Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness and substance use begin early in life, typically by age 14. Nearly 75 percent of cases present by age 24. Of this population of young people, however, only 25 percent will access treatment.
St. Paul’s is changing this situation to ensure youth across British Columbia thrive.
Established in 2007 to provide primary and mental health care for vulnerable youth, Foundry (previously known as the British Columbia Integrated Youth Services Initiative) has been the key change maker, accelerated in 2015 with completion of the Granville Youth Health Centre, which consolidated the Vancouver program into its own youth-friendly storefront.
Now, vulnerable youth in Vancouver have easy-to-access integrated services, under one roof, which intervene early and provide support before crises, such as substance use or undiagnosed mental illness, can do lasting damage.
The Granville Youth Health Centre last year saw nearly 8,000 visits (that’s 30 visits a day); and the attendance rate for follow-up services, historically low for the 12-24 age group, is extremely high.
Replicating a successful model
Building on this great and heartening success, friends of St. Paul’s are now being asked to support the Foundry, which will establish five more youth centres, one in each BC health authority region.
Foundry will offer mental health and substance use services, primary care, and social services for youth and young adults aged 12 to 24. In collaboration with non-profit and government partners, we are bringing together local community agencies and building on their existing strengths to create accessible, youth-friendly, integrated centres where our young people and their families can go to for help – shifting our model of care to focus on the person before the system, and filling gaps where our youth currently fall through the cracks.
This initiative has been taken on by St. Paul’s Foundation as a key fundraising priority not only because of the urgency and number of youth in need, but also due to the overwhelming success of the Granville Youth Health Centre, which will serve as the model for the five new centres.
Today, you have an opportunity to be involved in the first steps of what will be a profound and life-changing journey for thousands of young people and their families.
St. Paul’s Foundation is raising a total $1.5 million to support the creation of five new centres throughout BC.
We need your support to make this happen. By donating, you join hundreds of people from agencies throughout the province working together to create positive change.
Your gift will grow exponentially – each dollar donated to Foundry leverages at least $9 more from our government, community, and non-profit partners.