New investments will improve services and training for front-line staff treating Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
WHITEHORSE, July 30, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health and Yukon Minister of Health and Social Services Mike Nixon, announced an investment to strengthen training and support for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in Yukon. This investment will increase community awareness, focus on prevention and fund training for front-line staff.
The Yukon government will receive $260,000 in funding for a project targeting training and awareness initiatives for staff and healthcare workers. This project will:
- Provide healthcare professionals and social service providers with classroom training, workshops and discussion sessions as well as in-person training and training via teleconference;
- Create and support on-the-job mentoring programs – with mentors both within the Yukon and from elsewhere in Canada; and
- Support continued learning for healthcare workers through conferences and courses on best practices and strategies.
The Council of Yukon First Nations will also receive $240,000 in funding to strengthen and enhance FASD services at the community level through training for front-line workers and health professionals.
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or FASD is an umbrella term used to describe the range of developmental disabilities and birth defects that occur as a result of prenatal alcohol exposure.
- FASD is the leading cause of preventable brain damage; and birth defects in children. It is estimated that 9 out of every 1,000 births are currently affected by prenatal alcohol exposure.
- FASD has lifelong implications for individuals, their families and the communities where they live, and some individuals may require assistance throughout their lives. Health, education, justice, and social services are all impacted. It requires a collaborative approach to coordinate effective prevention, diagnostic and intervention policies, programs and resources to improve the outcomes of all those living with FASD.
- Each year, the Government of Canada allocates: $1.5 million for the Public Health Agency of Canada's Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Initiative; and $14.2 million through Health Canada to support FASD programming in First Nations and Inuit communities.
- This investment builds on the $17 million in funding recently announced for the Yukon under the Territorial Health Investment Fund (THIF). The THIF is a $70 million three-year pan-territorial initiative to strengthen health services in the territories and was announced in Economic Action Plan 2014.
- Healthy Northerners and healthy Northern communities contribute to Canada's overall social and economic development and are an important component of Arctic sovereignty.
"FASD is the leading cause of developmental disability among Canadian children. Our Government is committed to working with communities, researchers and the territory to help prevent FASD. I am pleased to announce this new funding for the Yukon, which will help by improving services and training to front-line staff to better manage the unique challenges of FASD. "
Minister of Health
"I've seen first-hand the challenges faced by people living with FASD and I know that these investments will help improve lives. After years of working to bring attention to this important problem facing Northerners, I am glad to see our government take an active role in supporting the health and safety of Yukoners. "
Member of Parliament for Yukon
"We are pleased to partner with Canada to enhance our capacity to diagnose and prevent FASD, as well as assess and provide support to those affected by this condition. Yukon has a long history of action on FASD and we are recognized as a leader in Canada. This funding will enable us to further develop our local expertise."
The Honourable Mike Nixon
Minister of Health and Social Services, Government of Yukon
SOURCE Health Canada
For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200, Health Canada; Media Relations, (613) 957-2983; Public Inquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866 225-0709