Youth and their families in Williams Lake will have faster, easier access to mental health and substance use services and supports.
The Lake City was one of eight communities that will have a new Foundry Centre developed for young people aged 12 to 24 in both rural and urban communities.
The Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre is the lead agency that will be operating the facility, and Executive Director, Vanessa Riplinger, said it was something that the whole community was working hard to get and explains what it will offer.
“The Foundry Centre brings primary care focus, mental health services, substance use, youth, and family peer support and other social services to provide care that is integrated to individuals”.
Riplinger said they looked at the first round of Foundries and weren’t as successful and so the second round which was in 2018, they worked really hard that year and got it in March of this year.
While they wait for the Foundry to be operational, they’ll be looking to hire staff to run it.
“We’ll have to have peer support which is really a big piece of the Foundry and that is young people that have lived experience that are peers to the youth that are coming through the door”, Riplinger said, “We’ll have a manager for the Foundry, maybe a nurse practitioner, a clinical counselor, so we’re really excited about this”.
Riplinger added that part of the Foundry’s model is the youth really direct our services, so I can say the things I might think we might need but the youth are really who are the people that are going to tell us what we need to do and how they see services working.
When the Foundry Centre is operational, no appointments will be necessary for young people, they can self-refer to the centre, they can access virtual care and the goal of it is to remove all the barriers for the youth to access care which is really important.
Riplinger said, “The new Foundry could be available in a year to 18 months, this is a really new process for me as well, so we really want to make sure that we’re doing this right, that our Foundations are firm, that we have the right people in place and that we have the location secure and once that happens and we make the changes to be a foundry then we will open up”.