November 2021 Pain BC Newsletter
From our Executive Director, Maria Hudspith
As in previous years, Pain BC partnered with Solutions for Kids in Pain and the Association Québécoise de la Douleur Chronique this month to lead a coordinated social media campaign for National Pain Awareness Week (NPAW) from November 7-13, 2021. This year, we were joined by nearly 40 partner organizations, as well as several hundred other organizations and individuals, to use NPAW to call on Canada to #PrioritizePain by implementing the recommendations in Health Canada’s Action Plan for Pain in Canada. I’m pleased to share the campaign messages were posted, responded to, and re-tweeted thousands of times, and received 2.3 million impressions during NPAW, reaching more than one million people.

The campaign tapped into huge public interest in improving support and care for the one in five people with pain in Canada, particularly for marginalized people who are disproportionately affected by chronic pain and face greater barriers to accessing health care, including Indigenous peoples.

In addition to NPAW, November is also the time we observe Indigenous Disability Awareness Month. This national observance began in 2015 with the work of the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) and brings awareness to disability in Indigenous communities, which affects as many as 30% to 35% of Indigenous peoples, far higher than the prevalence of disability among all Canadians of 22%.
Indigenous children and youth also experience high rates of chronic pain and face unique barriers to care. On the east coast, Aboriginal Children’s Hurt and Healing Initiative (ACHH), a partner in the #PrioritizePain campaign, works with communities and clinicians to bridge the gap in our understanding of Indigenous children’s pain.

This Indigenous Disability Awareness Month we respectfully acknowledge the important work of organizations like BCANDS and ACHH, among many others, to address disability in Indigenous communities. We stand in solidarity with all who are calling on Canada to prioritize and accelerate the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. We also call for the implementation of all eight of the Indigenous-specific recommendations in the Health Canada’s Action Plan for Pain in Canada to ensure the pain of Indigenous peoples is recognized, respected, and effectively addressed.

Although National Pain Awareness Week has passed, our work continues. I encourage you to keep using the tools on to call for action on prioritizing pain in Canada, particularly for those who are disproportionately affected. Together, we will ensure no one is alone with pain.
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.
CharityVillage logo
Pain BC Executive Director shortlisted for CharityVillage Award
Maria Hudspith selected as a finalist for Most Outstanding impact - Staff

The first annual CharityVillage Conference and Awards took place on November 3, 2021. The virtual event brought together professionals within the Canadian nonprofit and charitable sectors. Pain BC's Executive Director, Maria Hudspith, was a finalist for the Most Outstanding Impact – Staff (Individual) award. Check out all the winners and finalists on their website.
Pain Waves logo
Tokenism in patient engagement
New Pain Waves podcast episode

An important part of pain research is patient partnership, where researchers work with people with lived experience to understand their perspectives. While patient partners are invaluable to research projects, some feel tokenized, like their voices are included but largely ignored. How can we change this?

In this month’s episode of the Pain Waves podcast, we’re joined by Dr. Dawn Richards, a researcher, patient partner, and patient engagement expert. She talks to us about a recent blog post she co-authored on the topic of tokenism in patient engagement and offers advice on how to overcome it.
Help us improve the Pain Support Line

Have you heard of our Pain Support Line but never used it? As part of our program-improvement process, we are looking for people with pain to take part in a 15-minute, virtual interview about the program. If you’re an adult (18+) BC resident with pain who is aware of the Pain Support Line (for example, you have seen an ad for the service or had it recommended by a friend or health provider) but have never contacted the Pain Support Line, we’re interested in hearing from you.

Participants will be paid a $25 honorarium by Pain BC.
Opportunities to join the Pain BC team

We're currently looking for two 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.

BC Echo for Chronic Pain: Family Physician

We're looking for a Family Physician to work collaboratively with the Clinical Lead (Pain Medicine FRCPC) and other clinical and administrative members of the ECHO hub team. This is a part-time contract position for approximately eight hours a month.
Social Worker

We're looking for a full-time social worker to apply a clinical and consultative lens through high-touch relationship management to deliver rewarding experiences for the Pain Support Line's clients and volunteers, as well as ensure the consistent and high quality of the Pain Support and Wellness Groups.
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
Accessible parking awareness
Virtual forum on December 3, 2021

The Disability Foundation has partnered with the Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia (SPARC BC) to help raise awareness on common barriers to parking experienced by people with disabilities in BC. They have identified three main issues: availability, misuse, and stigma. You can get involved in a number of ways. Join their virtual Accessible Community Forum on December 3, 2021, the International Day for Persons with Disabilities.
University of Guelph logo
Free virtual workshop to help reduce needle fear
December 14, 2021

If your child or a child you know is afraid of needles, this free virtual workshop can help you learn some evidence-based tools to reduce needle fear. The Pediatric Pain, Health and Communication Lab at the University of Guelph is offering the workshop on December 14 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM EST. To register, email
Research and engagement opportunities
Study: Chronic pain in trans and gender-diverse youth

BC Children's Hospital and UBC are looking to understand the perspectives and experiences of gender-diverse youth who live with chronic pain. If you identify as a gender different than the one you were assigned at birth, live with chronic/recurrent pain (pain lasting longer than three months), are between the ages of 13 and 18 and live in BC, BC Children's Hospital and UBC encourage you to apply. The study will take about an hour, involving a short questionnaire and an interview with a researcher. Participants can skip any questions they don't want to answer, their privacy will be protected, and an honorarium will be offered to those who take part. If you or someone you know might be interested in participating in this study, please have them contact or 604-875-2000 x6922 to learn more.
Study: Immersive multimedia experiences for people with cancer-related pain

The UBC School of Nursing and SFU School of Interactive Arts + Technology are looking for people with cancer who also experience chronic pain to test the use of immersive multimedia experiences as a form of pain management. Research participants can complete the study from their homes and will be provided with an honorarium for their time. More information on the study, including eligibility, can be accessed here. To apply, please contact Crystal Sun, Project Manager at
Study: Surgical prehabilitation

CHANGEpain and UBC are launching a 20-week program to help physically prepare surgical patients in advance of their surgeries. Covered by MSP and funded by the UBC Department of Anesthesiology, the study will evaluate factors impacting patients' surgical help. To apply, ask your physician to fax your referral to 604-566-9102 and make sure they write 'UBC-Study' on the referral. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Dr. Emmanuel Abreu at, or call 604-566-9101 ext. 109.
In the news
Advocates call for better understanding and treatment of chronic pain
Pain awareness advocate Keith Meldrum and Pain BC Executive Director, Maria Hudspith, call for action on pain in Canada.
Shifting ground through art: Establishing safe approaches to share and manage pain
This video from the Aboriginal Children's Hurt and Healing Initiative talks about how art can be an important medium to understand Indigenous history and health perspectives.
Battling guilt, grief, and internalized ableism as a person with a chronic illness
The author, who lives with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, describes three 'foes’: guilt, grief, and internalized ableism, and shares how she overcomes them.
Corporate Canada gets mixed report card from people with disabilities
According to a new study by Angus Reid Institute, 40% of people living with disabilities say Canadian corporations have a long way to go in hiring and supporting employees with disabilities.
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