Suicide is a health concern that has multiple risk and protective factors.
Some of those factors are shared with many other health concerns. In this example of suicide, one of those “major” protective factors is belonging to a “safe, supportive, connected community.” One of those “major” risk factors is “depression or poor mental health.”
Now let’s look at how many other health concerns share those same risk and protective factors. Discrimination, housing, transportation & impaired driving, domestic violence/sexual assault, child maltreatment, and poisoning share either a protective factor or a risk factor, or both, with suicide.
A different health concern, such as transportation & impaired driving, has more “major” protective and risk factors that have more connections to other health concerns. In this example, there are 5 major protective factors and 2 major risk factors that are shared with 6 other health concerns.
When it comes to the health concern of wellbeing, many of its major protective factors also contribute to other health concerns. Even factors that are not considered to have impacts on many other health concerns can still impact at least one other health concern. For example, the main risk factor for wellbeing is neighborhood poverty, which connects to one other health concern: suicide.
Focusing our efforts and initiatives on these major shared risk and protective factors can have BIG impacts on more than just one health concern. This is one reason that more collaboration on efforts between health concerns is so important.