Originally formed in 2012, the Sioux Lookout Healthy Community Task Force (HCTF) was formed to develop and implement a Community Drug & Alcohol Strategy. Over time, in addition to the implementation of the Strategy, the Task Force evolved to address other opportunities and challenges with respect to community well-being. Currently, the Task Force consists a group of individuals in Sioux Lookout, all of whom are community wellbeing stakeholders. Individuals from multiple sectors such as Healthcare, Child & Family Services, Police, Mental Health Services, and other agencies meet regularly. The goal of the HCTF is to improve community wellbeing, to facilitate cross-sector collaboration, and to provide further knowledge regarding program availability. The HCTF and its membership, with the assistance of funding from the Municipality of Sioux Lookout and other contributing local agencies, enable the Task Force to offer educational programs for community members to raise awareness regarding common issues such as methamphetamine addiction and treatment availability and options.

The next exciting chapter for the HCTF is about to begin. The Task Force is partnering with the Municipality to implement the Sioux Lookout Community Safety and Well-Being Plan (CSWB Plan). Improving safety and well-being in Sioux Lookout requires a collaborative approach that will involve many community partners working together towards systems change that will benefit all residents of Sioux Lookout. This Plan was developed with the support and contribution of multiple agencies and organizations in the Sioux Lookout community, with direct input from Sioux Lookout’s residents.

Sioux Lookout’s Community Safety and Well-Being Plan consists of strategies and supporting actions that fall within the four levels of intervention – social development, prevention, risk intervention, and incident response. A combination of research, a review of existing data and community reports, and input from system leaders and community stakeholders was used to identify where to focus collaborative efforts for the Sioux Lookout CSWB Plan. Through this process, six priority areas of focus were selected:

  • Appropriate and affordable housing
  • Mental wellness
  • Substance misuse and addictions
  • Crisis Services’ capacity for incident response and de-escalation
  • Employee recruitment and retention
  • Community cohesiveness and vibrancy

These six priority areas of focus each have expanded into a strategy for change with supporting goals and key activities. To see these strategies applied in the community, the Plan’s inputs and outputs will need to be affirmed by community stakeholders. Stakeholders must identify a sufficient and realistic level of investment of resources to reach the Plan’s goals and join the Municipality in a community-wide commitment to them. A Performance Measurement Framework for the Plan’s strategies will be developed and is important to implement so that the community’s progress can be tracked and evaluated against the CSWB Plan.