What is Foundry Langley?
Foundry is a support centre that will provide young people with just one place to go for access or navigation support to any and all types of health care services.
Show youth they are not alone!
Help bring Foundry to Langley.
By Jim McGregor/Special to Langley Advance Times
Each year, an estimated 1,000 Langley youth need immediate access to critical mental health and substance use support service.
Fewer than three hundred receive appropriate services.
When help is hard to find, youth languish, and hope begins to fade.
But increasingly hope is on the horizon, said Dr. Kristin Coyne, manager of clinical services for Encompass Support Services Society (ESSS). She’s heading up the Foundry.
“Foundry Langley is currently under construction, looking at a projected opening in June of this year,” she said of the site located at 20618 Eastleigh Cres., in Langley City.
There are other Foundry locations already functioning in B.C, including within the neighbouring communities of Abbotsford and Maple Ridge. In the meantime, some are in development like Langley and Surrey.
“You can find someone to talk to, get support from a care providers, and connect with friendly experts to help navigate health and social services, resources, and programs. All centres deliver free, respectful, non-judgmental, and strength-based services in a youth-friendly space,” boast the Foundry app.
There is a backbone organization called Foundry Central Office under Foundry B.C. and they support all the Foundry centres, then associations – such as Encompass in Langley – operate the facilities, Coyne explained.
The function, programming, and services that the facility will provide are key to helping the future leaders of the world, when needed.
“Foundry is an integrated health and wellness centre for youth aged 12 to 24 years old,” Coyne elaborated.
“We focus on early intervention and there are five core services offered at every Foundry centre, bringing mental health, substance use, peer support, primary care (medical), and social services together in a single place,” she said.
“We have a youth advisory committee and a family advisory committee that are very much involved in the decisions we have been making so we are ensuring our programs are designed for youth,” Coyne explained of the process that’s been in the works for some time.
Foundry Langley has currently posted positions for peer support counsellors, family support counsellors, and additional support staff.
“We will have a youth support program and family support program providing peer support counsellors. The youth peer support worker offers peer-based mentoring and emotional support and works collaboratively with youth, their families, and members of the care team. The family support counsellors will be people who will draw on their own living or lived experience supporting a youth or young adult experiencing mental health or substance use challenges,” she expanded.
“The two things we are trying to achieve with Foundry Langley is to integrate services, making it easier for you to access help and to provide support at some level once you come in. People come in looking for support and that support may be something Foundry Langley can provide or there may be someone in the community that provides the support you need. We don’t want to duplicate services, but rather find the right place for the person to land instead of telling them we can’t help and they have to call this number.”
Encompass Support Services also manages Langley Youth Hub, located on 203rd Street.
The Hub provides opportunities to meet the basic needs of youth such as food, showers, laundry, and toiletries, as well as counselling and support services.
“Once Foundry Langley is up and operating, we will assess both programs with the intent to integrate services where we can,” said Coyne. “We have youth advisory committees for both the Foundry Langley and the Youth Hub and they will play a big part in the integration of the two facilities.”
In the meantime, the Foundry Langley team has spent the last two years bringing all the service providers together and this enhances the integrated services model, Coyne said.
This cooperative approach, she believes, can’t help but better support youth.
“While we have really amazing service providers in Langley, right now they don’t always work very well together. Right now, when a youth does get the courage to reach out and figures out where to reach out to, they make a call and may get told, ‘Oh that’s not us’ and are given another number… That can be very discouraging to young people and after it happens once or twice, they just quit trying,” Coyne said.
“Sometimes, if they do make the right call, the systems are so stretched that they may get put on a list for three months to a year. At that point, a lot of youth will just think that nobody cares and give up. Or, their situation worsens.”
Foundry Langley is a 7,600-square-foot facility designed so that part of the walk-in services is to offer counselling to the individual that day. Then options can be discussed and the individual can be directed to someone in the building.
No one will be turned away without being seen, Coyne assured.
“We are set up for the youth who may not really be sure what he needs, but he knows he needs something we can provide. We have built strong partnerships with social services and the medical community. We also provide cultural support for those struggling to find their identity.”
Community involvement has been excellent, Coyne said.
“We have a leadership team, made up of 20 to 30 service advisors, to make sure we are going in the right direction. It’s really about everyone coming together to achieve the best results for the community,” she said, trying to demystify the offerings of the impending Foundry.
For more information on Foundry Langley or to find out how people can support the project, they’re encourage to go online to: foundrybc.ca/langley.
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