With our support, Terrace youth’s potential is almost unlimited

Across BC and right here in Terrace, communities are grappling with big questions around public safety, substance use and mental health.

“We all want a healthy, safe community,” says Alexis Ratz, Associate Director and Centre Manager for Foundry Terrace. “It’s crucial to remember that mental health and substance use challenges are always in response to distress. By offering support, we can build resilience in individuals and teach them other ways to respond to that distress.”

Since opening in 2020, Foundry Terrace has seen incredible progress helping Terrace youth aged 12-24. 84 per cent of visitors reported feeling an increase in their mental health, 85 per cent reported that their access to health services had improved, and 37 per cent reported a decrease in substance use — impressive considering that provincial substance use and substance use deaths continue to rise.

Alexis Ratz, Associate Director and Centre Manager for Foundry Terrace. Photo courtesy Alexis Ratz.

Alexis Ratz, Associate Director and Centre Manager for Foundry Terrace. Photo courtesy Alexis Ratz.

“Our youth’s environment and future is uncertain, and they need our support more than ever. They will be our tradespeople, our teachers, our healthcare workers and our decision-makers,” Ratz says.

In fact, at Foundry Terrace, youth are already giving back and making the community a better place. Peer support is the centre’s most utilized service, and often acts as a pathway to other supports.

“Youth receive support from Foundry and then become that support for their peers. Their potential is almost unlimited; that gives me a lot of hope.”

This past July, Foundry Terrace served over 100 individuals and provided over 300 support sessions at their interim location at 101-3219 Eby St. Fundraising for their permanent home next door has already begun, with construction on the building scheduled to start this fall. To donate, visit tdcss.ca/foundry.

“We’re already helping so many youth. It will be thrilling to increase our capacity,” Ratz says.

They’ll be able to offer more services to more people, and provide a more welcoming and useful space for walk-in services.

“For many youth, Foundry starts as a place to hang out. At the new building we’ll be able to offer more food support, showers and larger activity rooms for art projects and board games. Once youth feel safe here, they learn about other available services,” Ratz says.

“Those who can’t afford to pay out-of-pocket for mental healthcare often have to be in crisis in order to access support. At Foundry we can establish relationships first, and teach mental health skills before youth reach the point of crisis.”

All Foundry services are free, and available on a walk-in basis. Visitors from surrounding communities who need to plan their visit to the centre are can also schedule appointments.

“The Foundry model may seem simple, but it’s actually revolutionary. Any youth can walk in and receive same-day counselling with no referral. You don’t have to go through your parents or your doctor. For those with substance use and mental health challenges, there’s often only a narrow window of time when they’re open to receiving help — and Foundry provides that help.”

To donate directly or learn more, visit https://tdcss.ca/foundry, email info@tdcss.ca or call 250-635-3178.

Photo Courtesy TDCSS/Foundry

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