Government of Yukon

January 14, 2015

Adult FASD diagnostic team to be established in Yukon

WHITEHORSE—Training will begin this month for professionals who will make up the diagnostic team for adults suspected of having Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). This team will complement the early childhood and youth diagnostic teams already in place.

“This is an exciting time in Yukon with so many good things happening locally that can impact the lives of individuals with FASD and their families,” Minister of Health and Social Services Doug Graham said.

A pool of local physicians and psychologists will be trained to build capacity among service providers in Yukon. Focus will be on functional assessments to identify an adult’s strengths and needs. Assessment results will help in the development of supportive strategies for those individuals.

Previously, the government funded the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society of Yukon (FASSY) to bring in an assessment team from outside Yukon. Between 2004 and 2013 an average of six adults were assessed yearly. With a team located in Yukon, more assessments can be completed per year.

“This is just one initiative that will better support individuals with FASD,” Graham added. “We recently completed an analysis to identify gaps and duplications in the prevention services we offer in Yukon. The report identified a number of recommendations, many of which we are now acting upon.”

In addition to the new local diagnostic team, the Yukon government is addressing identified gaps in FASD prevention by:

  • funding a new sexual health clinic in Whitehorse that provides accessible information and services related to sexual health, including the risks of drinking while pregnant;
  • partnering with community agencies to develop awareness campaigns and integrate information into school curriculum about the risks of alcohol; and
  • creating an interdepartmental committee to improve coordination for collaborative action on FASD. This committee will be responsible for coordinating FASD-related activities occurring within government including: screening and assessment; provision of support services; education and training; research and evaluation; as well as awareness and prevention. This new committee, once established, will create a more seamless response.

View: Gaps analysis



Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications

Pat Living
Communications, Health and Social Services

News Release #15-012