September is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) awareness month. The ninth day of the ninth month marks FASD awareness day and symbolises the nine months of pregnancy. Many organisations hold events worldwide to raise awareness about the lifelong disability and highlight the needs of those affected. Aotearoa New Zealand is the first nation in the world to mark it each year. This year’s "I wish people knew…" campaign gives voice to those who know FASD better than anyone else - people living with FASD, their whānau and those who support them.
Alcohol Healthwatch Acting Executive Director Rebecca Williams says, "This campaign provides a platform for those impacted by FASD to share their experiences and highlight the changes that will enable them to thrive."
Williams says, "It can be difficult for those affected and their families to access the support they need. This lack of support can compound the challenges for them."
She hopes the campaign will help raise awareness of FASD among New Zealanders and policy-makers.
"We need to step up our prevention efforts and better meet the needs of those affected."
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a preventable lifelong neuro-disability caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol that can cause extensive mental and physical difficulties.
FASD month also highlights that there is no safe amount of alcohol exposure during pregnancy. Each year, between 1500 and 3000 babies are born with FASD in Aotearoa and may need lifelong support.
Anyone needing further information and support around Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder can visit FASD-CAN Inc, the hub for FASD in Aotearoa. They hold regular training and events for caregivers, whānau and professionals, as well as for people living with FASD.
With shared strength, guidance and wisdom, those with FASD can grow and achieve.
Ma te kaha o te kaha, te aratohu me te whakaaro
nui, ka tupu te tipu me te whakatutuki i te hunga ki te FASD.
For more information, support, or to share your wishes, visit https://fasdmonth.nz/
For more information contact:
Rebecca Williams | Executive Director, Alcohol Healthwatch
Email: email@example.com, Tel: +64 (0)9 520 7035, Mobile: +64 (0)21 862 250
Kathy Hunter, Communications Advisor for FASD-CAN. Mobile: 0211030526