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Support and awareness are key to ending FASD

By Stephanie Cadieux
Minister of Children and Family Development

VICTORIA – Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) affects an estimated nine in every 1,000 infants. And because the wide-ranging symptoms are not always visibly apparent, it is sometimes called an invisible disability. Yet those who live with FASD face life-long challenges that most of us don’t ever have to worry about.

They often have difficulty finishing high school, building strong and long-lasting relationships or holding down a job.

They can be overwhelmed by day-to-day life challenges.

They often need help integrating into society.

FASD has no preferred ethnicity, gender or social class, and it exists in communities throughout the world, including yours. That’s why it’s so important that we, as a province, come together to support women to be healthy and have healthy pregnancies, and to recognize those who live with FASD every day of their lives.

Today, on the ninth day of the ninth month, people in British Columbia and around the world mark the day by launching awareness campaigns and holding community events to increase understanding about FASD and the dangers of drinking while pregnant.

To mark FASD Prevention and Support Month, awareness brochures and posters are featured in all 195 BC Liquor Stores throughout the province as a poignant reminder that it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure babies are given a healthy start in life. Materials are available year-round in BC Liquor Stores and online, and are widely distributed to parent support agencies and other health and women’s organizations throughout the province.

Government and community partnerships help ensure FASD supports are available throughout B.C. for affected children and families. These include assessment and diagnosis for children; personalized assistance and information for families; information for teachers and school district staff to help address the needs of students with FASD; prenatal and postpartum support for expectant mothers; support for at-risk mothers to promote healthy pregnancies; and a Personalized Supports Initiative that gives adults with FASD access to services.

While there is no known cure for FASD, it can be prevented through increased awareness and a shared commitment to support all women before and during pregnancy.

Please help us spread the word. Alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix. There is no safe amount of alcohol, no safe type of alcohol and no safe time to drink during pregnancy.

Media Contact:

Sheldon Johnson
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Children and Family Development
250 356-1639