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Since 1999, FASD activists have held World FASD Awareness Day events on 09/09 to represent the nine months of pregnancy, often highlighted with a bell ringing ceremony at 9:09 am. September 9, 2016 is approaching, and this year activists want to use social media because it provides a unique and far-reaching means of building awareness.

You can help build FASD awareness by posting a message, reposting theirs, or bringing attention to their events on your own social media accounts.

FASD Awareness Day Share with CanFASD

Canada

This year Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network (CanFASD) is providing an online forum for organizations to post their initiatives on the CanFASD website. Include a description and a picture or video and they will re-post and Tweet it out to all of their followers. You can post using #FASDAwarenessDay #CanFASD and win prizes.

The Executive Director of CanFASD , Audrey McFarlane says “ CanFASD is very pleased to be able to highlight the fantastic work that the local communities are doing to raise awareness of FASD on September 9 as the local FASD service providers and caregivers are the hardworking folks that manage this work everyday.”

United States

NOFAS US has developed a FASD Awareness Day Packet for 2016 to assist organizations with planning activities for the month of September – FASD Awareness Month.

Their social media campaign includes:

  • A Twitter Chat using the hashtag #FASDMonth as well as offering tweets you can use to send out to others.
  • A one-time message commemorating FASD Awareness Day can be posted to your social media accounts using ThunderClap – a crowd-speaking platform using social media. Learn more here.
  • A campaign to create a video that will feature an inflatable globe being “passed” around the world. Click here to learn more about the campaign.

New Zealand

The University of Auckland is hosting a FASD Policy and Research Forum starting at 9 a.m. on FASD Awareness Day. Find out more here. To find more information, links, and downloads from New Zealand, visit the Fetal Alcohol Network NZ and the Ako Aotearoa learning website for the Pregnancy and Alcohol Cessation Toolkit for providers.

Australia

NOFAS Australia is encouraging people to take a pledge not drink on Sept 9 and to post it on social media as a way to spread the word about FASD.

Also on the Pregnancy Birth & Baby website, there is a call to join the Pregnant Pause Campaign for FASD Awareness Day.

United Kingdom

The FASD Trust is asking people to get involved in a number of ways – raising awareness in school using the Trust’s School Pack, writing their MP. Click here to see their efforts.

To learn more about the history of FASD Awareness Day and get more ideas for events, click on FASD Awareness Day website.

Is your group, organization, or country planning a FASD Awareness Day event? Please share them in the Comments section below.


Previous postings about FASD Awareness Day

Today is International FASD Awareness Day, September 9, 2015

Today is International FASD Awareness Day, September 9, 2014

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From the FASDay website:

“The first FAS Day began on September 9, 1999 in Auckland, New Zealand, where “Minute of Reflection” bells rang at 9:09 a.m., at Mt Albert Methodist church. Then it moved to Adelaide, Australia, and then to South Africa, where at 9:09 a.m., Cape Town volunteers gathered to hear the War Memorial Carillon that rang when Nelson Mandela was released from prison.

Volunteers in Italy, Germany and Sweden held events – and then FASDay crossed the Atlantic.  There were events in every time zone across Canada and the U.S., including ringing of carillons in Toronto, Niagara Falls, Hastings, NE, and Austin & San Antonio, Texas. The westernmost activity was the community breakfast on the tiny island of Kitkatla, B.C., near the Queen Charlotte Islands, where the village bell rang at 9:09 a.m. followed by prayers in the native tongue by village elders.”

Events to increase awareness about FASD are happening all over the world today and throughout September. Find out what’s happening in your community.

The image above is from a poster and brochure developed by the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch. (Each of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories has a liquor board or commission that oversees the control, distribution and sale of beverage alcohol in its jurisdiction. Many boards run FASD Awareness campaigns in the month of September as part of their social responsibility initiatives).

Here are a few other resources on FASD developed by members of the Canada FASD Research Network that you might want to share with others.

What Men Can Do

KNOW FASD

Pages from 19-2-PB

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Pages from FASD_WarningSignageInfoKit_Booklet_web

Pages from First-Nations-Women’s-Healing-Photoessay-web

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teratogen pop quiz

The Yukon Department of Health and Social Services, working with the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Society of Yukon (FASSY) and Partners for Children, began an awareness campaign to raise awareness about teratogens, including alcohol on International FASD Awareness Day (September 9, 2014). (A teratogen is a substance, organism or process that may harm a baby during pregnancy. Teratogens can be diseases, medications, drugs, alcohol or environmental exposures.)

The online ads take the form of a pop quiz and a pictographic pronunciation guide to make the point that many substances can cause birth defects, from alcohol to certain viruses such as rubella (German measles).

The press release (September 8, 2014) states that the initiative is intended to “emphasize the community’s role in healthy pregnancies.”

Jeddie Russell, supervisor for education and prevention with Alcohol and Drug Services, commented in an news interview that “the campaign is innovative because it does not only target pregnant women, as FASD campaigns do typically… That target is not wide enough. Fetal alcohol syndrome is not about one woman drinking, it’s not about one couple being irresponsible, it’s about everybody – grandmothers, aunts, uncles, brothers – knowing that alcohol is a teratogen.” (See the news article: Yukoners mark FASD awareness day, September 10, 2014, Yukon News)

An editorial by John Thompson credits the Yukon government for putting resources into addressing FASD, such as a new supportive housing facility for individuals with FASD and a study looking at the prevalence of FASD in individuals in corrections facilities. But he critiques the new campaign:

“Quirky humour has its place, but this seems to fall flat, given the gravity of the problem being addressed.

And, however well-meaning the employees at the Department of Health may be, it would also be hard to imagine a more impenetrable approach to the subject. Perhaps in the next phase, the whole thing could be written in Latin?

And what is being accomplished? Well, the general public will soon be armed with a completely unnecessary piece of jargon, to say what everyone already knows: alcohol damages unborn babies. The better subject would be: what are we going to do to prevent mothers, who already know this, from drinking anyhow?”

See the editorial: This FASD campaign is a flop, September 12, 2014, Yukon News.

 

screenshot

This awareness campaign in Ontario has been getting a fair amount of attention in the past few weeks. (See the CBC coverage: LCBO joins campaign against Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, August 25, 2014)

The campaign was developed by FASWorld in Toronto, a non-profit organization co-founded by adoptive parents, Brian Philcox and Bonnie Buxton. Earlier this year, posters from the campaign could be seen around Toronto.

This September, FASWorld teamed up with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) to spread the campaign across all 640 LCBO outlets in Ontario.

While many people find the images to be positive, others have critiqued the campaign as it suggests that women who do not stop drinking during pregnancy are uncaring and irresponsible. Others have found the focus on the fetus/pregnant belly and the use of naked women to promote awareness as problematic.

Global News reports on mother, Laura Jamer, who lodged a complaint with the LCBO.  Jamer critiques the campaign in light of inconclusive research on “light” drinking.

Jamer is quoted as saying that the campaign is unlikely to be effective for women with serious alcohol misuse concerns and may make other women feel guilty or scrutinized: “This marketing campaign is probably not going to target people with the propensity to drink heavily while they’re pregnant. Those people have bigger issues going on in their lives where a light guilt-ridden campaign is not going to make a difference to their drinking.” (See the coverage: LCBO ad urging pregnant women to avoid alcohol spurs formal complaint, September 16, 2014)

Tom Megginson on the Osocio blog also takes a closer look at the campaign. He comments:

“This campaign sounds positive, but there’s a second read here: “If you love your body, and love your baby, you won’t drink any alcohol while pregnant.” Or worse: “IF you drink ANY alcohol while pregnant, you obviously don’t love your body or your baby, and if the baby has problems it’s your fault!”

ENG_Whisky

The Too Young To Drink campaign was launched last week on September 9, 2014 (International FASD Awareness Day).

The launch of the campaign involved individuals and organizations displaying a banner of the campaign in a busy area of their home towns at 9:09am on September 9, 2014. Groups all over the world took pictures and made videos of themselves with the banners and shared them via social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

global images

Campaign materials are available in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Portugeuse, Japanese, Italian, Slovenia, and Polish. All the images feature a fetus immersed in a bottle of alcohol, but the bottle reflects the traditional drinks of various countries and regions: brandy from the Balkans, the French champagne, Italian wine, the English and Irish whiskey, and vodka of Eastern Europe.

The campaign visuals were developed by Fabrica, the organization that developed the Italian “Mummy Drinks, Baby Drinks” campaign (which I’ve blogged about in the past here and here). Fabrica is a communications research centre financed by Benetton.

Creative Director Erik Ravelo talks about the campaign in this “behind the scenes” video.

Visit the campaign website here. If you are interested in learning more about or joining the network, visit the Network website here. Also, read more about the background to the campaign in an article published in the International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research earlier this year (Open Access).

RUS_Wodka

network

 

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The Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre in Winnipeg delivers children in care and community based programs and services to Aboriginal families.

Check out tweets from the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre from yesterday (International FASD Awareness Day).

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Learn more about the organization on its website or view the YouTube clip below.

FAS Knot

From the FASDay website:

“The first FAS Day began on September 9, 1999 in Auckland, New Zealand, where “Minute of Reflection” bells rang at 9:09 a.m., at Mt Albert Methodist church. Then it moved to Adelaide, Australia, and then to South Africa, where at 9:09 a.m., Cape Town volunteers gathered to hear the War Memorial Carillon that rang when Nelson Mandela was released from prison.

Volunteers in Italy, Germany and Sweden held events – and then FASDay crossed the Atlantic.  There were events in every time zone across Canada and the U.S., including ringing of carillons in Toronto, Niagara Falls, Hastings, NE, and Austin & San Antonio, Texas. The westernmost activity was the community breakfast on the tiny island of Kitkatla, B.C., near the Queen Charlotte Islands, where the village bell rang at 9:09 a.m. followed by prayers in the native tongue by village elders.”

Events to increase awareness about FASD are happening all over the world today and throughout September. Find out what’s happening in your community.

Below are some of the posters that you might see in liquor stores across the country today. (Each of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories has a liquor board or commission that oversees the control, distribution and sale of beverage alcohol in its jurisdiction. Many boards run FASD Awareness campaigns in the month of September as part of their social responsibility initiatives).

FASD_Poster_VERTICAL_highres

fassy2

SR_FASD_Web poster

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no_alcohol_during_pregnancy

Be With Child Without Alcohol

 

NSLC-smbanner

LCBO

 

SPI

Next week, September 9th, is International FASD Awareness Day and there are numerous events happening across the province of Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan Prevention Institute is a non-profit organization that works to raise awareness and educate others about the prevention of disabling conditions in children. This year, the Institute filled requests from over 35 groups for resources and their “FASD: Let’s talk about it” T-shirts. The Institute is sponsoring a one-week tour by Myles Himmelreich who will be appearing in Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Mossbank, Prince Albert, and Swift Current.

Other activities that are happening across the province include:

Agency Chiefs Tribal Council (Big River, Pelican Lake and Witchekan)

Community members are invited to pancake breakfasts. Materials about alcohol and pregnancy will be on display and shared with those who would like information. There are poster contests for the younger children. Grade 3 students have colouring books on pregnancy.

Ahtahkakoop Health Center

Ahtahkakoop has planned an FASD Awareness walk which will include the school and community. T-shirts were ordered that have last year’s winning design (from a local contest) on them. A lunch will be provided at the Band Hall as they introduce the winners of their FASD poetry and art contest! On September 5, presentations about FASD will be made to students.

Athabasca Health Authority

Events are taking place in Black Lake, Fond du Lac, Stony Rapids, and Uranium City. Pancake breakfasts will be held at each of the primary schools.  Some communities will hold walks and a candlelight vigil.

Creighton/Flin Flon

Creighton/ Flin Flon is bringing awareness about FASD to children and parents through:

  • participating in story-time for pre-school children
  • providing storybook about FASD for each child
  • donating books to library about FASD
  • holding myths and facts about FASD radio quiz with daily prizes

Gordon First Nation

Gordon First Nation has a speaker from the FASD Speakers’ Bureau.

Humboldt

Posters and information will be distributed around town for Awareness Day.

Kawakatoose

Kawakatoose has a guest speaker from FASD Speakers’ Bureau.

Moose Jaw FASD Regional Committee

Moose Jaw FASD Regional Committee is hosting two school presentations (Mossbank School, Moose Jaw Peacock Auditorium) with Myles Himmelreich.

Muskeg Lake

Muskeg Lake is having a display at kihiw waciston school on September 9 and ringing the bell at 9. They will have a display booth at noon to talk with kids.

North Battleford

The Regional FASD Committee is holding a high school hot dog/water promotion in parking lot, targeting high school students, to promote healthy lifestyles during pregnancy.

North Battleford Tribal Council

At Battle River Treaty 6 Health Centre, they are having FASD Awareness Walkathons with the schools in the 6 communities they serve.  Each walkathon participant will receive a bottle of water with a label that states Prevent FASD, 0-4-9. Kanaweymik ICFS Agency will also have a display at community BBQs they are having (Red Pheasant on September 9, and Moosomin September 17).

One Arrow First Nation

Prevention worker Nicole Fontaine will be guest speaker as well as a nurse and Linda Paintednose. They are serving lunch and having draws for t shirts.

Prince Albert

Prince Albert FASD Committee members have worked together to set up a mini-conference targeted at inter-professional capacity building and community awareness in Prince Albert. The FASD Support Network of Saskatchewan will present Principles and Practices in the morning. Myles Himmelreich will be a guest speaker in the afternoon.

- 'Metis Addictions Council of Saskatchewan Inc

 

Regina

In Regina, partner agencies have collected pledges for people to “Talk about FASD”.  On September 9, they are gathering as a group to share the pledges. People will be wearing FASD Awareness t-shirts. Beverly Palibroda from the Metis Addictions Council of Saskatchewan (MACSI) will address the crowd to explain about September 9th and the pledges. There will be a walk to Aboriginal Family Services for a BBQ from noon to 1:00. There is also a  media release and a digital sign message.

Saskatoon

MACSI is holding its 13th annual walk for FASD Awareness and lunch on September 9. Myles Himmelreich is a guest speaker at West Winds Primary Health Centre on September 8 at 11:00 a.m.

Swift Current

Myles Himmelreich is a guest speaker at the Safety Expo at the Cypress Hills Hospital on September 10. It will be broadcast on Telehealth so interested rural locations can partake in the presentation. A mini campaign is being held for Awareness Day. People will be taking “No Thanks I’m Pregnant” tent cards to local bars, lounges, and restaurants and baby stores.

Sunrise, Regina Qu’Appelle, and Sun Country Health Regions

Regional Kids-first is doing Mock-tails for Moms in different liquor stores in partnership with SK Liquor and Gaming, across 3 health regions.  At each location they will have a table set up with 2 different types of MockTails along with promotional materials and recipe cards for people to take home.

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For more ideas about FASD Day activities or to see what is happening around the world, visit FASDay.

 

 

Pages from 93611 BCWA Booklet proof

Earlier this year, the British Columbia government released a revised version of Women and Alcohol: A Women’s Health Resource.

This 12-page resource “was written by women for women, to provide useful information about alcohol and to help women make healthy and well-informed choices about alcohol use.”

It has six sections:

  1. Low Risk Drinking
  2. Health Risks of Drinking
  3. Individual Responses to Alcohol
  4. Considerations for Women
  5. Supporting Someone Close to You
  6. Resources

intro

considerations for women

The update includes information on Canada’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines (released in 2011) and recent research on the relationship between alcohol and cancer as well as other chronic diseases. Pregnancy and breastfeeding are discussed in the section on “Considerations for Women.”

The resource complements the Problem Drinking Guidelines and Protocols released by the BC Ministry of Health in 2013 for physicians. Physicians are encouraged to conduct brief interventions related to alcohol use and are able to bill for their time using specific diagnostic codes for this purpose.

Also available from the BC government is the International FASD Awareness Day Toolkit and the Pregnancy and Alcohol info sheet from HealthLink, an online directory of health information.

International FASD Awareness Day toolkit

The Liquor Distribution Branch (one of two branches of government in British Columbia responsible for the beverage alcohol industry) has developed educational materials about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy, including brochures and posters which are available to health care workers throughout the province.

In September (FASD month), BC Liquor Stores feature signage and brochures in stores to help raise awareness with the tagline “We believe that healthy mothers and babies need everyone’s support. Remember: alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix.”

SR_FASD_Web poster

 

 

CHNET-Works! - Free webinars in Population Health

CHNET-Works! is a project of the Population Health Improvement Research Network at the University of Ottawa. It is a network of networks linking researchers, decision-makers and practitioners in population health and stakeholder sectors from across Canada.

On September 9, 2014 (International FASD Awareness Day), CHNET-Works! will be hosting a “fireside chat” or free webinar on “Awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): Making the Connections! / Sensibilisation à l’ensemble des troubles causés par l’alcoolisation foetale (ETCAF): Relier les points!”

Learn about the connections and progress of collaborative efforts from three compelling perspectives of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), including:

  • What’s crucial to know about living with FASD and mental health issues– if you’re a parent, care-giver, front line provider or community member;
  • The important role of front line health providers in prevention, and in talking to women about alcohol use throughout life – especially during pregnancy;
  • What exciting new research is telling us about the differences and similarities between the brains of children and youth with FASD, autism and cerebral palsy.

Speakers will include:

  • Dan Dubovsky, MSW –  FASD specialist for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) FASD Center for Excellence in the United States – http://www.fasdcenter.samhsa.gov
  • Dr. Jennifer Blake, MD MSC FRCSC – Chief Executive Officer of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) – http://sogc.org/
  • Dr. Daniel Goldowitz, PhD -Scientific Director of NeuroDevNet , Canada Research Chair in Developmental Neurogenetics and Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia – http://www.neurodevnet.ca/ab)

Who should attend? Front line providers who work with people with FASD, health and allied practitioners or providers concerned about prevention, those interested in the social determinants of health across the lifespan, policy makers interested in innovative research findings, and communities interested in learning more about preventing FASD and how to better support individuals and families living with FASD.

Visit the CHNET-Works! website for registration information.

 

 

Overview: Four Levels of FASD Prevention

Information Sheet: What Men Can Do To Prevent FASD

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