Terri McKinlay and Alison Gear are part of the Family Peer Support through a Caregiver Advisory Team at Foundry Penticton. (Submitted)

Terri McKinlay and Alison Gear are part of the Family Peer Support through a Caregiver Advisory Team at Foundry Penticton. (Submitted)

Free support for parents at Penticton Foundry

More parents are feeling isolated and overwhelmed but there is help at Foundry Penticton

Open since July 2019, Foundry Penticton is established as the place for young people aged 12 – 24 to go for support with mental health and/or substance use challenges.

Increasing numbers of young people are accessing Foundry for a holistic range of services including counselling, peer support, primary care, sexual health, substance use support, 2SLGBTQIA+ programs, Foundry Works Supportive Employment Program, and youth drop in activities.

What is less known, however, is that Foundry offers services to parents and caregivers too.

“When a young person lives with a mental health or substance use challenge, it impacts the entire family. We are seeing more and more parents who feel isolated, overwhelmed, and in need of support,” says Alison Gear, one of two Parent Peer Supporters at Foundry Penticton. Peer supporters are people with lived experience who listen, provide practical and emotional support, guidance, advocacy, and assistance accessing resources.

Most importantly, they inspire hope. Through peer support parents and caregivers develop positive approaches and methods for addressing their family’s day-to-day needs, including their own needs for self-care. This, in turn, gives them greater confidence and hope.

Peer Support services at Foundry Penticton offer a place for parents to feel less alone, including a weekly parent support group, one-to-one support (by phone, email, zoom, or in person), and educational programs.

There is also an opportunity for parents to have a voice in future plans for Family Peer Support through a Caregiver Advisory Team. Family members with lived experience with mental health and/or substance use challenges are always welcome to be part of this group.

Alison Gear and her colleague, Terri McKinlay are available at 250-462-2714 or at terri.mckinlay@oneskycommunity.com and Alison.gear@oneskycommunity.com

You can also drop in to see them at Foundry Penticton, at 501 Main Street, on Wednesdays from 4:00 to 6:00 and Thursdays from 1 – 5 p.m.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


 

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