Understanding and preventing FASD
September 9 was Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day and serves as a reminder for Saskatchewan residents to increase their understanding about the condition while also promoting prevention.
FASD is a brain-based disorder that results from prenatal alcohol exposure. It’s a lifelong condition associated with a variety of physical, mental, behavioural and learning disabilities. FASD is the leading known cause of preventable developmental disability in Canada.
“There is no safe amount of alcohol, no safe type of alcohol and no safe time for alcohol to be consumed during a pregnancy,” Minister responsible for SLGA Gene Makowsky said. “On FASD Awareness Day, I encourage Saskatchewan residents to support pregnant loved ones by helping them make responsible choices because the effects of alcohol on an unborn baby last a lifetime. It’s also an opportunity to understand the impacts of FASD for families and communities that are dealing with it.”
The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) recently provided $150,000 in support of the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute and the FASD Network of Saskatchewan.
“The prevention of FASD is a complex health and social issue,” Saskatchewan Prevention Institute Executive Director Noreen Agrey said. “Government’s continued support helps us focus on the primary prevention of FASD. We work within communities to find ways to share prevention messages so that children will have the healthiest start possible.”
SLGA funding will allow the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute to continue FASD prevention campaigns, develop and provide resources and training about preconception, pregnancy and alcohol, and support various regions of the province in their work in FASD awareness and prevention.
The FASD Network of Saskatchewan also offers valuable programming including public awareness and education to families living with FASD as well as training for human service providers within the province.
SLGA’s funding will continue to support the network’s post-secondary project which provides students with information about FASD that they can later use when dealing with FASD-related issues in their careers.