundry network, including Kelowna, Vancouver, Prince George, Campbell River, Victoria and Abbotsford, which have centres open, as well as Penticton and Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows, which have centres in development.

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