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Identifying people at risk of trauma, criminal activity in Victoria goal of program

‘Situation table’ will seek to proactively link people to services beforehand
Mental Health and Addictions Minister Sheila Malcolmson has announced the creation of a ‘situation table’ for Victoria, designed to bring local agencies together to help connect vulnerable people to services before traumatic or criminal experiences. (Black Press Media file photo)

A program aimed at helping people at risk of criminal behaviour or victimization is coming to Victoria as part of a provincial initiative.

A “situation table,” including members of local health, public safety and social service agencies, will aim to identify vulnerable people and collaboratively and rapidly connect them to services before they experience a negative or traumatic event, according to province.

A $30,000 grant to help form the Victoria group was announced on Friday.

The situation table will “proactively identify vulnerable individuals or families who have a significant probability of committing criminal offences or experiencing harm or victimization,” a release stated. No details were offered on how individuals will be proactively identified.

The City of Victoria will have a seat at the table. Mayor Lisa Helps said the program will help reduce demand on police services, “but more importantly, it will take a collaborative approach to getting people the assistance they need directly from the organizations that provide them.”

Bringing together frontline workers from multiple agencies, non-profits and law enforcement will help connect people to the care they need, said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

“When people are in crisis, they need compassionate support and individualized problem-solving,” she said. “I am grateful that a situation table is coming to Victoria and optimistic that this powerful tool will connect its community members with services and solve problems before they grow.”

Situation tables are currently operating in 15 B.C. communities, with nine more in the works.

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