A Foundry BC location is coming to Langley City just down the road from Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s campus.
Foundry is a province-wide network of health and social service centres for youth aged 12 to 24. They provide mental health and substance use support and resources for young people, as well as their families and friends.
In 2020, the British Columbia government announced eight new Foundry centres would be opened across the province in Langley, Surrey, Squamish, Burns Lake, Comox Valley, Cranbrook, Port Hardy, and Williams Lake.
The Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation has been raising funds to redevelop the chosen site for Foundry Langley at 20618 Eastleigh Crescent, and it will be hosted by Encompass Support Services Society. This non-profit agency provides programs and support services in Langley and Aldergrove.
“Our youth advisory has been involved since the beginning, and we heard loud and clear that youth wanted that to be the space, and definitely a big reason was the proximity to transportation,” says Kristin Coyne, manager of Foundry and clinical services.
The site is close to the bus loop, near the future site for the Surrey-Langley Skytrain, and down the road from the KPU Langley campus. The location will have walk-in counselling in addition to booked appointments, cultural support, social support, peer support, physical and sexual health care, and eventually a gender-affirming care clinic.
“It’s greatly needed. We don’t even have a child psychologist in Langley, and we’ve needed one for many years,” says Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek.
“I really think that youth need their own facilities. If they’re going to go and get help they need to feel comfortable.”
Foundry BC offers virtual services as well, which will also be available through the Langley location. Coyne says caregivers, family members, and friends of youth are welcome at Foundry locations for support too.
“We really want the centre to be welcoming to all members of our community, we want to be able to support our LGBTQ+ community,” Coyne says, noting the care clinic may not be open right away, but Encompass is working to develop it.
“Young people are in different phases in terms of what they want, and what they need, and what they are ready for when accessing services. Foundry Langley takes a holistic look at young people and what could be helpful … it’s really more about [being] a space where you can hopefully feel welcomed.”
Foundry’s family peer support workers have been caregivers of youth with lived experience of mental health or substance use, she says.
“They have experience of being through the system, and they’ve experienced those challenges and frustrations, and then can support folks in a different way.”
Coyne says they want to decrease barriers and increase access through an integrated process where youth don’t need to know the system, but know where to reach out.
“You don’t have to go to your doctor … if you are aware that you’d like to access support, you can come and get that,” she adds.
Coyne expects Foundry Langley to be ready this summer, so youth in the area have support when school is on break.