FASD stands for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. It is a lifelong disability that affects the brain and body of people who were exposed to alcohol in the womb. Each person with FASD has both strengths and challenges and will need special supports to help them succeed with many different parts of their daily lives. Canadian prevention specialists have identified four mutually reinforcing prevention approaches as effective in delivering FASD Prevention linked to overall policy strategies focusing primarily on the critical areas of prevention, intervention, and diagnosis.
Level 1 of the 4-part FASD prevention model is about broad awareness building and health promotion efforts and community development to advance social support and change. FASD awareness campaigns do not necessarily change behaviour, but they can influence peoples’ knowledge, encourage information gathering, and identify where to locate and how to access support. Successful FASD campaign initiatives focus on comprehension, noticeability, recall and integration. Along with these strategies, FASD awareness campaigns follow the prevention principles of doing no harm, taking a gender transformative approach, tailoring initiatives to the audience, and aspiring to quality practice.
Level 1 initiatives include Awareness/Health Education, Health Promotion, and Alcohol Policy.
- Awareness/Health Education includes health education materials like pamphlets, posters, web banners and radio public services announcements
- Health Promotion includes materials for facilitators of girls’ empowerment groups and other promotional efforts, plus community wide strategies that focus on health and wellness promotion. These initiatives talk about how alcohol fits into the lives of childbearing age women and how they can choose to make positive life decisions around alcohol use.
- Alcohol Policy includes low risk drinking guidelines, warning labels and other alcohol policy initiatives.