Action Table Calgary

A New Approach to Crisis Support for Calgarians

Calgary’s human services sector has a powerful new tool to provide rapid access to services and supports for individuals at risk of crisis.

Action Table Calgary (ATC) is a pioneering community approach that aims to assist Calgarians with multiple risk factors who urgently need help. This innovative partnership between United Way of Calgary and Area, The City of Calgary, and the Calgary Police Service (CPS) brings representatives from various community agencies together to provide coordinated support services within 24 to 48 hours.

Drawing inspiration from the successful model employed by FOCUS Toronto, ATC convenes weekly to address cases of elevated risk in the community. Over 30 agencies representing justice, social services, health care, education, government, child and youth services, senior supports, newcomer services, mental health, addictions, and housing review complex cases and coordinate community supports. At each table, agencies collaborate to identify suitable services, agree on interventions, and create immediate action plans to reduce risk for individuals or families.

The City of Calgary’s Community Safety Investment Framework (CSIF) defines a person in crisis as someone “in need of urgent support due to mental or emotional distress, conflict, or a threat to their safety.” In addition to providing a more coordinated community response, Action Table Calgary addresses the CPS’ commitment to Council to address crisis response transformation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Action Table Calgary brings community organizations together to provide timely, coordinated intervention and supports for individuals and families with elevated risk. The table meets once a week and is starting with reviewing 1-3 cases per meeting. The group deploys a plan of support for each case within 24-48 hours.

Clients are identified by those at the table as meeting the ‘Acutely Elevated Risk’ threshold. This threshold indicates that imminent risk of serious harm to individuals, families, or the community requires immediate, coordinated support to mitigate crises and prevent escalation.

Action Table Calgary is a partnership between United Way of Calgary and Area, the Calgary Police Service and The City of Calgary. We have also engaged more than 30 community partners to sit at the table and provide support and services. These span diverse sectors such as mental health, addictions, housing, domestic violence, employment, justice, basic needs support, and education.

Action Table Calgary is an effective way of addressing cases with imminent, elevated risk so they don’t turn into crises. It helps address complex cases in the community, coordinates support and services, and ensures the right people are receiving the right resource at the right time.

This is a brand-new, innovative one-year pilot in Calgary. The first table took place on January 31, 2024. The model is based on a successful situation table called FOCUS Toronto, which has been running for 10 years, as well as other situation tables across Canada.

No, all cases are brought forward by agencies and organizations who sit at the table. The table members determine the threshold of risk and need and come up with a plan to move forward.

Action Tables work with anonymous information, allowing the agencies to have a fulsome discussion about the case without sharing names, specific ages or specific locations.

Consent is typically obtained from clients by presenting agencies, adhering to privacy policies and the agencies’ best practices. In crisis situations, agencies follow established protocols, prioritizing client consent whenever feasible. Clients may decline participation or services at any time.

The one-year pilot is an opportunity to grow a healthy table with strong partnerships and processes. The pilot ends in December 2024, at which point we will collectively evaluate our success over the course of the pilot and determine next steps.

For more information, please contact [email protected].

Elijah BeaverAction Table Calgary