FASD Awareness Day started on September 9, 1999 to bring global awareness to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
This year, Canada FASD Research Network (CanFASD) is launching FASD Awareness Month for all of September. The goal is to bring awareness to what FASD is and challenge the stigma and misinformation surrounding the disability. In preparation, they have released a toolkit with information about FASD, speech-writing tips, and images that are strengths-based, non-judgemental, and person-centered as to reduce the stigma around FASD, alcohol, and pregnancy.
CanFASD’s campaign explores how FASD is many things; including a women’s health issue. Preventing FASD requires supporting women in addressing the issues that contribute to their substance use and experience of trauma. When women receive non-judgemental support that is tangible and offers practical help, women are able to reduce or abstain from substance use, improve their health, and be empowered mothers.
Positioning FASD as a woman’s health issue recognizes:
- Communities’ roles in healthy pregnancies;
- Service providers’ role in delivering services that women need (i.e. housing, employment, nutrition, anti-violence, substance use) in an accessible and non-judgemental way;
- Governmental roles in creating evidence based alcohol policy, and addictions & child welfare policies that prioritize wrapping support around the mother-child unit; and,
- Society’s role in learning more about alcohol use in pregnancy and FASD.