A dream 6 years in the making has finally come true.
Young people in the region can now access more mental health and substance use services with today’s (Monday) opening of the Foundry Cariboo Chilcotin in Williams Lake.
Spokesperson and Executive Director of the Child Development Centre, Vanessa Riplinger, said this will bring a new model of free care to those 12 to 24 years of age.
“We are very thrilled and excited to be opening our doors today. Individuals can access confidential care immediately and it offers services like peer support and primary care which could be Doctors, Nurses, Social Services, mental health and substance abuse services. We’re still looking at trying to get a nurse on board and we think that’s something that’s going to come soon,” Riplinger said.
She noted that the Foundry has a unique framework that ensures that when youth walk through our door their needs are going to be taken care of whether it’s accessing services or it might just be a safe place to decompress.
“I am just so incredibly proud of the efforts of many and especially our youth,” Riplinger added, “they’ve been really invested in this along with our community partners and the Board of the Child Development Centre, they’ve been incredible too. We’ve really built this together for the future of the youth of the Cariboo-Chilcotin.”
Riplinger said the Foundry has been in the works since 2016 and everybody just kept on working together for this day to come.
The Province provided one-time funding of 8-hundred thousand dollars for the centre’s establishment and is contributing 7-hundred thousand in annual funding for operations and services.
The Foundry Cariboo Chilcotin is the 14th centre to open in the province and is operated by the Child Development Centre in collaboration with multiple partner organizations.
“We will be doing a community grand opening sometime in the New Year for all of us to come together and celebrate,” Riplinger said.