By Sarah Tesla

Youth Foundries are community-led, integrated hubs dedicated to nurturing the well-being of young people. These innovative centers emerged from a recognition of the challenges youth face in accessing mental health and social services, particularly in smaller communities with limited resources. The Foundry model represents a collaborative effort to provide comprehensive support tailored to young people’s diverse needs, fostering empowerment, resilience, and a sense of belonging.


What is a Foundry, and why is one being created on the Sunshine Coast? 

It’s a welcoming space bustling with activity and support, where young people can access a wide range of services, from mental health counselling to primary care, substance use support, to social services—all under one roof. Foundries serve as a holistic hub, specifically catering to the diverse needs of young people aged 12 to 24. They offer a safe and inclusive environment where young people can seek help and guidance without fear of judgment or stigma, addressing their unique challenges and concerns. A Foundry is also community-led, which means that the voices and needs of young people guide the services and resources that are made available.

In smaller communities like ours, where support for youth mental health may be difficult to access, Foundries are pivotal in filling the gap. Unlike traditional mental health services, which may be fragmented and difficult to access, Foundries provide a centralized solution. They make it easier for young people to navigate the complexities of the healthcare system, offering a range of services in a single location. Foundries eliminate barriers to care, ensuring every young person has the support they need to thrive.


A Collaborative Model

But the impact of Foundries extends far beyond mere convenience. At their core, these centers are built on principles of empowerment and collaboration, empowering young people to take charge of their mental health journey. Through peer support groups, skill-building workshops, and community engagement initiatives, Foundries foster a sense of belonging and resilience. They equip young folks with the tools to overcome life’s challenges, making a real difference.

Moreover, Foundries embrace a holistic approach to mental health, recognizing that many factors, including social, economic, and cultural determinants, influence well-being. By addressing the root causes of mental health issues and offering wraparound services that cater to the individual needs of each young person, foundries strive to create lasting change, not just temporary relief.

Foundries are more than just physical spaces. By bringing together healthcare providers, educators, community leaders, and young people, these centers create a synergistic environment where innovation thrives and collective action flourishes. Through partnerships with local organizations and stakeholders, Foundries harness the community’s strengths to effect positive change, one young person at a time. This collaborative approach is key to transforming lives and building stronger, healthier communities.


To learn about Foundry Sunshine Coast, join us on Monday, April 15, at Roberts Creek Hall 6:00PM – 7:30PM.

Manager Lesley Clake will share more about this model and the timeline.
For more details about the event click here or