At the latest Coffee Talk, the Estevan Community Safety and Well-Being Committee (CSWBC) discussed the progress made on the CSWB plan. The overarching goal of the group is to ensure that all community members, have access to the services and supports they need. 

Representatives from the Estevan Police Service, Envision Counselling, Estevan Comprehensive School, and The City of Estevan  participated in the panel discussion. 

“We are still in the initial stages, but we've become more comfortable with the plan. We've identified four key priority areas to work on and have developed a few initiatives,” said chairperson Shelly Veroba. 

The idea started as part of a pilot project through the Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance (SEDA) and was funded by the Ministry of Corrections. 

The vision statement for the group is to create sustainable safety and well-being for all generations, explained Veroba. 

The committee is collaborating with 20 agencies from across the area. To complete this stage of the plan, they held focus groups with students, seniors, and other agency groups to gain input and insight into the community's needs.

“It was very important to us that we heard from a wide demographic of people in our community,” said Veroba. 

Through the data collection process, the CSWBC identified key priority areas: mental wellness, substance abuse and addiction, education and employment, and victimization. Trauma was an underlying theme across all four areas, and there was also a clear need for more prevention and risk mitigation programs. 

The committee aims to create more free or low-cost events, develop natural support networks for the region, and engage the community in volunteer opportunities. They also hope to expand existing programs and supports and address transportation challenges.

“A lot of the outcomes from the plan align with what Envision Counselling is already working towards,” said Lauren Melle, executive director of Envision Counselling. 

“We need the support of other groups and individuals within the community to ensure we are as safe and effective as a police service as possible,” said Estevan Police Service Deputy Chief Warren Morrical “These groups provide amazing support and dialogue, enabling us to envision the future for both the police service and the community.” 

“I think anything we can do as a community to help support youth in the greater community is beneficial,” said ECS principal James Jones. “Bringing stakeholders together allows us to share resources, support those in need, and make a safe community.” 

The CSWBC is working toward making Estevan a safer and more inclusive community for all residents.