Learning about FASD Training Package for Post-Secondary Instructors


Developed by the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute, the FASD Training Package for Post-Secondary Instructors is a resource  for post-secondary instructors and professors.

The focus of the resource is on understanding and preventing FASD. It can be used to provide information and education about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) to students enrolled in professional programs leading to a career working with women of child bearing age.

Examples of programs include that this resource might be helpful for include: health care, education, justice, addictions, psychology, social work, and other community services’ programs (e.g., Early Childhood Education, Disability Support Worker, and Correctional Studies.)

The teaching package contains 11 modules with references. These modules provide evidence-based information on topics such as “What is FASD”, “Alcohol, Women, and Pregnancy”, “Prevention of FASD”, and “Primary and Secondary Disabilities”.

A downloadable PowerPoint with teaching notes is ready for use in class. Both the PowerPoint and written modules contain case studies, activities, and discussion questions that may be used with any group.

Download the package from the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute’s website.


Prevention Matters 2015 Conference


Prevention Matters 2015 will be held September 30 – October 2, 2015 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The conference is hosted by the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute and the University of Saskatchewan.

The conference theme is “Prevention Matters for Children, Families, and Communities” and will provide opportunities to explore primary prevention efforts and highlight environmental and societal factors that positively influence the health and health behaviours of children and families.

Several of the presentations address FASD prevention and supporting healthy pregnancies, including:
  • Preventing FASD in an Alocogenic Culture: Relationship, Contraception, and Alcohol Practices of 20somethings (Brooke Ramsay, Stewardship and Engagement Coordinator, Foothills Fetal Alcohol Society)
  • Aboriginal Maternal Mental Health and Resilience (Angela Bowen, Associate Professor, College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan)
  • Pregnets: Pregnancy and Smoking (Jessica Penner, Knowledge Translation Coordinator, Nicotine Dependence Service, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto)
  • Baby’s Best Start Prenatal Program (Veronica Hawley, Public Health Nurse, Five Hills Health Region; Erin Hewitt, Public Health Nurse, Five Hills Health Region)
  • Working Holistically with Pregnant Women and Families in our Community (Donna Strauss, Executive Director; Jolene Furi, Prenatal Outreach Worker, Community Action Program for Children; Gabrielle Ermine, Prenatal Outreach Worker, FASD Strategy; Crystal Clarke, Prenatal Outreach Worker, FASD Strategy; Allison Gamble, Prenatal Outreach Worker, Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program; Rose Alcock, Prenatal Outreach Worker, Parenting Mentoring Program of Saskatchewan – Family Futures, Inc.)

Visit the conference website here.

Saskatatchewan Prevention Institute response to Emily Oster’s new book “Expecting Better”

Editorial in The Star Phoenix challenges Oster’s advice on alcohol to pregnant mums

oster book

I blogged last week about the controversy that Emily Oster’s new book is creating (Emily Oster’s new book “Expecting Better” challenged by FASD experts, September 4, 2013).

Oster suggests it is okay for pregnant women to drink up to two glasses of wine a week in the first trimester and up to a glass a day in the second and third trimesters.

This contrasts sharply with public health advice. Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines indicate “The safest option during pregnancy or when planning to become pregnant is to not drink alcohol at all. Alcohol in the mother’s blood stream can harm the developing fetus. While the risk from light consumption during pregnancy appears very low, there is no threshold of alcohol use in pregnancy that has been definitively proven to be safe.”

Oster’s book has been receiving widespread media coverage, including two weeks ago in the Star Phoenix: Economics prof debunks some of the age-old pregnancy advice (Italie, August 24, 2013).

The Star Phoenix has just published a response to this article by Bev Drew from the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute. Drew comments:

“Why gamble with a substance like alcohol that we know can cause permanent damage to baby’s brain and organs? Oster complains that expert advice is on the “cautious” side. Should we not be cautious with our developing babies?”

See the response here (September 6, 2013). Check out the response of the Canada FASD Research Network to Oster’s book here.


Getting Ready for International FASD Awareness Day in Saskatchewan

Communities across the province of Saskatchewan prepare for FASD Awareness Day on September 9th

FASD Let's talk about it

In May 2013, the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute coordinated a telephone meeting with participants across the province of Saskatchewan to initiate plans for International FASD Awareness Day. The group chose “FASD: Let’s talk about it” as the theme for 2013.

The Prevention Institute has been available to provide assistance or answer questions from communities and organizations in the province. The Institute has printed yellow T-shirts with “FASD: Let’s talk about it” in purple. The T-shirts were distributed to 31 communities, Tribal Councils and organizations throughout the province as part of an Awareness Day Package.

The package also included FASD: Know the Facts cards, No Thanks, I’m Pregnant posters, Hammered booklets, the new Hammered: After Party magazine, fetal development charts, and information about the FASD Speakers’ Bureau. (You can download many of these resources from the SPI website).


The Prevention Institute has also just printed 3000 tent cards with the “No thanks, I’m pregnant” caption. These cards are intended to be placed in restaurants, bars, schools, SIAST, and University cafeterias and other locations. You can also check out a newly developed Awareness Day brochure here as well as postings on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn about Awareness Day.

No thanks - beer

No thanks -wine

You can learn more about FASD prevention activities by the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute in this presentation by Marlene Dray and Bev Drew at the 5th International Conference on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in February 2013.

For more on FASD prevention in Saskatchewan, see earlier posts: