Government of Canada invests in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Prevention in Atlantic Provinces

News release

New investments will address FASD, promote prevention and understanding

June 17, 2021 | Ottawa, ON | Public Health Agency of Canada

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a complex and preventable disability that affects the brain and body of people prenatally exposed to alcohol. Those living with FASD can face many challenges, including physical impairments, and learning, behavioural and mental problems, throughout their lives. Each individual with FASD is unique and has areas of both strengths and challenges. All Canadians deserve equal opportunities to thrive – which is why the Government of Canada is increasing awareness of FASD so that we can prevent drinking during pregnancy, improve outcomes for those with FASD, and those living with FASD can find support without stigma.

Today, Member of Parliament, Scott Simms, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced funding for Toward Prevention, which will increase awareness of FASD, prevent alcohol use in pregnancy, and improve the health and social outcomes for those affected by FASD.

The prevention-based awareness campaign will include social media ads, infographics, and resource materials for the public and for health and social service professionals that reflect Atlantic Canada’s unique needs, values, and contexts. The campaign and resources will be translated into French, Mi’kmaq, Passamaquoddy-Maliseet, Innu-Aimun, and Inuktitut.

The ‘FASD 101 and the Justice System’ training curriculum is tailored to justice professionals such as policing, corrections and parole officers, lawyers and judges.This comprehensive, evidence-based FASD training offers a trauma-informed lens to understanding FASD and its intersection with the justice system in Atlantic Canada. This project will support the development of a facilitator manual and virtual training sessions to increase capacity of justice professionals to train others across the Atlantic provinces.

Quotes

“All Canadians deserve to live happy and fulfilling lives. FASD is difficult to diagnose and often goes undetected. By increasing awareness of this disorder, we can help those that live with FASD, providing them the support they need without stigma. Today’s investment will support FASD Newfoundland and Labrador Network’s work to increase knowledge of FASD, help reduce drinking during pregnancy, and promote positive health and social outcomes for people with FASD.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

“Everyone deserves the best possible start in life. This program will help to lower the rates of FASD in Atlantic Canada and will develop and deliver real help to those living with FASD in the region. Canada is a diverse country and each region has specific needs that those who live there understand best.”

Scott Simms
Member of Parliament

“fasdNL is grateful for support from the Government of Canada. We are excited to lead this project and collaborate with our partners across Atlantic Canada to address FASD prevention, awareness, and resource development for individuals living with FASD.”

Katharine Dunbar Winsor
Executive Director, fasdNL

Quick facts

  • 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.

  • Funding of almost $350,000 over three years to FASD Newfoundland and Labrador for Toward Prevention.

  • This funding will support three initiatives in Atlantic Canada: create an awareness campaign, increase the capacity of an FASD 101 training curriculum tailored to justice professionals, and support to networking and collaborative action among stakeholders in the region.

  • Toward Prevention is funded under the Government of Canada’s FASD National Strategic Projects Fund, which allocates $1.5 million annually to organizations that develop knowledge, evidence, tools and resources that address FASD in Canada.

Associated links

Contacts

Thierry Bélair
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
613-957-0200

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada
613-957-2983
hc.media.sc@canada.ca

Public Inquiries:
613-957-2991
1-866-225-0709

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