Colorado: A Decade-Long Single Minded Focus on Shared Risk and Protective Factors

The success of promoting a shared risk and protective factor approach in Colorado is the outcome of 10
years of a single-minded focus to align all of their efforts in one direction. When asked what has made
Colorado successful, the VIP-MHP branch chief replied: “I would say it is the persistence and longevity
of this one-track mind that lets us do our work in a different way.” It takes a long-term commitment
from the entire VIP-MHP team to achieve what Colorado has. As a program manager explained, “Ten
plus years into it we are getting better and better at hiring staff that understand these concepts or who
are willing to jump on the train to do this work differently. Having that shared philosophy and shared
approach regardless of what specific program people may work on at any given point in time helps us
do that.”

Despite the sometimes complex nature of working through a SRPF lens, Colorado is applying a shared
risk and protective factor approach in their goals, staffing, funding, programs and outreach. Their
dedication to sticking with it for over a decade has allowed them to make great strides in injury and
violence prevention that are a model for the nation.

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