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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, a nurse practitioner, public health nurses, youth outreach workers, employment support workers, housing support workers, peer support workers, parent support workers, a family counsellor, an occupational therapist, a mental health rehab assistant, youth care workers, a hospital liaison, prevention educators, psychiatrists, a behaviour support worker, and a dietician.

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 - 5 p.m. 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. 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 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Mental health & substance use counselling

Short term, solution-focused therapy is available for youth and young adults 12-24 through assessment and referral at Foundry's drop-in service. 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, and a variety of therapeutic modalities are utilized.

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 p.m. – 5 p.m.

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 will have scheduled appointment times at Foundry on Fridays between 1 and 5 p.m.

Housing support

Hollyburn Family Services Society staff are onsite at Foundry assisting with youth housing support concerns and youth transitioning to independence, such as life skills development and landlord/tenant dispute resolution. Foundry youth will also have access to Hollyburn's other services, such as the North Shore Youth Safe House and the employment program Wired 4 Success. Hollyburn staff will be available by appointment at Foundry on Fridays between 1 and 5 p.m.

Family counselling

Family Services of the North Shore 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 will be able to assist with issues such as separation, divorce, child-parent conflict, violence in relationships, sibling relationships, and family communication. Appointments can be made with a family counsellor at Foundry for Tuesdays between 1 and 5 p.m.

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 Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and can also book private appointments outside of those times.

Peer support

Peer Support helps by sharing their lived experience, helping youth navigate the mental health system, providing emotional support, advocating for young people's needs, assisting with wellness goals, connecting clients to relevant programming, and helping youth feel comfortable and engaged at Foundry North Shore. Peer Support Workers are available during drop-in Monday – Thursday, 1 – 4 p.m.

Occupational therapy

Our Occupational Therapist helps 16-24 years olds meaningfully engage in daily life activities and develop productive routines. She can help clients develop skills in: pre-employment/volunteering readiness, 
high school completion/post-secondary school, independent living skills such as cooking and budgeting, and behavioural wellness skills such as mindfulness. She 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 (age 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 a.m. to 11 p.m., and weekends 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Please call (604) 984-3884 for assistance during these hours. Email:

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 will develop an individualized treatment plan to meet both the client and family's needs.


There are two Alcohol & Drug 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 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.


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.

Social Responsibility Support Program

SRSP is a North Vancouver School District/VCH partnership program that offers a multidisciplinary service for elementary school students with social, emotional, behavioural and mental health challenges. The SRSP program provides support for students who are experiencing moderate to severe challenges that impede their ability to function successfully in their home school. The purposes of this service is to provide consultation, treatment, and group support that is short-term (12 to 20 weeks), intensive and involves community agencies. Behaviour support workers, clinicians and teachers work together to help children learn to manage their behaviour, gain self-esteem, and develop the social skills necessary to allow them to attend their home school full time.

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