It’s International FASD Awareness Day on September 9. We have now recognized this Day for over 20 years and it is heartening to see how many organizations and communities across Canada are now offering events and sharing resources that both honour the strengths of those with the disability and build awareness of the risks of drinking alcohol in pregnancy. One notable addition to this year’s events is that many landmarks and monuments across Canada will be lit up in red as part of CanFASD’s campaign, which focuses this year on building strengths and abilities.
As a part of our work to raise awareness about FASD prevention, we have updated an infographic about what we know about alcohol and pregnancy. It is based both in research and in the multi-level work of national, provincial, and local organizations working on FASD prevention. It points to:
- How women both deserve and benefit from information and support when making decisions about drinking before and during pregnancy.
- How reducing stigma about drinking is one key way of opening up the possibilities for women to access the information and support they need.
- How service providers have a prime responsibility in FASD prevention by:
- Sharing informational materials, working collaboratively, and supporting connections to needed supports.
- Engaging in non-judgemental and encouraging conversations about alcohol and associated risks.
- Linking women to community-based programs that offer holistic support on alcohol use, other aspects of health, and practical needs.
The infographic offers links to excellent resources developed by Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute, organizations offering culture driven programming in 7 Indigenous communities, and the Co-Creating Evidence Project’s research on wraparound programming. The Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health is grateful to the CanFASD Research Network for providing the funding that affords us opportunity to bring attention to these FASD prevention efforts in Canada in this way.