FASD IS A COMMUNITY ISSUE: TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Along with our partner Networks, we are working towards a region, province and world without FASD. That’s where education enters – to activate FASD informed communities with a strong awareness, skillset and knowledge-base of FASD. We believe that this foundation will create the momentum to empower all to be leaders in prevention and champions of support for those living with FASD across the lifespan.
Here’s how we roll that out in our region.
COMMUNITY: CO-CREATING WELCOMING & INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY
Are you curious how FASD impacts your community? Believe us, it does. We provide FREE tailored sessions of FASD The Basics that provide service clubs, agencies, educational institutions, and groups the information that you need to become partners, leaders and champions of FASD. Don’t take our audience suggestions as an exhaustive list – frankly, we’ll talk to anyone that will host us. Join the many organizations in our region that have a FASD informed lens.
FASD INFORMED LENS: FOCUSES A FASD INFORMED PRACTICE
We hear from a broad range of stakeholders, agencies, institutions, and organizations that serve persons with FASD that they require ongoing FASD awareness education, FASD informed training, and targeted support so that they can better understand and respond to prenatally exposed individuals in their care. We listened. We offer targeted and specialized training several times per year covering leading and emerging FASD practices. This approach builds capacity and promotes our region to remain relevant and proficient to fully support persons with FASD.
THE PREVENTION CONVERSATION: A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY
Many of us have heard the message ‘it is safest not to drink during pregnancy’, and still we struggle to talk about why this is so. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is preventable, still the issue can become complicated when considering how it happens and who is responsible for preventing it.
There is still so much misunderstanding about the impact of alcohol on an unborn baby and an unplanned pregnancy can mean that an expectant woman can unknowingly put the fetus at risk by drinking. We take a social determinative health perspective when it comes to prevention. Prevention is not about telling women not to drink, it’s about supporting them so that they capacity to abstain from alcohol. The Prevention Conversation invites us to look at other factors that may influence a woman’s ability to abstain from alcohol during pregnancy, such as homelessness or domestic violence.
The Prevention Conversation changes the way we talk about and respond to alcohol and pregnancy. We focus on the power of relationships and conversation to inspire change and invite open, honest dialogue. You’re invited to learn about about this new approach and understand your role in contributing to healthy pregnancy experiences and FASD prevention. After all, FASD prevention is a shared responsibility.
LET’S GET REAL: THE PREVENTION CONVERSATION ADOLESCENT PROJECT
Youth are powerful advocates and active participants of FASD prevention and we’re inviting them into the conversation about alcohol and pregnancy. Targeted to engage youth ages 12-18, this ‘train the trainer’ method is designed to provide you with the latest information related to FASD prevention: alcohol, binge drinking, safer drinking strategies, alcohol and sex, consent, birth control, and healthy pregnancies. We recognize that these topics require considerate and deliberate delivery to be effective. In response, our approach and your learning experience is highly adaptable to create the best possible conditions to connect with your youth audience.
Our Prevention Facilitator is your contact to make arrangements to have an educational display at your event and to develop your FREE tailored session of FASD The Basics, The Prevention Conversation and the latest, Let’s Get Real; The Adolescent Prevention Conversation.
WELLBRIETY: CREATE A HEALING FOREST
We were prompted by the TRC’s Calls to Action #33 & #34 to address and prevent FASD in a culturally appropriate manner, with specific focus in the criminal justice system. It is in this spirit, with the support of our Indigenous partners & Alberta Health, that we joined the active Wellbriety Movement of Central Alberta in 2017 as the Project Lead for the Wellbriety Movement: Create a Healing Forest Treaty 6 & 7.
Non-Native recovery approaches often look at addiction as an individual disease, ignoring the social, political, or economic roots of addiction. The indigenous experience adds a dimension of acknowledging sociopolitical causes without removing an individual’s need to do the hard work it takes to heal. This is new, culturally specific thinking that can also add to the field of mainstream recovery knowledge.
– Don Coyhis and Richard Simonelli
The Wellbriety Movement is an interconnected web spreading across our Native Nations carrying the message of cultural knowledge about recovery. The Healing Forest model provides a cultural and spiritual approach to community development by offering a collection of interconnected trainings that provide the foundation for individuals, families, and community leaders to begin shaping their community into a Healing Forest. We are honoured to be embraced in the healing forest. Read our latest blog on the advancement of the Movement in Treaty 6 & 7.