© Submitted photo
The Saskatchewan Prevention Institute and the Prince Albert FASD Committee are handing out tent cards with this message to licensed establishments in the city to bring awareness to the disorder.
They are trying to help women have healthy pregnancies.
On Monday, the Prince Albert Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) committee, along with 30 other organizations around the province, will be bringing awareness to the disorder.
“We get involved in awareness projects,” PAFASD committee member Dianne Nielsen said. “For this year, we are targeting the licensed establishments.”
The organization will be handing out pens and information about FASD to bars, restaurants, liquor stores and other licensed establishments.
“The (Saskatchewan) Prevention Institute has also created some tent cards to distribute for bars, restaurants and cafeterias,” said Bev Drew, FASD Team Lead for the Prevention Institute. “The group in Prince Albert will have already received a box of those so they will likely send those out as well.”
Each group around the province can plan their own activities or awareness. Some committees are hosting barbecues, luncheons or other activities to bring awareness to the public.
Each year, the Prince Albert committee choses a different target group -- since this year it is licensed establishments, an activity or event would not work as well.
“Each year we pick a different target group and that’s just what it is this year,” Nielsen said. “It is one we haven’t picked yet. It is where we saw people can use the information right there. We hope it will help people make good decisions.”
The committee’s goal is to make a culture of sobriety for pregnant women in the community.
“We target different groups so everybody can be involved to help support the pregnant women to maintain sobriety during pregnancy,” Nielsen said.
Although they are hoping to reach pregnant women with their message, Nielsen said they hope to reach everyone, not just women with addictions problems.
“Yes, they are at risk of having babies with FASD but it is also women who don’t know or have the attitude it can’t happen to me or just make a bad decision at the time,” Nielsen said. “We just want to target all women who are at the age to have babies and their families because everybody should be involved in having the healthiest baby possible. That is our goal.”
FASD is a serious disorder that can cause permanent birth defects and cognitive disabilities in unborn children. It is estimated that as many as 150 children in Saskatchewan are born each year with FASD.
The Prince Albert committee is urging expectant mothers to not drink any alcohol while they are pregnant.
“We want to get the message out there as much as possible and stay positive as much as possible with it too,” Nielsen said. “We just want everybody to recognize there are some issues here and let’s support each other.”
“FASD is the leading cause of cognitive disabilities in the world basically,” Drew added. “It is a big problem and preventable. By raising awareness and providing information on an annual basis, it is that big shot in the arm for everybody. It is an opportunity to really bring that information to everybody and make it more public and really focus on prevention.”