The Lakeland Centre for FASD will be hosting their 3rd Virtual Conference this year with the theme of FASD & Mental Health, It’s All Connected. Individuals with FASD face significant mental health challenges as a result of their disability. Individuals with FASD experience higher rates of mental illness than the rest of the Canadian population. An estimated 90% of people with FASD experience an additional mental health diagnosis.
FASD is known to have a greater effect on populations with poorer social determinants of health, one of which includes people experiencing homelessness. Many people experiencing homelessness struggle with mental illness and substance use disorders. Substance use concerns are also extremely common in individuals with FASD, with 53% of males and 70% of females reporting substance use issues. This rate is 5 times the rate of the general population.
Individuals with FASD may also be at a higher risk of suicidal thoughts. Researchers have shown that 43% of individuals with FASD have experienced or displayed suicidal ideation, and 23% have experienced a suicide attempt. There is increasing data to suggest that a disproportionate number of people in conflict with the law have FASD. Some researchers estimate the rate of FASD to be ten times higher inside Canadian prisons than in the general population. The legal issues associated with FASD have substantial financial implications, with estimates of annual justice-related costs at $1.2 billion per year in Canada, functioning as one of the greatest cost drivers linked with FASD.
Mental health is an extremely important consideration when discussing the needs, supports, and resources for individuals with FASD. The problem is that traditional therapeutic approaches to addressing mental illnesses are ineffective when they do not take into consideration the unique brain profile of individuals with FASD. It’s time to take a holistic approach in understanding that the mental health of people with FASD is influenced and impacted by many variables including: their physical health and well-being, their use of substances, involvement with the Justice system, suicidal thoughts or attempts and being unhoused, as well as the level of understanding by their support systems. With an integrated approach to mental health and wellness that is FASD-informed, we will see better health outcomes for individuals with FASD.
LCFASD Schedule at a Glance – TBD
For more information or to register please click here.
October 5, 2021 9:00 AM – 2:30 PM
October 6, 2021 9:00 AM – 2:30 PM
LCFASD 2022 General Conference Admission
CA$225.00 General admission includes access to the 2 day LCFASD Online Conference and Exhibition.