For the past 9 year Injury Free Nova Scotia has been focused on creating the kind of lean and limber framework from which to build on existing partnerships and engage new ones. Our current economic environment, both provincially and federally, challenges us more than ever to be mindful of how we can best augment and support good works that are already ongoing through other organizations. We know there is a wealth of skill and passion in this area for injury prevention. We try to always be strategic in determining where it is that we are best suited to take a leadership role in creating the needed momentum for change, and where we are best suited to support the leadership of others. As we continually see, the power for positive change is in the partnerships. Our pursuit for “lean and limber” has engaged us on a somewhat organic planning process that has culminated in a broad organizational redesign. Many elements of this redesign are seen throughout this website, itself a result of our change process.
Moving Forward in 2018/19:
Having invested in building a strong organizational foundation, our focus for 2018/19 is to build on previous work, strengthening our working relationships with current injury prevention partners and broadening our partnership base to reflect the broad scope of injury prevention work. With the top three injury and injury-related death issues for our province being motor vehicle collisions, falls and suicide/suicide attempts we acknowledge the challenge of such a broad focus. We know that there is need to commit our energies to root causes, and on areas where dedicated focus can yield a positive impact on a number of injury vectors.
Increasingly, engaging on issues related to substances is where we find we can make an important contribution. The way in which Nova Scotians engage with alcohol and other drugs links often very directly with how we experience serious injuries and injury-related deaths.
The recent legalization of cannabis in Canada in autumn of 2018, and the federal and provincial government involvement in the process leading up to legalization has and remains a strong area of involvement for us. Our message has continued to be "legalization - yes" but "commercialization - no". We support efforts made both to remove the criminal element from the distribution of cannabis, and to provide the environment in which credible research and local surveillance is pursued. Through this process a better understanding of both potential risks and benefits of cannabis will result.
There is a continued emphasis on partnering in work on the culture of alcohol in our province, including but not exclusive of the following areas:
- engaging with the issue of alcohol and youth, the early start of drinking (<13 years) and binge drinking
- generating greater awareness within Nova Scotian communities of the link between alcohol and injury
- building greater understanding within our communities of the sizeable economic costs related to alcohol harms