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News Release - Manitoba

February 25, 2014

Province Sponsors Youth Conference on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

Together We Can End FASD Stigma, Help Our Young People Succeed: Minister Chief

Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief and FASD advocate Myles Himmelreich will speak to a group Manitoba high-school students affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder today about embracing strengths and overcoming the obstacles presented by FASD.

Himmelreich, a Calgary resident, is a noted mentor, public speaker, FASD consultant and advocate.  He has spoken to national and international audiences, and his presentation, Incredible Me!  Living with FASD, will focus on his personal experience growing up with FASD and the strategies he’s used to achieve success.

“Today’s presentation will help young people living with FASD to recognize their capabilities and strengths and realize their full potential,” said Minister Chief.  “Myles’s success shows what can be accomplished through hard work and a supportive community, and his achievements are an inspiration to everyone.”

Minister Chief noted Manitoba is one of the country’s leaders in FASD diagnosis, research, prevention and treatment.  In 2013-14, the province will spend approximately $13.1 million on FASD programs and initiatives including:

  • FASD Family Support Services including caregiver support groups, recreation services and Building Circles of Support, an enhanced eight-week parenting information series;
  • Visions and Voices, a program that supports adults who have a FASD diagnosis develop the skills and materials they need to speak publically about their experience overcoming challenges with FASD and the supports that empowered them to succeed.
  • Project CHOICES, a prevention initiative aimed at reducing alcohol use during pregnancies, which includes motivational intervention for women and girls who are not pregnant but at risk of using alcohol while pregnant;
  • InSight Mentoring, a three-year enhanced case-management program designed for women who have used alcohol and drugs during pregnancy;

The Manitoba government will host several events this year focused on FASD including Living Well:  FASD and Mental Health, a three-day national conference to be held Nov. 5 to 7 in Winnipeg.  The conference will explore the interconnection between mental health and FASD, spanning the areas of prevention, intervention, support, evaluation and research, the minister said.

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