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Central Okanagan youth: mental health support is coming your way (literally!)

<who> Photo courtesy of Foundry Kelowna. </who>

As anyone at Foundry Kelowna or the Canadian Mental Health Association Kelowna will tell you, it is critical that youth in our community receive mental health services when they need them—whether they’re experiencing a moment of crisis or need consistent support.

But until recently, Central Okanagan youth had to go to mental health services, instead of mental health services coming to them. Even with online and virtual options becoming more commonly offered, using these services requires technology, reliable internet access, and a private space to attend appointments.

In September 2021, Foundry Kelowna launched Wellness On Wheels, a brand new service that brings inclusive, mobile mental health support to youth in need—literally.

How Wellness On Wheels works

Wellness On Wheels is a refurbished bus that rolls out to Lake Country, West Kelowna, and Westbank First Nation on specific dates and times to provide services for walk-ins and via scheduled appointments.

Youth ages 12-24 can book appointments by calling (236) 420-2803. You can also find the mobile unit at the following dates, times and locations:

Lake Country

Tuesdays 2pm-6pm at Memorial Hall, 10130 Bottom Wood Lake Rd.

Westbank First Nation

Wednesdays 2pm-6pm at Westbank First Nation Youth Centre, 1880 Quail Lane

West Kelowna

Thursdays 2pm-6pm near the Westside Youth Centre located at 2466 Main St., accessible via Brown Rd.

The journey so far

From September 2021 to March 2022, Wellness On Wheels made an incredible impact on youth in the community.

During that time, 123 youth accessed drop-in services and 36 made appointments for counseling or navigation support. Additionally, 35 youth accessed harm reduction supplies and 212 youth and adults attended COVID-19 vaccination appointments at a mobile unit.

Learn more

To learn more about the history behind the Wellness On Wheels project, and how you can support Foundry Kelowna in their mission to provide inclusive mental health support for local youth and their families, visit the Wellness on Wheels website.

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