FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thunder Bay Situation Table aims to help Community’s at-risk individuals
(Thunder Bay, Nov. 7, 2017) – A new community-led initiative officially launched today is bringing together dozens of partners from various fields to help some of Thunder Bay’s most vulnerable individuals.
The Thunder Bay Situation Table includes representatives from more than 30 organizations across sectors – including mental health and addictions, justice, social services, employment and education – to help those at acutely-elevated risk of imminent harm, victimization or criminalization.
These are individuals in the community facing complex situations and multiple risk factors. They may be experiencing issues related to mental and physical health, addictions, poverty, negative relationships, housing, education, employment, domestic and physical violence and more. These are also situations where a single agency may have exhausted all its resources trying to help.
Community partners can refer these types of cases to the Situation Table, which meets twice monthly to create coordinated action plans to support specific and complex situations. The result is a rapid intervention that is short-term and time limited so that individuals receive access to appropriate services, typically within 48 hours.
“The Situation Table does not mean more community resources. Rather, it’s a focused, efficient and collaborative approach to care that leverages existing community assets. It appears to be making an impact. So far, we’ve had eight referrals to the Table since we started meeting in September,” said Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mariah Maddock, Chair of the Thunder Bay Situation Table.
When a matter is brought before the Situation Table, information is presented in a way that protects the individual’s identity. This allows Situation Table participants to focus on addressing the challenges that are presented.
“Each situation that’s brought to the table is unique to an individual and no two situations are alike. It’s important for the community to know that there is no typical type of person who needs the support. Situations brought to the table could be impacting anyone of any age,” said Jeff Upton, Education Officer, Lakehead Public Schools.
The Thunder Bay Police Service are a key member of the Situation Table and have been involved in discussions from the beginning.
“Too often police are the first point of contact for individuals experiencing a crisis. However, we realize that we’re not the most appropriate resource and rely on community partners for help. This collaboration across sectors helps a person in need of support, creates efficiencies amongst partner organizations and allows officers to focus on community safety and public service,” said Acting Deputy Chief Don Lewis, Thunder Bay Police Service.
See Backgrounder for further information about Thunder Bay Situation Table membership and an example case of a situation that may be referred to the table. The Thunder Bay Situation Table is supported by the Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee, with funding provided by the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, and partner organizations.
For more information, contact:
Mariah Maddock Chair, Thunder Bay Situation Table
Canadian Mental Health Association, Thunder Bay
T: (807) 345-5564 Ext. 382