November 2019 Newsletter
From our Executive Director, Maria Hudspith
This past National Pain Awareness Week (NPAW) took place from November 3-9, 2019 and served as a time to spark action, raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with chronic pain. Throughout the week, Pain BC led a social media awareness campaign, using the #NPAW2019 and #LivingWithPain hashtags, to highlight the impacts of pain and to call for collective action to address them. We invited people living with pain and our partners in pain advocacy, and other health and social organizations from across the country, to participate.

This year’s NPAW campaign highlighted the strength of coming together to champion our shared cause. At least 89 organizations across the country participated directly in Pain BC’s campaign, ranging from pain and pain-related organizations, clinical associations, Divisions of Family Practice, health authorities, hospitals, charitable foundations, and more. There were also many more organizations, people in pain, health care providers and researchers who led their own conversations and campaigns. Pain BC’s NPAW posts alone received more than 25,000 views on Twitter and more than 19,000 on Facebook, and our partners amplified the messages further. I’m extremely appreciative of everyone who participated!

Many of the conversations held during NPAW echoed what we already know: people in pain need more and better care and support to effectively manage pain and regain or maintain their quality of life. Pain BC, along with many other pain organizations across Canada, continues to advocate for policy change and increasing the supports available to people in pain, but we need your help to get there. If you value our provincial and national advocacy work, please consider donating to Pain BC . Your one-time or monthly gift will help us to bring care, support and hope to the 1 in 5 Canadians with chronic pain.
Pain BC programs and initiatives are funded, in whole or in part, by the Government of British Columbia.
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 a trained volunteer to talk about your pain, get help with finding a new physician, find information on community resources, and much more.
Join an in-person 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.
Our most recent podcasts

Pediatric pain: Managing impacts on children and parents
In our October episode of the Pain Waves podcast, we’re joined by Dr. Sue Bennett and Dr. Erin Moon, who are both registered psychologists at BC Children’s Hospital. They talk to us about pediatric pain, how pain can affect growth and development in children, and the impacts of childhood pain on parents. They also share insights and resources that can help children and their parents manage pediatric pain and its impacts.
National Pain Awareness Week: The lived experiences of two patient advocates
With chronic pain impacting the lives of 1 in 5 Canadians, National Pain Awareness Week provides a critical opportunity to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and advocate for change in the way pain is understood and managed for millions of Canadians.

People living with pain play a vital role in raising the profile of chronic pain, so in our November episode of the Pain Waves Podcast, we’re joined by patient advocates Jason and Jennifer. They speak about their experiences with pain, its many impacts on their lives and how they’re using their stories to advocate for others who also live with pain.
Pain Support and Wellness Groups: 2020 dates now available

Pain BC's Pain Support and Wellness Groups offer an opportunity for people living with persistent pain to meet regularly and build a community of support while learning about pain, pain management and coping strategies. Each 2-hour session allows participants to share their experiences, discuss self-management skills and take part in gentle movement exercises as a group.

2020 dates are now available and posted on our website. Groups meet every second and fourth Tuesday of the month with alternating mid-day and evening sessions.There is no cost to attend and drop-ins are welcome. You can also register in advance if you would like an email reminder.
Pain BC staff positions currently available

Pain BC is currently hiring for three different positions. If you or someone you know has experience in social work, counselling, psychology, nursing, or a related discipline and is passionate about social mission organizations, check out the following postings for more information:

The postings will close at 5:00pm on November 29, 2019. Please share the position(s) with anyone who may be interested. Thank you!
Patient advocacy spotlight: Keith Meldrum

Keith Meldrum is no stranger to living with chronic pain, which he developed after being involved in a car accident nearly 34 years ago. Although his injuries eventually healed following years of surgeries, his pain persisted without a clear cause. It was only in 2005, nearly 20 years following the accident, that he was diagnosed with neuropathic pain while receiving treatment from an interventional pain clinic.

Over the years, Keith has been a champion for people living with pain. From 2012-2018, he was directly involved in Pain BC’s Board of Directors, serving as Vice Chair and Chair of Governance and Nominating Committee. During that time, he played a pivotal role in advocating for more support services for people with pain, and the development of a provincial pain strategy.
Alberta announces provincial pain strategy

The  College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta , the  Pain Society of Alberta HELP Alberta's Pain , and the  Alberta Medical Association Section of Chronic Pain  recently announced the Alberta Pain Strategy at the 13th Annual Alberta Pain Society Conference in Banff, Alberta. The strategy is the first of its kind in Canada and aims to improve the way chronic pain is managed across the lifespan in Alberta. More than 360 contributors were involved in its creation.

Pain BC extends our congratulations to Alberta for its leadership and dedication to improving pain care for the more than 800,000 Albertans living with persistent pain. 
Patient and family engagement opportunity: Patient-oriented research

The Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program is creating the Patient-Oriented Research Curriculum in Child Health (PORCCH), a series of online educational modules about patient-oriented research. This type of research focuses on patient-identified priorities and involves patients and families as equal partners in the research process. The PORCCH team is looking for patients and family members to provide feedback on two modules:

  • What is health research and who is involved?
  • Timeline of a research study

Participants are not required to have experience with patient-oriented research to participate. Participation is online and those who wish to participate will be compensated with a $20 gift card of their choice. Anyone wishing to participate should contact Graham McCreath at  or (416) 813-7654 ext. 309445.
Feedback opportunity: Citizen engagement survey on accessibility
Accepting feedback until November 29, 2019

The province of British Columbia and the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction are seeking feedback from the public to develop new laws, standards and policies that remove barriers for people living with disabilities. They have developed a survey to collect feedback, which should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. Anyone wishing to submit additional feedback can do so through a written submission. The survey will remain open until November 29, 2019.
Patient engagement opportunity: Supporting physiotherapists in managing pain

The Pain Science Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and UBC are looking for patient partners to join a study that aims to understand how physiotherapists can best utilize resources to help people manage pain. Participants will meet every four to six weeks by teleconference and will receive a $150 honorarium for their participation. To find out more or apply, please contact Alison Hoens at or 604‐812‐1271.
Patient engagement opportunity: SKiP seeking patient partners

Solutions for Kids in Pain (SKiP) is a national knowledge mobilization network whose mission is to improve children's pain management by mobilizing evidence-based solutions through coordination and collaboration.

SKiP is currently looking for patient partners (patients, caregivers, family members or friends) who have lived experience with kids in pain to participate in various network activities and opportunities. Compensation will be provided and disability requirements will be accommodated. Anyone interested is encouraged to fill out the form below to find out more.
Opportunity to participate: Focus group for veterans

The new Veteran Centre of Excellence in Chronic Pain, which was recently announced by  Veteran Affairs Canada , is hosting a series of focus groups throughout Canada to introduce the Centre and gain feedback from Canadian veterans living with pain. Anyone interested is encouraged to register through the link below.
Resource: New public education resources on cannabis use

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use & Addiction recently published a series of evidence-based, public education resources on cannabis to help Canadians understand the health risks associated with cannabis use and how these risks can be managed.
Upcoming Pain BC and partner workshops, webinars and courses
Pain BC workshop: Chronic Pain Management for Occupational Therapists
This workshop is for occupational therapists interested in learning about the neurophysiology of pain and how it relates to OT intervention.

Jan 31-Feb 1, 2020 in Vancouver:   Register now
Pain BC workshop: Chronic Pain Management for Registered Massage Therapists
This workshop provides RMTs with an opportunity to learn how modifications of traditional massage therapy practices can increase success and improve outcomes for people in pain.

Nov 24, 2019 in Victoria:   SOLD OUT
March 8, 2020 in Nanaimo: Register now
BC ECHO for Chronic Pain
This new and free virtual learning community brings together specialists and community health care providers from around the province to learn together from complex pain cases.

Upcoming sessions:

Session 4: Motivational interviewing
  • Date and time: December 10, 2019 from 6-8pm PST
  • Presenters: Susan Schellinck and Dr. Peter Joy

Session 5: The pain-focused history and sensory exam
  • Date and time: January 21, 2020 from 6-8pm PST
  • Presenters: Dr. Rodica Janz and Roly Fletcher

Each 2-hour session includes a real, anonymous patient case discussion, which can be submitted by any attending health care provider. To submit a case, please email .

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.

Pain Foundations
This online course is designed to address the challenges faced by health care providers of all disciplines when assessing and treating people living with chronic pain. The course is free for health care providers in BC; a pricing structure for other geographical locations is coming soon.

In the news
After long-awaited recognition, serious research begins on ME/CFS
A recent $1.4 million grant was awarded to the ICanCME Research Network, which will enable much-needed research on myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
'This is destroying my life. Please do something.'
This recent Chatelaine article provides context on the overdose crisis in Canada while highlighting the lived experiences of people in pain who have been negatively impacted by the crackdown on opioid prescribing.
Will there ever be a cure for chronic pain?
This article highlights the pain landscape in various areas of the world, touching on the lived experiences of people in pain and how, in the rise of the overdose crisis, pharmaceutical companies and researchers are racing to find new ways to help with managing pain.
'Opioidphobia' stigmatizes people with chronic pain, expert says
This article discusses how the changes to opioid prescribing guidelines across Canada has had unintended negative consequences on many people living with pain who have relied on them for pain management.
How to support someone you know with a chronic illness
The author of this article shares some examples of how you can support someone living with a chronic illness.
Brain implants used to combat severe opioid addiction in US
In a new, first-of-its-kind trial, brain implants are being used to help manage severe opioid addiction in the US.
A critical content analysis of media reporting on opioids
This journal article shares a critical content analysis of Canadian news reporting on opioids, noting the transition from a conversation that was once focused on pain care towards one that, more recently, has focused on addiction.
New Downtown Eastside clinic helps patients with pain
This video highlights Vancouver Coastal Health's new Downtown Eastside Pain Service, which offers alternative treatments for managing pain, including our Making Sense of Pain class series.
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