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Saskatchewan Recognizes FASD Awareness Day

News Release – September 10, 2012

The provincial government is reminding expectant parents of the dangers of drinking alcohol while pregnant as September 9 marked International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day.

Provincial and local officials joined with community members at various awareness events across the province to promote FASD prevention and to learn more about this leading cause of intellectual disability in North America.

FASD is a life-long disability that is caused by mothers drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

 

“Our entire society has a responsibility to support women to have alcohol-free pregnancies,” Social Services Minister June Draude said. “Over the last two years, our government has worked hard to improve Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder programming in our province, in order to enhance FASD prevention and better support individuals and families affected by the disorder. We have invested $1.2 million this fiscal year in enhancements to the FASD strategy focused on targeted supports for mothers at high risk of having a child with FASD.”

Draude will be speaking on behalf of the Saskatchewan government at the Fetal Alcohol Canadian Expertise Research Roundtable hosted in Saskatoon on September 11.

Saskatoon Fairview MLA Jennifer Campeau will also participate in the Annual FASD Walk for Awareness in Saskatoon today organized by the Métis Addictions Council of Saskatchewan Inc. and the FASD Support Network of Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan is implementing significant enhancements to prevent FASD and to support people with the disability:
• $1.2 million investment in three model projects in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert, which will provide intensive FASD prevention programming to at-risk pregnant women until their children reach two years of age.
• $400,000 allocated to community supports including a pilot family support program, additional mentorship services and an addictions and life skills program.
• $100,000 dedicated to enhancing health care provider training in motivational interviewing, and FASD education for northern youth.
• $100,000 investment to strengthen access to adult FASD diagnostic, assessment and intervention planning services, by adding psychologist services to existing multidisciplinary health care teams in Regina and Saskatoon.

As well, the Ministry of Health is working closely with the Provincial FASD Co-ordinating Committee on the development of an FASD prevention strategy which involves reviewing current research to identify best practices that may be implemented in Saskatchewan.

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For more information, contact:

Andrew Dinsmore
Social Services
Regina
Phone: 306-787-8689

Tyler McMurchy
Health
Regina
Phone: 306-787-4083

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