The BC government declared the Foundry Prince George location open on Thursday along with dozens of community members and local residents.

The $3 million wellness centre is set to provide struggling youth ages 12 to 24, and their families, with supports in battling mental illness.

Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy says places like Foundry is how the new NDP government wants to approach the stigma.

“It’s about bringing all of the services together; mental health, substance use, access to primary care, as well as support systems like housing, counseling, and so on. We need to surround youth with all the services we possibly can in order to give them the best possible start to their lives.”

Despite the previous Liberal government starting the initiative, Darcy adds it’s about taking ideas from around the world to utilize the best care possible.

“There is absolutely more that we can do! One of our first announcements was that youth who were aging out of care would have free access to post-secondary education. That’s really a continuation of just giving the best possible opportunities in life for our most vulnerable young people.”

Foundry also received more than $65,000 from local community donors for construction and completion five months ago.

Prince George is also the fifth location in BC, next to Abbotsford, Campbell River, Kelowna, and Vancouver.

Local MLAs Shirley Bond and Mike Morris were also in attendance for the ribbon-cutting.