Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a lifelong disability that affects the brain and body of individuals who were exposed to alcohol in the womb. FASD is a significant public health issue and research aboutpreventing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is advancing the globe.
Canadian prevention specialists have identified four mutually reinforcing levels of prevention that include awareness building approaches, safe and respectful conversations about alcohol use, and holistic support services for pregnant and postpartum women who experience challenges with alcohol and other health and social concerns. This FASD month we wanted to focus on Level 1 prevention.
Level 1 Prevention
The first level of prevention is about raising public awareness through campaigns, public policy, and other broad population health strategies. It also includes community-development strategies that both bring awareness to women’s alcohol use and related health and social issues and connect awareness to work on diagnosis and intervention. The inclusion of a broad range of people at the community level is important to advancing social support and change.
Five-Part Prevention Seminar Series
In 2022, CanFASD sponsored a five-part prevention seminar series. This series brought 14 researchers together from around the world to share what is known about preventing alcohol use during pregnancy and supporting women’s health.
The second part of the series, Level 1: Awareness Raising and Community Development, features a variety of speakers from New Zealand, Canada, and the United States.
Dr. Mathew Parackal from the Department of Marketing at the University of Otago in New Zealand describes a health communication strategy aimed to build awareness and communicate the harms of alcohol use in pregnancy.
Victoria Bailey, the Communication Manager at Canada FASD Research Network shares lessons and insights about developing and evaluating the ThinkFASD national awareness campaign.
Rhonda Romero from the Southern California Tribal Health Clinic and Shandiin Armao and Dr. Annika Montag from the University of California San Diego describe the work of Healthy Native Nations and their efforts to raising awareness and preventing FASD in a reservation-based Indigenous community.
To learn more about the various communication strategies, awareness campaigns, and community-level efforts featured in this seminar, check out the International FASD Prevention Seminar Series that is available on both our website and YouTube channel!