Foundry – 1 Year Anniversary
Giving really does change everything. Because you gave, Foundry Kelowna has had an incredibly positive impact on youth with mental illness and their families. Every day, between 12 and 15 young people, aged 12 – 24 are accessing walk-in counselling services at the Foundry, and nearly two-thirds of them are seeking help for the first time ever. In its first year, Foundry has served 1,521 individuals and 302 families.
While the numbers clearly demonstrate the need for Foundry Kelowna’s early intervention, integrated care model, perhaps even more telling than the statistics are the stories of the families saved. Families like the Fletchers’ who now have access to the right kinds of resources, tools and support to help their whole family.
Lisa Fletcher, a Kelowna mother of two children, both of whom have battled ongoing challenges to their mental well-being, has become an active proponent of what Foundry can do for a family. Mental illness has always been a part of Lisa’s life; with many family members, including her mother, suffering throughout their lives. When Lisa’s second child began to show signs of severe anxiety, Lisa tried everything to get him the help he needed, to no avail. Her son was very sick and it deeply impacted the entire family, not just him.
“Honestly, we wanted to be the emotional support our son needed, but it felt like we were drowning and desperately just trying to breathe,” said Lisa. “You just reach and grasp for anything you think might help.”
“Before Foundry, sometimes our only option was to take him to Emergency,” she continued. “It is a very scary place for a child, but he needed help and we didn’t know what else to do.”
Since Foundry has opened, everything has changed for Lisa and her family. In addition to her son finally getting the right kinds of resources and tools he needs to help him cope with his mental illness, Lisa has also found the support she needs.
“The relief is immense,” says Lisa. “I know that my children aren’t going to just wake up one day and be ‘better’ but I do know the Foundry is there for them, and for me. It has filled a huge gap in our system.”
Lisa is not alone in her gratitude for Foundry Kelowna. For months, similar stories have been pouring in from parents.
“We are so grateful to the team at Foundry,” echoes Tammy G., another local mother. “We feel safe and not alone for the first time in years.
“It’s not always just about the analytics,” concludes Lisa. “But if you want some, here is what I can tell you. Two children saved, one marriage strengthened, and one mom’s peace of mind restored.”
The KGH Foundation and CMHA worked together to raise $2-million to support the opening of Foundry Kelowna. Foundry opened its doors in 2017 and is an incredible resource for youth experiencing mental illness and their families.