Released on September 9, 2015Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Day is September 9 and Saskatchewan residents are encouraged to talk about the harm that can be caused when alcohol is consumed during pregnancy.
FASD describes a range of life-long disabilities that result from exposure to alcohol during pregnancy. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, FASD is the leading known cause of preventable developmental disabilities.
In support of FASD awareness and prevention in the province, the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) is providing $160,000 to agencies that promote awareness and prevention of FASD.
“FASD not only impacts an individual but it also affects families and communities,” Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer said. “This funding will help raise awareness about the harm of consuming alcohol during pregnancy, while also supporting families that face the difficulties associated with FASD.”
The Saskatchewan Prevention Institute (SPI) is receiving $80,000. The money will support the launch and distribution of its new FASD prevention campaign, which is aimed at fathers, at the end of September. The funding will also support three intensive trainings and the start of a provincial community collaborative in FASD Prevention.
Members of the collaborative will have more in-depth, evidence-based knowledge of FASD to share with their communities. Regional FASD committees that develop local community-level FASD prevention and awareness will also benefit.
“Alcohol is a substance that can cause birth defects,” Saskatchewan Prevention Institute Executive Director Noreen Agrey said. “A fetus exposed to alcohol can develop a lifelong disability. Social, behavioural, physical, attention and learning difficulties may not be noticed until the child is in school. This support from the provincial government will allow us to educate communities that a healthy pregnancy does not include alcohol.”
The FASD Support Network of Saskatchewan will receive $80,000 to support its continued efforts to promote awareness of FASD through workshops in post-secondary institutions with students who may deal with FASD in their future careers.
The funding will also support an initiative to create a “real stories book” consisting of short testimonials and experiences from caregivers and people living with FASD while also supporting the continued delivery of its publication Living with FASD.
“The goal is to expand awareness beyond families living with FASD,” FASD Support Network Executive Director Leslie Allen said. “There are many challenges for families that live with FASD and our goal is to empower them further by helping to build a network of community supports. We appreciate SLGA’s ongoing support of our efforts to help families and communities across the province living with FASD.”
For more information, contact:
Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority
Saskatchewan Prevention Institute
FASD Support Network of Saskatchewan