International FASD Awareness Day is observed every year on September 9th around the world with events to raise awareness about the dangers of women drinking during pregnancy and the problems associated with the mental and physical development of their children. FASD is one of the leading causes of birth defects in children that affect their physical, behavioral, and cognitive development. Approximately nine out of every 1,000 children born in Canada are affected by FASD or roughly 1% of the population.
Through community development, advocacy and intensive supports, Bissell Centre’s Fetal Alcohol Spectrum of Services (FASS) program enhances the community’s capacity to understand and prevent FASD, and support the well-being of individuals and families affected by FASD.
On September 9th, Bissell Centre is taking part in the 15th Annual Mocktail Madness event hosted by the Edmonton and area Fetal Alcohol Network (EFAN) to help raise awareness about FASD.
For more information about FASD Awareness Day, please visit www.fasday.com and to learn more about Bissell Centre’s FASS program, please visit our FASS program page.
On Friday, September 7th at 12:09pm Bissell Centre staff, along with EFAN and many others, performed a Flash mob dance to our song “You Can Choose” from our rap video.
September 9th was International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day. We want everyone to know that FASD is 100% preventable if women avoid the use of alcohol during pregnancy.
Did you know that FASD affects more than 36,000 Albertans who may need services and supports that can cost up to $1.8 million each?
There are 12 FASD Service Networks that offer services and lifetime supports to Albertans with FASD and their caregivers.
Help make a difference. Register today for the Alberta FASD Conference being held in Edmonton October 22-23 http://bit.ly/QjPG1z
View our new FASD awareness music video
From the creative musical minds of PlanIt Sound – http://www.planitsound.com
Music Performed by Fred Brenton
Video Produced and Directed by Blake McWilliam
Video Director of Photography Mike McLaughlin
Featured Artists – Omar Mouallem (AOK), Manuela Wuthrich and R.J. Cui
Introducing Bissell Centre’s very first FASD Awareness Ringtone! Be one of the first to have this modern new ringtone! Just follow the instructions below using the appropriate links.
Instructions on downloading the new ringtone to your phone
iPhone Users – You Can Choose Ringtone
Step 1. Import the M4R song file into iTunes on your computer (save it somewhere and then drag & dop)
Step 2. Synchronize the ringtone file from the Ringtone folder on the left to your iPhone
Step 3. After completing the sync, tap the settings on the iPhone
Step4. Tap Sound – Tap Ringtone
Step 5. Select the ringtone from Custom. (* Song titles may not be recognized when only written in Roman alphabet)
Blackberry Users – You Can Choose_BISSELL CENTRE RINGTONE MP3 BLACKBERRY
1. Open the attachments on your Blackberry phone device
2. Save the MP3 attachment by “checking” the box that says “save as ringtone”
3. Set your phone to audible ringtone, and have someone call you to test it out!
Unveiling for the first time – You Can Choose – an FASD Music Video by Bissell Centre, EFAN and PlanIt Sound
Our new music video!
Our new educational video!
Joe* came to Edmonton from a town in rural Alberta. He was new to the city and cautious about connecting with support. He spent a couple of weeks just staying in the inner city utilizing the shelters. Homeless, just released from the Remand Centre, and not keen on going back to the town he came from his relationship with family was strained and resources back home were limited.
Joe was referred to Bissell Centre’s Fetal Alcohol Spectrum of Services (FASS) program and was immediately connected with Bissell’s housing program, Homeless to Homes. Still having some unfinished legal matters to deal with and in jeopardy of going back to the correctional system, Bissell’s FASS Advocate began timely and consistent support.
The two attended his court appearance; Joe could have pleaded guilty to his charges and asked for a trial however he wanted to face them and was totally prepared to deal with any consequences. He spoke very well on his own behalf and his FASS program support person also spoke to his own commitment. The advocate confirmed the supports offered at Bissell Centre and Joe’s willingness to participate. The judge took this into consideration and suggested that Joe continue with the program, his goals and to report back in a couple of months.
Joe acted on his opportunities and with the advice of his advocate successfully completed a work program at Bissell Centre. He also kept up his contact with his advocate and added to his repertoire of resources such as the Fee Reduction program through the City of Edmonton Recreation. He also started participating in the Friday afternoon floor hockey program. The judge that proceeded over his court case was very impressed with Joe’s efforts and his willingness to better himself. This resulted in no more court appearances. Since then Joes has been to see his sister and her family and is now in line to attend a fork lift certification program. He truly has helped himself by taking advantage of the support offered, recognizing his opportunities and putting the effort into his goals he had set up with his FASS advocate.
*Name has been changed to protect their identity.
| For more information on our FASS program |
To book your free FASD presentation contact:
FASD Community Educator
Office: 780.423.2285, ext 157
Bissell Centre and EFAN have teamed up to create a new educational video on FASD along with a music video and ring tone.
Join us at the new EPCOR tower lobby at 10423 101 Street on April 19th at the Volunteer Fair and FASD video launch event from 11am – 1:30pm.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a prevalent issue in our society that needs to be talked about. Awareness, education, and prevention, are key to eliminating this 100% preventable lifelong brain disability. Through the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum of Services (FASS) at Bissell Centre we offer presentations to various groups wanting to learn more about this invisible disability.
Together we must put forth a clear message that no alcohol is best during pregnancy. As a community I believe it is our responsibility to work together to not only raise awareness but to provide supports to pregnant women struggling with addiction and also to those who are currently living with the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure. Even by talking to our friends and families we can help to start these much needed discussions and start to break down the stereotypes, misconceptions, and stigma associated with alcohol, pregnancy, and FASD.
Prior to her current role as FASD Community Educator, Alaina Thursby worked as a Parent Child Advocate with the FASS team at Bissell Centre, providing intensive support to at-risk pregnant women struggling with addiction. Alaina brings this experience to the community education piece and would be happy to share her thoughts on FASD, prevention, and support based on these experiences.
Our FASD community presentations are offered at no cost for Edmonton and surrounding areas and can be tailored to your group. Also, it is expected that the education will take place in a venue supplied by the group requesting the presentation.