More than 3,000,000 Canadian residents are seriously injured every year. These injuries devastate lives. They also place an enormous burden on our health care system: at nearly $2 billion a year, the care and rehabilitation of victims of preventable injuries is one of the most significant costs to provincial budgets.

But here’s the good news:

We can prevent them. By recognizing that many of the things we do have a risk of injury. By taking the time to consider potential consequences. By reminding ourselves that serious injuries do happen—to our friends, to our family, to ourselves.

The Community Against Preventable Injuries (Preventable) is a nation-wide, multi-partner organization designed to raise awareness, transform attitudes, and ultimately change behaviour. Our goal is simple: to raise awareness of preventable injuries, and to get people thinking about the attitudes and actions that directly lead to those injuries.


Our approach: you already know this.

Since our inception, Preventable has insisted on an evidence-focused, research-based approach. Instead of making assumptions, we spent three years talking to Canadians, asking them about their attitudes towards preventable injuries.

Here’s what we found:

It wasn’t like people didn’t know about risky behaviour, or how to keep themselves safe. They just weren’t paying attention to what they already knew. Instead of feeling worried about injuries, they felt ambivalent. Apathetic, even. And, this attitude was hurting them.

This was our “a-ha” moment. The common thread linking all preventable injuries is attitude—a deeply-held yet erroneous belief that preventable injuries only happen to “other people.”

Based on our research, we knew we couldn’t offer people a lecture. We couldn’t tell them what to do, or “shock” them, or make them feel stupid about their decisions. Instead, we needed to reflect our understanding that people don’t make bad decisions out of ignorance. They make bad decisions because they truly believe bad things won’t happen to them.

Our job became clear: we needed to call attention to that little voice inside your head that knows that sometimes, bad things can (and do) happen to good people. How do we do that? By challenging your thinking. By pressing you on your long-held beliefs. By reminding you of what you already know. And yes, by making you feel a bit uncomfortable about the “oh well …” attitude that you may have about preventable injuries.

Here’s the best part: it’s working.

We’ve continued to monitor how our campaign has been received throughout the years. We’ve observed measurable, significantly positive shifts in attitudes around the inevitability of preventable injuries. Most important of all, since launching our social marketing campaign there has been a statistically significant reduction in injury-related deaths among our target population and their kids.


A community is only as strong as its members

That’s why Preventable has built close relationships with more than 100 partner organizations across the country. With the knowledge, skills, and support of partners like these, we’re reaching even more people in the moments and places where injuries occur and can be prevented.

There’s much more that you can do to help reduce the burden of preventable injuries. Visit our lead injury prevention partners, BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit in British Columbia and Injury Prevention Centre in Alberta, to learn more about this epidemic and discover ways that you can contribute.


Key partners

Preventable would like to thank the following key partners for their significant financial and in-kind contributions that help to raise awareness of preventable injuries. With the knowledge, skills, and support of partners like these, we’re reaching even more people in the moments and places where preventable injuries occur.