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Best Start Resource Centre in Ontario has published a new guide to help facilitators deliver FASD workshops for First Nations women (Download guide). Using culture as its foundation, the guide focuses on promoting health. It also integrates FASD-informed and trauma-informed approaches. It is set up so that facilitators do not have to be an expert on the subject of FASD. The guide provides detailed background information, instructions and resources so that facilitators can fully prepare themselves for delivering the workshops.
Topics covered in the training guide include:
- Preparing for the Workshop – covers information like bringing the workshop to communities where there is a concern about the stigma attached to FASD, planning for participant learning differences, as well as handling logistical details.
- Facilitating the Workshop – includes welcoming activities, giving background about healthy pregnancy, identifying and building on personal strengths, making a plan for health, and drawing on community for support and self care.
- Resources, Services and Appendices – provided are weblinks to further information and videos; services for pregnancy, parenting, substance use and FASD; participant handouts, and consent forms.
Best Start Resource Centre is well known for its resources for service providers who work with diverse women and families on preconception health, prenatal health and child development.
For more on related topics, see earlier posts:
FASD is a public safety and justice priority for Aboriginal groups, October 23, 2016
Experiences of Northern British Columbian Aboriginal Mothers Raising Adolescents With FASD, January 20, 2014
Pimotisiwin: A Good Path for Pregnant and Parenting Aboriginal Teens, August 26, 2013
“You are not alone. Support is available.” Alcohol and pregnancy campaign designed by and for Aboriginal women in Manitoba, April 10, 2013
Handbook for Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Work from Australia, January 9, 2013
The Sacred Journey – new resource for service providers who work with First Nations families, August 1, 2012
Pregnancy and Alcohol Brochure for Aboriginal Families, January 30, 2012
Colleen Dell, University of Saskatchewan professor and Research Chair in Substance Abuse, has developed a number of resources for addressing substance abuse.
Most of the resources can be downloaded for free or ordered (also free) from her website.
Take a look at the list of resources here.
Several of the resources include music videos and accompanying workshop tools developed through community-based research. Check out the videos below.
Also, take a look at a brief clip of Colleen and her therapy dog, Anna-Belle. For more about animal-assisted interventions in healing from substance abuse, check out this part of the website.
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).
Learn more about the organization on its website or view the YouTube clip below.
Celebrating the Circle of Life: Coming back to Balance and Harmony: A guide to emotional health in pregnancy and early motherhood for Aboriginal women and their families is a guide developed by Perinatal Services BC and the BC Reproductive Mental Health Program, a program of BC Mental Health & Addiction Services.
The guide has seven parts:
- Part 1 – Basic Aboriginal Teachings
- Part 2 – Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the first year of being a parent
- Part 3 – Feelings during Pregnancy and After the Birth
- Part 4 – Coming back to Balance and Harmony
- Part 5 – For Partners, Family and Friends
- Part 6 – Resources
Alcohol use is discussed throughout the guide, including in the sections about pregnancy and the first year of being a mother.
The guide was developed for:
- Aboriginal Women – This guide was created to help soon-to-be and new mothers who are worried about their mood and/or experiencing depression. The guide is focused on emotional health and includes information on what to expect and how to cope with all of the changes that come with pregnancy and a new baby.
- Health Care Providers – This guide can also be used by healthcare providers who work with Aboriginal women and their families in the Perinatal period, especially those who may be experiencing baby blues or depression.
- Partners, Families & Friends – Part five is written for partners, families and friends and includes information on how to support a woman during pregnancy, childbirth and the early months of being a parent.
The guide can be downloaded from the Perinatal Services BC website.
The Best Start Resource Centre in Ontario, Canada has released a new resource for service providers called Pimotisiwin: A Good Path for Pregnant and Parenting Aboriginal Teens.
Pimotisiwin is an Ojibwe word that means following a good way or a good path. The resource is intended to help service providers support Aboriginal children and youth to live a good life, on a good path.
The content is relevant to health care providers, early childhood educators, teachers, prenatal service providers, parenting program staff, and others who come into contact with Aboriginal teens who are pregnant or parenting. The resource may be most useful to non-Aboriginal service providers who want to strengthen their services for Aboriginal youth. The content may also be useful for new Aboriginal staff, providing an orientation to the prenatal and parenting needs of Aboriginal youth.
Substance use is included as an area for discussion during pregnancy. The resource provides background on why Aboriginal teens might use substances:
“Substance use can be seen as a way to cope with past and present traumas, self-medicate for undiagnosed mental health concerns, or cope with serious ongoing stresses such as poverty or abuse. Substance use can include alcohol, solvents such as glue and gas, street drugs, misuse of prescription drugs, etc.’
This resource is available for free download from the Best Start Resource Centre’s website here.
For more resources for service providers on working with Aboriginal women during the perinatal period, see previous posts:
- Health Professionals Working With First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Consensus Guideline from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (June 21, 2013)
- Handbook for Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Work from Australia (January 9, 2013)
- Cultural Safety and FASD Prevention (August 23, 2012)
- The Sacred Journey – new resource for service providers who work with First Nations families (August 1, 2012)
- Pregnancy and Alcohol Brochure for Aboriginal Families (January 30, 2012)
New poster and brochure from Healthy Child Manitoba
It is important for women to receive clear and supportive information about staying as healthy as possible during pregnancy. This includes receiving appropriate culturally sensitive information about the potential impact of alcohol on pregnancy and ways of preventing FASD.
Women accessing the North Point Douglas Women’s Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba wanted to get this message out to their community. Working with nursing students on practicum, and with help from the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre and Mount Carmel Clinic, they designed the message they wanted women to hear and know: “You are not Alone. Support is available.” Download the poster as a PDF here.
Healthy Child Manitoba worked with the North Point Douglas Women’s Centre at the final design and production stages providing: (1) helpful suggestions about design qualities including the final placement of visuals on the posters and brochures, (2) accurate message and content information for the posters and brochures, and (3) the financial resources for the production of the posters, brochures and promotional items.
For more on alcohol and pregnancy awareness initiatives in indigenous communities, see earlier posts:
- FASD Campaign from Kimberley and Pilbara regions of Western Australia (October 22, 2012)
- Alcohol Think Again Campaign in Western Australia (June 19, 2012)
- Aboriginal Comic Book for Pregnant Women and New Moms (May 1, 2012)
- Pregnancy and Alcohol Brochure for Aboriginal Families (January 30, 2012)
- Navajo Nation Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Prevention Program (October 18, 2011)
- Helping Friends Avoid Alcohol While Pregnant (December 2, 2010)
- Representations of Aboriginal Women in Canadian Pregnancy Information Sources (November 25, 2010)
There have been recent debates about lifting alcohol bans in Aboriginal communities in Queensland, Australia. The governments in Queensland and Northern Territories have proposed to lift “grog bans” based on the idea that Aborigines should have the same rights as all Australians, including the right to drink.
This news clip interviews indigenous academic, Marcia Langton, who says the evidence supports keeping restrictions in place. “The fact of the matter is is that all Australians are subject to alcohol restrictions in one form or another. We can’t go and buy alcohol at any time of the day or night. There are restrictions on hours. There are restrictions everywhere in Australia now on drinking in public places and specified places. So, it is not true that Aborigines are the only people who are subject to restrictions on alcohol.”
For more on the history of alcohol bans in Queensland, check out this news article Bans on alcohol spawn generation of lucky children (The Australian, October 13, 2012).
For more on local alcohol policies and FASD prevention, see earlier posts:
- FASD Prevention in Kimmirut, Nunavut (March 5, 2012)
- Community-driven alcohol policy in Canada’s North (December 15, 2011)
- Yajilarra: the story of the women of Fitzroy Crossing (October 15, 2010)