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Nunavut marks International FASD Awareness day

09 September 2020

Public Service Announcement

Nunavut marks International FASD Awareness day

September 9 is International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day, which is devoted to improving FASD prevention, diagnosis, and support. FASD is a diagnostic term to describe the impacts on the brain and body that can occur in an individual exposed to alcohol before birth.

Individuals with FASD will experience some degree of challenges in their daily lives, and will need support with motor skills, physical health, learning, memory, attention, communication, emotional regulation, and social skills to reach their full potential. Approximately 1.5 million Canadians (4%) have FASD, which can affect people from all backgrounds.

FASD is completely preventable. It is safest not to drink any alcohol or use other substances, including cannabis, while pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Piruqatigiit Resource Centre and its Inuit Advisory Circle strongly suggest that “All of us in the Circle of Support” (Tamatta) help promote a healthy pregnancy.

If you or someone you know needs support with substance use during pregnancy, help is available. Reach out to a trusted friend, family member or Elder. Free, confidential mental health and addictions support is available at your local health centre. It is never too late to cut back or stop.

Support for Nunavummiut with suspected or confirmed FASD and their families is available at Piruqatigiit Resource Centre (www.piruqatigiit.ca) or by phone at 867-877-4155.

For anonymous support:

  • Call the Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut Help Line toll-free at 1-800-265-3333 or 867-979-3333 (available 24 hours a day).
  • Text Crisis Services Canada at 1-833-456-4566 or use the online chat (www.crisisservicescanada.ca).
  • Call the National Crisis Line for former residential school students and their families at 1-866-925-4419 (available 24 hours a day, in Inuktut, English, or French).
  • Call the Child First Initiative at 1-855-572-4453 (www.canada.ca/supporting-inuit-children)

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Media Contact:

Danarae Sommerville
Communications Coordinator
Department of Health
867-975-5712
dsommerville1@gov.nu.ca