Using a shared risk and protective factor (SRPF) approach to prevention acknowledges a shift in the ways we work. The fundamental question at the root of our efforts should no longer be how we address a single, specific public health issue. Instead, we should be asking how we can develop a system that supports well-being holistically. We should be striving to increase the resources to which people have access in a way that proactively prevents multiple public health issues, improves the context in which people live out their lives, and develops a broad spectrum of resilience.
The fields of injury and violence prevention (IVP) and public health are at a critical juncture to address the true causes of injuries and violence. It is imminently vital for all stakeholders across IVP to work upstream and align funding, interventions, and evaluations in ways that embrace SRPF approaches. The value of this approach is multifold: it tackles multiple population health outcomes through multisector interventions, it positively impacts social determinants of health; it is sustainable and it maximises financial resources. While theoretical buy-in for the SRPF approach is high, there remain challenges in the field to operationalise such an approach. The time is now for the field to collectively embrace an SRPF approach and rally together to strengthen the evidence base. Researchers, practitioners, funders and national organisations must align their goals in prioritising upstream, primary prevention through addressing SRPF to enhance public health infrastructure and reduce societal inequities.