First we faced a physical health crisis, and stayed home to stay safe. Then came the mental health crisis, as reduced social contact and instability at home added stress to our lives.
“Covid was a big blow,” says Alicia Erenli, the Operational Supervisor at Foundry Ridge Meadows, which provides health and social services to young people. “Both the isolation and the abrupt change. It’s been a challenge for everybody, including youth whose social and emotional worlds were flipped upside-down, perhaps in uncomfortable home environments. Access to resources were limited due to isolation and restrictions, and for some, understanding how coping skills that helped in the past but just didn’t fit for this new reality.”
Foundry Ridge Meadows (formerly the Youth Wellness Centre) typically offers free supports to youth aged 12 to 24 from their beautiful new building at 22932 Lougheed Hwy, “where the old Frogstone Grill used to be.” Erenli wants to let the community know that Foundry is still here to help, even if their building looks quiet. In-person counselling and other services are available by-appointment, and new technology has allowed other supports to go virtual.
Choose the path that works for you
Confused about the supports available? Don’t know which services are right for you? Try the Foundry Pathfinder to click through an anonymous survey that will put you on the right path.
“Our walk-in services are paused at the moment, but you can pick up the phone or ring our doorbell so we can help set you up with supports,” Erenli says.
- One on one counselling: Foundry has professional counsellors to support youth and families.
- Primary Care and Psychiatry: Doctors and psychiatrists support youth and families.
- Peer support: “Our peer support is often a great first step to receiving services,” Erenli says. Youth and families can connect with a peer whose lived experiences offer guidance and support. “It can be scary to walk into a building and not quite know what you need or how to ask for it. Peer supporters can walk alongside youth or parents and help them navigate through what can be a complex system.”
- Virtual Support Groups: “Facing big challenges is a part of all our journeys, but mental health is also about being active, being social and learning how to be comfortable with yourself and engage with the environment around you,” Erenli says. Join a video chat to play Dungeons and Dragons, watch a movie, discuss books, or chat with other caregivers.
- Supplies: Foundry Ridge Meadows works hard to limit and decrease barriers that may be impacting youth, be it food security, toiletries, sanitary products, or access to cell phones that connect peers in isolation. “If any of these areas (and others not mentioned) are a barrier, call us. Foundry can help.”
To reach out or find more information, visit foundrybc.ca/ridgemeadows, call