September 9 is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day. FASD is a lifelong condition associated with a variety of physical, mental, behavioral and learning disabilities. It’s a brain-based disorder that results from prenatal alcohol exposure.
The Saskatchewan Prevention Institute and the FASD Network of Saskatchewan received $150,000 from the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) to assist with FASD awareness and support programming.
“Raising awareness about the lifelong effects that alcohol exposure can have on an unborn baby is important in the prevention of FASD,” Minister Responsible for SLGA Gene Makowsky said. “FASD Awareness Day reminds us of the importance of making responsible choices about alcohol and the need to be supportive and understanding of individuals and families that are dealing with the impacts of FASD in our communities.”
The funding supports the Prevention Institute’s ongoing FASD prevention and awareness campaigns, development and distribution of resources, the development and delivery of training in communities across the province and community capacity building and partnerships, including the support of regional FASD committees to engage in local prevention and awareness activities.
“Up to four per cent of the population has FASD in Canada,” Saskatchewan Prevention Institute Executive Director Joelle Schaefer said. “Government’s financial support helps us ensure a broad, non-judgmental approach to FASD prevention so that women can be supported to have the healthiest pregnancies possible and children in Saskatchewan can develop to the best of their abilities.”
The FASD Network of Saskatchewan provides a number of important initiatives including FASD prevention and awareness workshops to post-secondary students within classrooms, the development and distribution of FASD publications and resource materials, activities during FASD awareness day and partnerships with community organizations in prevention and awareness initiatives.
“Working with government allows us to provide individuals and families with daily support,” FASD Network of Saskatchewan Executive Director Andrea Kotlar-Livingston said. “We’re able to provide a better understanding of the approaches that allow individuals and families to best navigate the challenges associated with FASD.”