Government of Canada supports projects to address and prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Canada
Projects will raise awareness and help reduce stigma around FASD
July 24, 2019 Ottawa, Ontario Public Health Agency of Canada
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a significant lifelong developmental disability affecting many Canadians. Individuals with FASD experience some degree of challenges in their daily lives, and need support with motor skills, physical health, learning, memory, attention, emotional regulation and social skills to reach their full potential. Each individual with FASD is unique and has both strengths and challenges.
Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, announced more than $1.8 million in funding over four years to support new projects focused on increasing public awareness and understanding of FASD, and the risks of prenatal alcohol exposure.
These projects are being funded under the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)’s Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder National Strategic Projects Fund. The Fund aims to prevent FASD and to improve the outcomes for those affected by FASD through the development of knowledge, tools and resources.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Government of Canada’s FASD Initiative. Over the past 20 years, the Government of Canada has invested more than $27 million in projects across the country to support individuals living with FASD, their families and caregivers. This funding also assists health care and service providers in preventing prenatal alcohol use, and recognizing, diagnosing and treating individuals living with FASD.
“By investing in projects that raise awareness and understanding about FASD in Canada, Canadians will have better access to information about the risks of prenatal alcohol use and additional resources that can help prevent this disorder. I am proud to support these projects to help reduce the prevalence of FASD in Canada.”
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
FASD is a diagnostic term used to describe impacts on the brain and body of individuals prenatally exposed to alcohol.
There is no known safe amount of alcohol to consume during pregnancy. Canada’s Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines recommend that if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, the safest choice is to drink no alcohol at all.
While the exact prevalence of FASD in Canada is unknown, a prevalence study undertaken by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health among elementary school students (7 to 9 years of age) in the Greater Toronto Area estimated a prevalence of 2 percent to 3 percent.
In October 2018 the Chief Public Health Officer’s Report on the State of Public Health in Canada 2018: Preventing Problematic Substance Use in Youth was released. This report is a snapshot of the health of Canadians and a spotlight on the prevention of problematic substance use among youth, including the issue of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada
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