Langley will be the home of one of eight new Foundry centres in B.C. offering health care, mental health and drug counselling, and social services to teens and young adults.
Each centre will be operated by a local social support non-profit, and in Langley that will be the Encompass Support Services Society.
“We are super excited as an organization to have been selected,” said Loren Roberts, one of the two co-executive directors of Encompass with Christine McCracken.
He said it would make a huge difference for local youth. The centres will serve those aged 12 to 24.
Encompass already operate the Langley Youth Resource Centre on 203rd Street near 64th Avenue. It offers a number of services, ranging from health and counselling to a safe hangout spot for teenagers.
Each centre will offer primary care, youth and family peer supports, walk-in counselling, mental health and substance use services, and social services all under one roof.
The provincial government announced the new centres Monday, which will be established in Burns Lake, Comox Valley, Cranbrook, Squamish, Surrey, Port Hardy, and Williams Lake as well as the Langley centre.
“A new Foundry within a community is a sign that lets young people know there’s a place just for them where they can get the support they need, right where they live,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “Child and youth mental health workers at Foundry centres play a key role, matching young people with early interventions to help them take on challenges and get back on the road to wellness.”
Encompass applied to operate a new Foundry centre in November, Roberts said. They they put in a full proposal in February, and were waiting anxiously for months until they got word recently that the centre for Langley was approved.
The centres have had a big impact on communities where they have already been established, Roberts said.
With the coronavirus, there’s an even bigger need for mental health services for those aged 12-24.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in mild to moderate mental health in youth,” he said. Issues such as anxiety and depression have been coming to the forefront.
There’s no timeline yet for when the new Foundry will be up and running in Langley.
Foundry has also launched a province-wide “virtual” service using voice, video, and chat communications for youths and their caregivers.