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Mental health & addictions info for North Shore schools

North Shore school health manual - Section 8

Referral Pathway for Mental Health and Substance Use treatment

Mental Health and Addictions services for children and youth on the North Shore is offered through a number of programs and agencies depending on age, urgency, and the nature of the concern.  The following referral pathway helps navigate this structure and identify the best service provider for the child/youth. 

Referral Pathways: Mental Health (MH)/Substance Use (SU) for Children and Youth (0-24 years) on the North Shore


Foundry North Shore brings multiple services together under one roof to make it easier for young people and their families to find help and support. Youth between the ages of 12 and 24 from Deep Cove to Lions Bay (including Bowen Island) can access a wide variety of health and wellness services that are confidential, low-barrier, and free. All services are voluntary, youth-friendly, client-centred, and culturally relevant. 

The Foundry team involves those who work in mental health and addiction services, primary care, public health, social services, and peer support services. Our staff consists of counsellors, doctors, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, public health nurses, an opiate agonist nurse, a dietician, youth outreach workers, youth care workers, employment support workers, peer support workers, a parent support worker, a family counsellor, an occupational therapist, a mental health rehab assistant, a hospital liaison, and prevention educators.

How do I access services at Foundry?

Youth and their parents can come to Foundry’s drop-in support hours to receive support and inquire about accessing Foundry’s many services. Drop-in takes place Monday-Thursday, 1:00-5:00pm at Foundry North Shore, 211 West 1st Street, North Vancouver. For more information, please call Foundry reception at (604) 984-5060.

Foundry provides the following services:

Drop-in support

Youth and young adults 12-24 can access support and counselling during drop-in hours for any concerns they have, big or small. Parents can also drop in during these times to speak with our Parent Support Worker (see parent support section below). Drop-in hours can also be used to secure referrals to other services either within Foundry, or an outside service the young person feels would benefit them. Drop-in support is available Monday – Thursday, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Mental health & substance use counselling

Short term, solution-focused therapy is available for youth and young adults 12-24 during Foundry’s drop-in service, and a variety of other therapeutic modalities are offered during booked counselling appointments outside of drop-in. Issues can include depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns as well as issues or questions regarding substance use and its impact on the young person’s health and well-being. Clinical assessments, treatment planning, and goal setting are included. Counselling is provided from a strengths-based, trauma-informed, and evidence-based approach.

Medical services clinic

Foundry North Shore has a fully operational medical clinic geared to the specific needs of youth and young adults aged 12-24. We provide a range of sexual health and primary care services, such as medical exams, immunizations, provision of contraception, and take-home naloxone training. Services can be accessed on a drop-in or appointment basis. Youth can access services at the clinic without a Personal Health Number (PHN), BC Services Card, or Care Card. Medical services drop in hours are Monday – Thursday, 2:30 pm – 5:00pm.

Employment support

YWCA’s WorkBC program offers a range of services at Foundry to support unemployed job seekers in finding and maintaining employment and improving employment readiness. WorkBC case managers are onsite at Foundry providing, for example, one-to-one career advising and access to financial support and various assessments, and connecting youth with various job readiness workshops. Client eligibility for the vast array of resources available is assessed individually with the support of their WorkBC case manager. WorkBC case managers have scheduled appointment times at Foundry on Friday afternoons.

Family counselling

Family Services of the North Shore (FSNS) counsellors focus on therapeutic interventions for families while at Foundry, operating under the perspective that a youth’s mental health will improve if the family unit is strengthened. They are able to assist with issues such as separation, divorce, child-parent conflict, violence in relationships, sibling relationships, and family communication. FSNS counsellors have scheduled appointment times at Foundry on Mondays.

Parent support

The Parent Navigator works with parents and caregivers of youth experiencing challenges with mental health and substance use. The Parent Navigator brings to the position lived experience of parenting a youth with multiple mental health struggles and offers assistance through a peer support lens. They provide service navigation of the mental health system, resource building, mentorship, and support. The Parent Navigator can also support parents and caregivers if youth are not yet accessing or resistant to services. They are available during drop-in hours and can also book private appointments outside of those times.

Peer support

Peer Support Workers help by sharing their lived experience of their own mental health journeys. They help youth navigate the mental health system, provide emotional support, advocate for young people’s needs, assist with wellness goals, connect clients to relevant programming, and help youth feel comfortable and engaged at Foundry. Peer Support Workers are available during drop-in Monday – Thursday, 1:00 – 5:00pm, as well as outside those times for booked appointments.

Occupational therapy

Our Occupational Therapist (OT) helps youth and young adults ages 16-24 year meaningfully engage in daily life activities and develop productive routines. The OT helps clients develop skills in: pre-employment/volunteering readiness, high school completion/post-secondary school, independent living skills such as cooking and budgeting, and behavioral wellness skills such as mindfulness. They can also help with transition into adulthood through life skill development and post-high school life planning. 

North Shore Intensive Youth Outreach Service (iYOS)

iYos provides outreach services for youth (ages 13-19) experiencing urgent and emergent mental health and substance use issues. Youth accessing iYos may be experiencing: acute disturbances in mood, thinking or behaviour which might manifest with suicidal ideation, mood problems or psychotic symptoms; moderate to severe primary substance use with or without mental illness; functional challenges associated with housing, income and health; and difficulties accessing health and social services. iYos can provide crisis intervention, short-term counselling, education, Intensive Case Management (ICM) services, and assessments. Additional support and consultation to parents regarding their youth in crisis is also offered. iYOS is available 7 days per week for urgent matters with staff available weekdays 8:30 am to 11:00 pm, and weekends 11:00 am to 11:00 pm. Please call: 604 984 3884 for assistance during these hours. Email: nsiyos@vch.ca

Intensive Case Management (ICM) Team

The ICM team provides assertive outreach and intensive case management services for young adults ages 19-24. Young adults referred to this service experience moderate to severe substance use or both mental health & substance use concerns, as well as significant functional impairment and/or psychosocial risk factors. They also have been unsuccessful in or not appropriate for less intensive services, such as services that a counsellor or community youth worker provides. Please note that the ICM team is not an urgent crisis response service.

Child and Youth Hospital Liaison

The hospital liaison is responsible for linking children and youth (6–18 years old), identified by Lion’s Gate Hospital as having mental health or substance-related issues, to community-based resources. The liaison provides assessments, case consultation, short-term counselling, referrals, and discharge planning. The liaison also works closely with the child psychiatrist on the pediatric ward, assisting families with treatment and discharge planning and bridging services to longer-term community supports.

Eating disorders program

This program services youth 12-18 and their families who live on the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, and Sea to Sky. The team includes a counsellor, paediatrician, and dietician to support those who have symptoms of anorexia, bulimia, or eating disorders not otherwise specified. Staff develop an individualized treatment plan to meet both the client and family’s needs. 

Prevention

There are two Prevention Educators at Foundry. Together they collaborate and partner with North Shore schools, parents, community youth service providers, Tsleil Waututh Nation, Squamish Nation, police departments, and other community partners to plan and implement proactive prevention initiatives that promote community engagement and shared responsibility in the prevention of substance misuse and mental health concerns among children and youth. Ongoing core prevention initiatives include Let’s Talk Shop, a facilitated parent/youth forum designed to promote positive communication and understanding between parent and youth populations, and the Mental Health Parent Ed Series, which offers regular mental health-focussed parent education evenings.

Groups

Foundry has various groups that cater to a wide variety of youth and parent needs. As our groups change periodically, please come in to our drop-in support hours for more information on our current group offerings as well as determining eligibility for accessing.

Partnership programs

Ascent Program

Ascent is a day treatment program for youth 14 – 18 years of age who are experiencing significant mental health issues, impairing their ability to attend mainstream high school. Located at Mountainside Secondary, this academic/therapeutic program is a joint partnership between the North Vancouver School Board and VCH. The program is staffed by two counsellors, a teacher, and a teacher's aid. In addition to academic instruction, the program also provides psychosocial assessments, individual counseling, family consultation and therapy, individually tailored academic programming, therapeutic groups, transition planning, referrals, and outings.

SOURCE: Mental health & addictions info for North Shore schools ( )
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