Great news for Two-Spirit, trans and non-binary youth in Victoria!
In case you haven’t already heard, Foundry Victoria officially opened their doors in May of 2018. Foundry is a provincial organization that aims to reduce barriers for youth accessing primary and mental health supports, and to try to consolidate those supports into a “one stop shop” for youth across the province.
In Victoria, Foundry’s primary partnership is with the Victoria Youth Clinic, which has been providing services to youth for over 20 years. They have also partnered with Need2, an organization that offers training and support around suicide prevention and awareness, the Early Psychosis Intervention Program, Discovery Youth and Family Substance Use Services, Child and Youth Mental Health Services and Youthspace.ca, which offers online chat and text-based crisis support services for youth who need someone to talk to.
The Victoria Youth Clinic at Victoria Foundry has also partnered with the Umbrella Society, the Together Against Poverty Society and Trans Care BC to offer specialized peer support services to youth from diverse populations.
If you are a young person ages 12-24 seeking health services, you can access the following supports at the Victoria Youth Clinic at Victoria Foundry:
– Primary Health Care
– Sexual Health Care
– Mental Health Support and Counseling, including same-day drop in counseling
– Substance Use Support and Counseling, including suboxone starts
– Outreach Services
– Harm Reduction Services and Supplies, including Naloxone trainings
– Income Assistance Support
– Harbour, a trans-inclusive topics based peer support group for youth 18-24
– Art Therapy Drop-ins
– Volunteer Opportunities for Youth
– And more!
Youth looking for support for gender identity have a number of options available to them as well. Through a partnership with Trans Care BC, gender-diverse youth can access peer support counselling with a trans peer support worker, as well as medical navigation services, such as information about how to access hormones or gender-affirming surgeries. They are also able to provide assistance with ID changes for legal name and gender-marker updates, connections to social opportunities and support groups across town and access to physical gender-affirming resources such as breast forms and binders, as well as a number of informative resources around gender identity for youth, families and more.
Trans youth also access the Victoria Youth Clinic for assistance in doing their hormone injections, inclusive sexual health services, drop-in counseling and more!
Currently, there are two services providers at the Victoria Youth Clinic who are able to offer Hormone Readiness Assessments for youth. Keep your eyes peeled for updates around hormone starts and other gender-specific services in the coming months as the team continues to grow and diversify the available services.
If you are interested in checking out the services at Victoria Foundry, feel free to visit them at 818 Douglas Street (above Noodlebox). The Victoria Youth Clinic is on the 3rd floor, and various partner agencies offer services on the 2nd floor. Most services are offered on a drop-in basis, with some specialized services requiring an appointment.