July 2021 Pain BC Newsletter
From our Executive Director, Maria Hudspith
In September of last year, the federal government laid out plans for a proposed new Canadian Disability Benefit. The benefit is intended to respond to the hard-hitting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disabilities, including heightened financial stress and an increased risk of poverty.

A recent survey by the Angus Reid Institute found the vast majority of Canadians with disabilities support the proposed Canadian Disability Benefit. The survey also showed that 55% of respondents with disabilities report living with chronic pain. These results highlight the issues of poverty and financial stress for people living with pain and demonstrate the urgent need for additional supports for all people with disabilities.

The federal government has allocated $11.9 million to consult on and reform the eligibility process for federal disability programs and benefits over the next three years, which will inform the design of the proposed new benefit.

If implemented, it’s expected the proposed benefit will be modelled after the Guaranteed Income Supplement. That benefit offers a monthly supplement to seniors who fall below a certain household income, with different thresholds for seniors who are single and for those with partners.

I encourage you to read the full survey report from Angus Reid and stay tuned to future Pain BC newsletters for updates on the proposed new benefit.

If you live with pain and are experiencing heightened financial stress, these resources can help:

  • Ask An Advocate provides clear, easy-to-access information on the BC Income Assistance program, other income support programs in BC and provincial and federal disability assistance benefits.
  • Disability Alliance BC provides a number of free direct services, including support with applying for disability benefits.
  • PovNet hosts a free interactive map where you can search for organizations in your community that provide support and resources on income assistance, disability assistance and more.
  • The Family Services’ Financial Empowerment Program hosts a variety of free workshops and provides free one-on-one financial coaching and support with applying for government benefits (for residents in Vancouver and New Westminster).
  • BC Housing’s Rental Assistance Program provides eligible low-income families with financial assistance to help with monthly rental payments.
Pain BC programs, resources and updates
The following programs and initiatives are funded, in whole or in part, by the Province of British Columbia: Coaching for Health, chronic pain management workshops for health care providers, Gentle Movement and Relaxation course, Live Plan Be, Making Sense of Pain, Pain BC's monthly webinars for health care providers, Pain Foundations, Pain Support and Wellness Groups, Pain Support Line and the Pain Waves podcast.
2021 Interdisciplinary Pain Education Day: We've got your back!
Virtual conference on October 22, 2021

We're excited to partner with Providence Health Care again this year to offer an incredible day of learning about back pain all without leaving your home or office! The Interdisciplinary Pain Education Day (IPED) annual conference features presentations from renowned health care providers, researchers and people with pain. This year's conference theme is dedicated to back pain and will feature:

  • Keynote presentations from patient advocate Joletta Belton and incoming Canadian Pain Society president Dr. John Pereira
  • Plenary presentations from Drs. Tasha Stanton, Owen Williamson, and Vishal Varshney
  • Seven concurrent workshops to learn about chronic back pain and apply practical skills to your practice
  • Poster presentations highlighting projects and research on chronic low back pain
  • A patient panel


  • $50.00 for health care providers, health researchers and the general public until September 15, 2021
  • $10.00 for people living with pain and students (please note: free registration is available for people with pain who are unable to pay the $10 fee)

Registration is open and anyone with an interest is invited to attend!
Reflections from Pain BC volunteers: Kari

In this recent blog post, Pain BC volunteer Kari shares her lived experience with pain and how it's motivated her to provide peer support to other people living with pain through our Coaching for Health and Pain Support and Wellness Group programs.
The Canadian Pain Task Force: An Action Plan for Pain in Canada
New Pain Waves podcast episode

The Canadian Pain Task Force (CPTF) is an external advisory body that has been helping the Government of Canada better understand and address the needs of people living with chronic pain since its inception in March of 2019. The final report from the Task Force, An Action Plan for Pain in Canada, was released to the public on May 5, 2021. The plan lays out recommendations for targeted actions necessary to improve outcomes for the nearly eight million Canadians living with chronic pain and to reduce pain’s impact on families, communities, and society.

In this episode of the Pain Waves podcast, we’re joined once again by Task Force members Maria Hudspith and Linda Wilhelm. They provide an overview on the report and its six priority goals, talk about what comes next for advancing change on pain in Canada, and outline ways people can help make sure pain is a priority in their communities.
Opportunities to join the Pain BC team

We're currently looking for three individuals to join our growing team. Please read below for the available positions. If you or anyone you know may be interested, we encourage you to apply or share.

Clinical Counsellor

We're looking for a full-time counsellor or social worker to lead the delivery of Pain BC's Coaching for Health program in a safe, consultative, trauma-informed, and evidence-based manner. This includes supporting our volunteer coaches by responding to ad-hoc requests, running debrief sessions, and monitoring the quality of coaching being provided.
Communications Lead

We're looking for a full-time Communications Lead who provide strategic and tactical support for Pain BC’s communications initiatives, including: managing the communications calendar; determining what content and collateral needs to be created for programs and campaigns and ensuring it is delivered with quality; managing campaigns and other projects to completion; and building and maintaining relationships with key external stakeholders.  
Instructional Designer

We're looking for a full-time, temporary Instructional Designer who can help design Pain BC’s educational programs for health care providers, people living with pain, and our volunteer community.
Our supports for people with pain
Access our free pain self-management resources, including evidence-based articles, assessment tools, and an anonymous discussion forum.
Connect with Pain Support Line staff to talk about your pain, find information on community resources, learn about pain and self-management, and much more.
Join an online group and build a community of support while learning about pain, pain management and coping strategies.
Receive one-on-one phone support and mentorship from a coach who will help you learn about self-management, regaining function and improving your well-being.
Gentle Movement @ Home: Guided movement and relaxation for pain during COVID-19 (and beyond)

Gentle Movement @ Home online sessions provide guided movement and relaxation designed to help people with persistent pain learn to feel safe to move again. Topics include breath awareness and regulation, body tension regulation, and movement and relaxation techniques in both seated and standing positions.

The full collection of Gentle Movement @ Home videos are available to view for free via our YouTube channel.
Upcoming Pain BC and partner workshops, webinars and courses for health care providers
Pain Foundations for Allied Health Providers
Pain Foundations for Allied Health Providers is an online course designed for allied health care providers to improve their understanding of chronic pain and how to address the challenges of pain assessment and treatment. This practical, compact course allows learners to develop clinically relevant approaches to chronic pain management and develop a strong grounding in pain science to support further exploration. The course is free for health care providers in BC and offered at a modest cost for providers outside of BC.

Pain Foundations for Primary Care Providers
This practical, compact course allows physicians and nurse practitioners to develop clinically relevant approaches to chronic pain management, including non-pharmacological treatments and prescribing best practices. Learners will develop a strong grounding in pain science to support further exploration. The course is free for primary care providers in BC and offered at a modest cost for physicians and nurse practitioners outside of BC.

Gentle Movement and Relaxation course
This free, online course will equip physiotherapists and other therapeutic movement professionals with practical knowledge and teaching resources to lead their own movement and relaxation programs for people living with chronic pain.

The Gentle Movement and Relaxation course is currently available to BC health care providers only.

Other programs, opportunities and resources
Pain Society of Alberta 15th Annual Conference
October 15-17, 2021

The Pain Society of Alberta is hosting its annual conference virtually on October 15-17, 2021. Registration costs range from $49.00 to $99.00 for health care providers, while people living with pain and medical students are invited to attend for free.
Research and engagement opportunities
City of Vancouver survey on improving accessibility for people with disabilities
Share your feedback by July 31, 2021

The City of Vancouver has launched a survey to hear from the public on how it can improve accessibility for people living with disabilities in Vancouver. The results of this survey will inform the development of a draft accessibility strategy. The City of Vancouver is particularly interested in hearing from people with lived experience, caregivers and other family members, and organizations providing support and resources to people with disabilities. The deadline to submit feedback is July 31, 2021.
Survey: Making opioid prescribing and use safer and more equitable for kids and youth with pain
Share your feedback by August 10, 2021

Solutions for Kids in Pain (SKIP) has been invited to submit a funding application to Health Canada's Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP). As part of the application, they have launched a short survey to hear from people with lived experience, caregivers, health care providers, researchers and organizations with an interest about how they can make opioid prescribing and use safer and more equitable for kids and youth living with pain. Anyone interested is encouraged to share their feedback before the August 10, 2021 deadline.
Online study: Chronic pain and mental health in families of Canadian veterans

The Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence for Canadian Veterans, University of Calgary, and PEAK Champions for Kids' Pain are conducting an online study to learn more about pain and resilience in Canadian veterans and their families. Anyone interested in learning more or applying is encouraged to email abcpainlab@ucalgary.ca.
Share your feedback: The Disability Inclusion Action Plan
Accepting feedback until August 31, 2021

The Government of Canada has launched a public consultation to hear from Canadians about how to improve the lives of people with disabilities. Input received from this consultation will support the development of a Disability Inclusion Action Plan. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to share their feedback before the August 31, 2021 deadline.
Share your feedback: Three-digit number for national mental health crisis and suicide prevention support
Accepting feedback until September 1, 2021

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has launched a public consultation to hear from Canadians about whether there is a need for a three-digit number for a national mental health crisis and suicide prevention service. As pain and mental health have many intersections, and we grow increasingly aware of the COVID-19 pandemic's impacts on mental health, we encourage anyone with an interest to share their feedback before the September 1, 2021 deadline.
In the news
People with chronic pain have long been told it’s all in their head. We now know that’s wrong.
This article explores the growing understanding that chronic pain can be a disease in and of itself and how musculoskeletal pain is being increasingly seen as a possible long-term effect of COVID-19.
Alleviating chronic pain in childhood cancer survivors with technology and deep breathing
This Concordia University and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital study finds that small electronic devices can reduce pain in childhood cancer survivors by helping them breathe better.
When someone on your team has chronic pain
This recent Harvard Business Review
article outlines five ways employers can accommodate and better support people living with chronic pain in the workplace.
How a "later list" can help you manage chronic illness
The author of this article shares how creating a "later list" for non-urgent tasks, ideas or projects has helped with managing chronic pain.
10 things I wish others knew about being undiagnosed
The author of this article shares 10 things they wish others knew about living with an undiagnosed illness.
10 tips for gardening with arthritis
The Arthritis Society shares 10 tips for gardening with arthritis this summer. The tips shared can be equally helpful for people living with non-arthritis chronic pain.
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