Mental Health Through an FASD-informed Approach: supporting diverse learners

Note: This provincial workshop is happening on a different platform from 9:00-11:30, not on the Zoom-based system we are using for Spring Fling.  For registration and streaming information, please go to

Canadian youth are generally affected by a mental illness or disorder at a rate between 10-20% in Canada (CAMH, 2021). Supporting the mental health of students is fast becoming a vital part of every Educator’s repertoire. Current studies suggest that individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (a developmental disability 2.5 times more common than Autism) will experience mental illness at a significantly higher rate, around 90% (Pei, 2016; Popova, 2016).

FASD is a mostly invisible, brain and body-based disability. Many individuals with FASD, who are experiencing mental health problems often go undiagnosed and/or misdiagnosed. Using an FASD-informed approach and joined by SD57’s Mental Health and Addictions Specialist, Josh Van der Meer, we will provide effective strategies to support student mental health in our classrooms.

Current research suggests that 1 out of 25 students in BC schools will have significant impairments due to prenatal alcohol exposure, as such, this presentation will be a valuable learning opportunity for any educator. 

Target Audience

All educators (teachers, educational assistants, indigenous advocates, youth workers, administrators, school counsellors, resource teachers, district staff, et al.)


8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Included in your registration


  • Stacey Kelsh

    Stace Kelsh (B.Ed: MEd Leadership) has been a resource teacher, classroom teacher (high school and elementary), university sessional instructor (VIU and UNBC), and is currently using his knowledge of applied technology in his role as a Teacher Consultant with POPFASD (Provincial Outreach Program for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder). He is honoured to have a role in helping educators, all over the province, learn about FASD and support a shift in thinking and practice that can change the trajectory of kid's lives for the better. Stace is passionate about breaking down stigma and improving the equity of the educational experiences for those with FASD. 

  • Josh Van der Meer

    Josh Van der Meer (MSW, RSW) is a registered social worker, and Addictions Specialist with School District 57. Josh brings 15 years of clinical experience in the area of youth mental health and addictions. In addition to working with the School District, Josh is a youth therapist with Repiphany Counselling in Prince George.