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Notes from the Field

Breaking Down Silos in Colorado:

A Shared Risk and Protective Factor Approach to Violence

State and public health leaders in Colorado took an early lead in applying a larger, more comprehensive lens to their violence prevention strategic planning and decision-making efforts. Since 2006, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Violence and Injury Prevention - Mental Health Promotion (VIP-MHP) Branch has applied a shared risk and protective factor approach across their violence prevention activities. This shift in thinking has led to:

  1. More leveraged funding and resources to address multiple forms of violence at once;
  2. A greater focus on community level, upstream violence prevention strategies; and
  3. Increased collaboration and support for this work among community organizations and stakeholders.

This change in thinking, however, has not been without its challenges. To learn more about the why, how, and what’s been learned from adopting a shared risk and protective factor approach in Colorado, read on.