Land has been purchased for a Foundry East Kootenay facility in Cranbrook. Photo submitted.

Land purchased in Cranbrook for regional youth mental health and wellness facility

A Foundry East Kootenay facility is expected to beegin construction in the summer, completed by early 2022

A youth-focused mental health and wellness facility in Cranbrook is one step closer to reality with the purchase of land near the city’s downtown core.

Foundry East Kootenay, which will be operated by Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services, has purchased vacant land at 100/106 12th Av, to be the future site of the facility, which will begin construction this summer and open early in 2022.

The site was chosen based on it’s proximity to Mount Baker Secondary School and Laurie Middle School, as well as the ability to design and build a facility tailored to needs identified by local youth and families, according to a news release.

“We are excited to be building the Foundry East Kootenay at this location,” said Colin Sinclair, chief administrative officer of Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services Society. “It checks off all the requirements we were looking for with close proximity to the schools, downtown and green spaces. Most importantly, it was the number one choice of our youth out of all the locations we considered.”

The building itself will feature examination rooms, counselling services, a kitchen and an opportunity for a green space. Health care and counselling staff will be on site to provide free, confidential services without having to schedule an appointment ahead of time.

Foundry BC features a province-wide network of integrated health a social services for youth aged 12-24. Core services include physical health, mental health, substance use support, social services and peer support.

Last summer, Cranbrook was one of eight new communities set to receive a foundry facility, following an announcement by the provincial government.

The Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services Society will operate the facility as the lead agency, and Foundry East Kootenay will be open to provide youth-related services for clientele across the East Kootenay region.

Efforts to get Foundry East Kootenay up and running have been underway since last year, particularly through the East Kootenay Foundation for Health, which has led a fundraising drive through the ‘Not Alone’ campaign that has raised $685,000 on the way to a $1.4 million goal.

Fundraisers have included a Cranbrook Burger Month, which raised $55,540, an online auction organized by Foundry East Kootenay’s Youth Advisory Committee which received $14,000 in bids earlier this month.

“The purchase of land is a huge boost in making this all a reality. Foundry East Kootenay is an urgent need in the East Kootenay,” said Brenna Baker, executive director, East Kootenay Foundation for Health. “We are overwhelmed by the community support we have received throughout our region. We are excited to keep the momentum going on fundraising as we hope to reach our goal quickly so the youth and their families have help when they need it.”

The Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services Society is seeking input from youth and families through a survey to help shape the design of the facility and services on offer. Anyone living in the East Kootenay region can complete the survey at www.kkcfss.org/survey to be entered in a draw to win a gift prize valued at $500.

In the lead up to the physical facility opening, youth can access support from Foundry through online virtual services.

For more information on Foundry East Kootenay, visit the website or to donate to the ‘Not Alone’ campaign, visit the East Kootenay Foundation for Health’s website.

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