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).
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:
- Low Risk Drinking
- Health Risks of Drinking
- Individual Responses to Alcohol
- Considerations for Women
- Supporting Someone Close to You
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.
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.”