Strong Spirit Strong FuturePromoting Healthy Women and Pregnancies
The ‘Promoting Healthy Women and Pregnancies’ campaign was first launched on World Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Day in September 2011, following extensive consultation with Aboriginal people and key stakeholders.
The overall aim of this campaign was to improve awareness among Aboriginal people, families and communities in metropolitan, regional and remote Western Australia of the harms associated with alcohol use in pregnancy to prevent the occurrence of FASD.
The key message of the campaign was consistent with the Increase awareness of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol, that for women who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding, not drinking alcohol is the safest choice.
The Strong Spirit Strong Future campaign was an initiative of the then-Drug and Alcohol Office’s state-wide Aboriginal FASD Prevention Project.
The campaign was funded by the Mental Health Commission to run between 2011 and 2013. However, other organisations, such as the Telethon Kids Institute, has aired the campaign on occasion since that time, including most recently in 2018.
The safest thing to do when pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding, is not to drink alcohol.
Aboriginal women who are planning a pregnancy, pregnant or breastfeeding in Western Australia; and Aboriginal women of child-bearing age who are not planning a pregnancy but consume alcohol.
The broader Aboriginal community in Western Australia, with an emphasis on males and the role they play in supporting healthy pregnancies.
- Increase awareness of the NHMRC drinking guideline that the safest thing to do is not to drink alcohol when pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding.
- Increase awareness of how to support a healthy pregnancy, by not drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
- Increase awareness of the existing supports that can assist people to not drink alcohol in pregnancy, while planning a pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Increase awareness of services to help people reduce harmful alcohol consumption in general.
- Increase understanding of the role that family and community play in women’s behaviour regarding drinking alcohol while pregnant, planning a pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Increase community ability to support people who wish to reduce drinking while pregnant, planning a pregnancy and breastfeeding.
An independent social research agency was engaged to conduct a mid-campaign evaluation following its first year in market. The evaluation was conducted in June 2014 and comprised a total of 89 respondents across WA with 29 focus groups held across six regional locations.
- The majority of women heard (~90%) and believed (73%) that if you’re pregnant or breast feeding, no alcohol is the safest choice.
- There was high prompted (94%) and unprompted (86%) awareness of the TV commercial among women.
- After seeing the campaign, almost four in five (79%) respondents reported they were more likely to suggest to their friends or family that they shouldn’t drink while pregnant, and to not drink alcohol while breastfeeding (74%).
- Two-thirds (63%) of respondents believed women were less likely to drink alcohol while pregnant in 2014 compared to when the campaign first launched in 2011.
- Over half (52%) of women reported speaking with other women about alcohol and pregnancy, while over three in five (64%) reported having heard women speaking with men about alcohol and pregnancy.
For more findings from the mid-year evaluation, click here.
Strong Spirit Strong Mind promotes the uniqueness of Aboriginal culture as a central strength in guiding efforts to reduce alcohol and other drug-related harm among young people.
Alcohol can affect the growth of the baby in pregnancy. For women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy, not drinking is the safest option.
National Health and Medical Research Council 2009, Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol, Commonwealth of Australia 2009.