Government of Alberta
August 24, 2012
Alberta recognizes International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day
Edmonton…As the world marks International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day on September 9, the Alberta government is making progress on reducing the number of babies born with FASD and ensuring individuals living with FASD and their caregivers get the support they need.
FASD Awareness Day, held each year on the ninth day of the ninth month, is a reminder that women should abstain from alcohol during the nine months of their pregnancy.
“More than 36,000 Albertans are affected by FASD, which includes a complex range of brain injuries and developmental, physical, learning and behavioural conditions that can result from exposure to alcohol during pregnancy,” said Frank Oberle, Associate Minister of Services for People with Disabilities. “Reducing the incidence of FASD is a priority for our province and FASD Day is an important opportunity to share with family and friends that FASD can be prevented if women are encouraged and supported to avoid the use of alcohol or drugs during pregnancy.”
The Alberta government is in the sixth year of a 10-year plan to deliver community-led programs and services to those affected by FASD. People living with FASD often need help with mental health, social services, housing, education and training, justice, addictions and family supports that can cost up to $1.8 million during their lifetime.
Supports and services available in Alberta include:
* 12 FASD Service Networks that promote prevention of FASD and provide local supports and services to people living with FASD and their caregivers;
* webcast learning sessions, starting in September, for parents and caregivers, individuals living with FASD, support workers and professionals;
* the annual Alberta FASD Conference in Edmonton October 22-23;
* wraparound supports for students with FASD to support their success in school; and
* the Parent-Child Assistance Program that works directly with women at high risk of having a child affected by FASD, to help them address problems that could lead to alcohol or drug use.
Albertans who know someone who is drinking during pregnancy or who uses alcohol regularly and may become pregnant are encouraged to contact their local FASD Service Network or Alberta Supports at 1-877-644-9992 to learn about resources available.