Individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), and their caregivers, report high levels of stress, yet are often excluded from typical mental health and support services. This has been recognized by the Ontario Government’s FASD provincial initiatives of which investment in Family/Caregiver Support Group Project is one priority. In response to this, we have worked with the FASD community to support the development and delivery of support group activities aimed to enhance their overall wellbeing. For this presentation, we will discuss the importance of FASD-informed facilitation, working with parents/caregivers in all aspects of planning, community collaboration and capacity building, mitigating risk, continuous quality improvement, and reducing barriers to service.
We will highlight an initiative that , involved scientists and researchers from Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the University Health Network working together with Health Nexus and advisors. This group co-delivered a brief caregiver Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) intervention to caregivers of individuals with FASD. The overall goal of this intervention was to improve the mental health and wellbeing of female caregivers of people with FASD. We will discuss our experiences of working alongside caregiver advisors to tailor and deliver an intervention to ensure its relevancy to caregivers of individuals with FASD. We will also discuss the impact of ACT on the stress and wellbeing of caregivers of individuals with FASD, in addition to demonstrating ACT exercises with audience members.