Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is the leading cause of neurodevelopmental disability in Canada, affecting 4% of the population. FASD is a complex and lifelong disability impacting homelessness, substance use, education, criminal justice, mental health, child welfare, social services, and family health issues among others. The Government of Canada officially recognized September as FASD Awareness Month in 2020. For FASD Awareness Month 2022, NEAFAN aligned with the national theme of Building Strengths and Abilities.
Various Canadian monuments and landmarks were rocking red for FASD Awareness Day 2022 as a symbol of support in the ongoing effort to raise awareness and discussion of this disability. Key landmarks across Canada were lit up red on September 9 th in honor of FASD Awareness Day. In Fort Mac, the highly visible Saline Creek Bridge was lit up red to recognize FASD Awareness Day and the Red Shoes Rock initiative. At night NEAFAN staff sporting their red shoes and smiles gathered on the brightly lit bridge.
NEAFAN held an event on Sept. 9th focused on recognizing and celebrating the successes of individuals with FASD while shining a light on the need for a National FASD Strategy to support equitable access to prevention, diagnostics, and support services across the country. NEAFAN ran radio ads in heavy rotation on major local radio stations and digital awareness campaigns across Roger’s media geotargeted to our RMWB region. Also, NEAFAN requested that the mayor and city council publicly proclaim and recognize September 9th as FASD Awareness Day in the RMWB region.