Group promotes Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders awareness

Mark Willingham Uncategorized

Group promotes Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders awareness

With a goal of bringing attention to an important issue, the Children’s Treatment Centre hosted its inaugural Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day at Gillies Lake on Thursday.

The Sault Star

Author of the article:  Richa Bhosale

Publishing date:  September 9, 2021 

CANADA – Members of Timmins Children’s Treatment Centre, from left, Samantha Mongeon, Liane Guenette and Cassandra Rivers were out educating the public and trying to end the stigma surrounding fetal alcohol spectrum disorders at Gillies Lake on Thursday. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Day is recognized each year on Sept. 9. RICHA BHOSALE/THE DAILY PRESS

With a goal of bringing attention to an important issue, the Children’s Treatment Centre hosted its inaugural Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day at Gillies Lake on Thursday.

“We are here to kind of bring awareness on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders,” said Liane Guenette, with the Children’s Treatment Centre.

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“Around Gillies Lake right now, we’ve got over 900 rocks circling the lake with different facts on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and then we are hoping to kind of bring the community together to talk about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.”

The members of Children’s Treatment Centre painted those 900 rocks to resemble red shoes, which are a symbol for the Red Shoes Rock Movement.

Guenette explained, “The Red Shoes Rock campaign was created by R.J. Formanek and it was created as an international campaign to really bring like visibility to an invisible disability.

“You can’t physically look at an individual with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and notice they have it, so the red shoes are a symbol of really kind of bringing visibility to the invisible.

“So, we are here trying to bring a lot of attention to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders because it’s a lot more common than people realize.

“It’s estimated that four per cent of individuals living in Canada have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, so if we were to look at Timmins, the last 2016 census said there are 43,500 individuals living in Timmins.

“So, if we were to look at four per cent, that’s 1,740 people. That’s a lot of people living in our community who could be living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders so, we’re really trying to bring a lot of awareness to it.”

During the event, they were giving out informational pamphlets on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, stickers, Frisbees and some local baskets, as well.

“We are just trying to really make it a family friendly event where we are trying to get people to come out and talk to us and learn more about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders,” Guenette said.

She noted this is the first year the Children’s Treatment Centre has participated in the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day, which is recognized internationally every year on Sept. 9.

“We are going to have it to be an annual event so, this is our first annual event for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day, but we look forward to being here every year and to have it become bigger and better as the years progress so we hope to have people come out and become more aware of it as the years go on,” Guenette said.