At the end of 2019, FARE was offered a unique challenge: to develop and deliver a world-leading, evidence-based behaviour change program on alcohol, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
It marked the first of many key moments. With a grant from the Commonwealth Department of Health, we started work on one of the most significant projects in our history.
In a country where Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the leading preventable developmental disability, the need for the campaign was clear. Research showed that nearly one in four Australians weren’t aware alcohol should be avoided altogether during pregnancy for the health of mum and baby. Almost one in three weren’t aware drinking alcohol during pregnancy could cause FASD.
Launching Every Moment Matters
Almost two years later in November 2021 – after extensive collaboration with people living with FASD, parents and carers, FASD researchers and clinicians, women’s advocacy groups and health professionals and health professional colleges around the country – FARE launched Every Moment Matters. It was built on the latest advice of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)’s Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol that no alcohol should be consumed during pregnancy, and that it is safest not to consume alcohol when breastfeeding.
The Every Moment Matters campaign was the first project to launch as part of a broader national program designed to reach:
- the general public
- people involved in out-of-home care
- alcohol and other drug workers
- health and medical professionals
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
With the tagline ‘The moment you start trying is the moment to stop drinking’, the campaign was released nationally across television, radio, digital and out-of-home channels, including GP clinics and pharmacies.
Since the start of the campaign, we’ve launched an accredited eLearning course for healthcare professionals and supported NOFASD’s release of a suite resources for out-of-home carers and alcohol and other drug workers.
We’ve sponsored key events in the medical and health sector calendars to engage health professionals about supporting women who are trying for pregnancy, currently pregnant or breastfeeding.
The impact so far
Now, as we mark one year – and many significant moments – of the campaign, there’s clear evidence it’s making in-roads. Thanks to robust evaluation led by the University of Adelaide, we’re seeing an encouraging response among Australians:
- 85 per cent of people agreed that the ad makes it clear that alcohol should not be consumed during pregnancy.
- 75 per cent of partners of pregnant women agreed that the ad motivated them to support their partner to not drink alcohol during pregnancy.
- 62 per cent had taken an action after seeing the ad, the most common being discussing it with a partner or friend or relative.
- 66 per cent of partners were motivated to stop drinking alcohol themselves during their partner’s pregnancy.
The level of engagement from the community has also been notable. The advertisement has been viewed more than 28 million times across TV, the website, social media and other digital platforms. More than 400,000 people have visited the Every Moment Matters website since its launch and 297,000 of these were individual visitors. The campaign resources have been downloaded more than 3000 times.
There’s still much to do before the program concludes in 2024. The coming year will see NACCHO release a suite of tailored, culturally appropriate resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
We are finding innovative ways to further engage medical and health professionals, and encourage them to undertake the accredited training course.
We will launch and share stories of people’s experiences with alcohol, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
And we will continue to deliver key campaign messages and content across mass media and digital channels nationally.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and it’s proven true of this program of work too. Our collaborations with experts across a range of sectors has been vital to developing, planning and implementing this campaign:
- Our Steering Committee: Ms Louise Gray, Ms Dawn Casey, Mr Steve Ella, Professor Elizabeth Elliott, Kellie Wilton (past member), Dr Hester Wilson, Dr Vijay Roach, Professor Simone Pettigrew, Ms Sophie Harrington, Ms Tanya Hosch, Ms Caterina Giorgi and Ms Sarah Ward (past member)
- Our Health Professional Review Group from around the country
- National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (NOFASD Australia)
- National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)
- The University of Adelaide
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG)
- Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
- Australian College of Midwives (ACM)
- Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM)
- RPS, 303 Mullenlowe, Customedia, New Best Friend, Jackson Pearse, Quiip, Kantar Public, Intopia, Medcast, Tonic Media, Blue Tree Studios, Heartward
- The University of Queensland
- The many community members who’ve shared their experiences with us.
Their expertise, hard work, innovation, creativity and commitment to the program has been critical to achieving the results we’ve seen to date.
Every Moment Matters has many more moments to come. We look forward seeing how this key campaign will evolve to continue making a difference for Australians, now and into the future.