October 2019 Newsletter
From our Executive Director, Maria Hudspith
I’m very excited to share that Pain BC has launched two new free-to-access programs this month for people living with pain in communities across BC . Pain support is particularly hard to access outside of urban centres, so we’re thrilled to be able to provide these programs in locations around the province.

Our new Pain Support and Wellness Groups offer an opportunity for people living with chronic pain to meet in-person regularly to build a community of support while learning about pain, pain management and coping strategies. Groups meet twice a month, allowing people in pain to connect with one another, share their experiences, discuss self-management skills and take part in gentle movements as a group. Groups are led by trained volunteer facilitators who live with pain themselves and have a passion for supporting their peers.

We are currently offering these groups in Chilliwack, Fort St. John, Kelowna, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, Salmon Arm, Quesnel, Trail, Vancouver, Vernon and Victoria, thanks to funding from ICBC’s community grants program and the Lohn Foundation. We hope to expand the groups to new communities next year.

I encourage you to share information about the Pain Support and Wellness Groups with your networks so we can ensure this vital support service reaches more people living with pain in the communities above. You can help spread the word by downloading and sharing this poster , or by ordering free print materials from our website .

We’ve also recently launched our Making Sense of Pain class series. We know that chronic pain often exists in conjunction with other conditions, such as poor mental health, substance use and other chronic conditions. We also know that people living with pain can be disproportionately impacted by trauma, violence, poverty, and homelessness – all of which can affect access to health care. Making Sense of Pain is designed to address these barriers by providing people experiencing marginalization with equal opportunities to learn about managing pain and improving well-being. The class series is being offered over a span of 8 weeks from now until January 2020 and each group is led by a trained facilitator. We are also offering a culturally relevant and safe version of this program for First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples, which involve peers and are co-facilitated by an Indigenous Elders.

Both versions of the Making Sense of Pain class series are being offered in multiple communities throughout the province. A full list of locations and communities can be accessed here . If you or someone you know could benefit from this class series, I encourage you to contact your closest site to find out more. This program was made possible by funding from the Vancouver Foundation, the Ministry of Health (Patients as Partners) and the Overdose Emergency Response Centre.

Both programs will provide people living in pain with much-needed opportunities to find support and learn skills to better manage pain. I look forward to sharing updates as these programs continue to expand to new communities throughout our province. Stay tuned! 
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 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.
BC ECHO for Chronic Pain: Improving pain care for people living with pain
Newest Pain Waves podcast available now

In this month’s episode of the Pain Waves podcast, we’re joined by Drs. Naj Mian and Rodica Janz, who speak to us about Pain BC’s new education program. The BC ECHO for Chronic Pain is a free and virtual learning community working to reduce barriers to pain care by empowering health care providers of all disciplines with knowledge and resources to provide treatment and care for people with pain in their local communities.
Opportunity to participate: Pain Support and Wellness Group Volunteer Facilitator
Fort St. John

Pain Support and Wellness Groups   are the latest addition to   Pain BC’s programs for people in pain . The in-person 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.

We're currently looking for a volunteer facilitator to help lead a group in Fort. St John.   If you or anyone you know lives with pain in Fort St. John and would like to get involved in managing a support network in this community, we encourage you to apply or share this opportunity with them.
Request for feedback: Survey on chronic vs. persistent pain

"Chronic" and "persistent" pain are words that are often used interchangeably to describe pain that lasts for longer than 3 months. While the World Health Organization has recently added "chronic pain" to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), some people with pain and health care providers prefer the term "persistent pain." In order to better understand how and why individuals and organizations use these words, Pain BC has put together a brief survey that should take no longer than five minutes to complete. We would greatly appreciate if you would take the time to let us know your thoughts.
Spotlight: Pain Revolution Rural Outreach Tour

Pain Revolution is an Australian non-profit organization working to change how pain is understood and managed in their country. One of their largest initiatives, the Pain Revolution Rural Outreach Tour, completed its third annual ride in March of this year to build pain awareness and improve community education. Participants cycled over 700km through Tasmania, stopping at 10 different locations to deliver 20 free educational events and meetings along the way. The ride took eight days to complete, and as of May 2019, raised nearly $100,000. All proceeds will go towards their Local Pain Educator program , which aims to improve how chronic pain is treated and managed in rural and remote communities by sharing knowledge and skills with local health care professionals.
IASP Global Patient Alliance: Spotlight videos

The  International Association for the Study of Pain  (IASP) launched their Global Patient Alliance in 2018 as an effort to engage patient advocates and include their voices in pain research and its translation into new interventions to treat pain. They recently released a few short videos, highlighting the stories of some of their patient partners.
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.
Opportunity to participate: Study for people with spinal cord injuries

Researchers from the  International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries  (ICORD) are looking for people with spinal cord injuries who are currently on opioid medications to join their study, which aims to test the effectiveness of Targin® (a combination of oxycodone and naloxone) at treating chronic pain compared to opioid medication that does not contain naloxone. Anyone interested is encouraged to contact Andrea Ramirez at 604-675-8856 or aramirez@icord.org .
Opportunity to participate: Study for youth and their caregiver(s)

Researchers from the University of British Columbia and BC Children's Hospital are looking for youth aged 11-18 years with any physical symptoms and/or their parents to participate in a study that aims to develop a questionnaire to better understand the relationship between stress and physical symptoms. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to contact Amrit Dhariwal at amrit.dhariwal@cw.bc.ca or 604 875 2097.
Opportunity to participate: Free industrial sewing program

Common Thread is a Vancouver non-profit organization offering training and employment in industrial sewing and handmade craft to people experiencing health and social barriers. They are offering a free 12-week industrial sewing course starting in January 2020 and are now accepting applications. The course is open to people experiencing health and/or social barriers that may otherwise prevent them from accessing training and/or employment, including:

  • Mental health challenges
  • Physical disabilities
  • Systemic barriers experienced by Indigenous peoples
  • Lack of Canadian training or work experience
  • Lack of work experience or training due to a long absence from the labour market

Funding for this training course comes through WorkBC. They urge anyone interested to contact them as soon as possible as the application process can be quite lengthy. They will provide assistance with the application process. To apply or find out more, please contact Sara Sahulka at  s.sahulka@commonthread.ca  or  604 736 2113  ext 3.
Opportunity to participate: Indigenous women's voices in health care planning and service delivery
Study available until October 31, 2019

Vancouver Coastal Health - Aboriginal Health is conducting research to better understand Indigenous women's experiences with accessing health services and to identify their priorities in health care. The results of the study will bring the voices of Indigenous women into VCH policy and program development. More information about this study and how to apply can be found at the link below.
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 3, 2019 in Vancouver Register now
Nov 24, 2019 in Victoria:   SOLD OUT (if you would like to be added to the waitlist, please email arielle@painbc.ca )
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.

We encourage all health care professionals to apply to join Cycle 2, which began on September 17. Registration will remain open for the duration of the full cycle.

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
BC women paint dire picture of health care experiences
In a new report from the BC Women's Foundation, 58 percent of women with chronic conditions, and 60 percent of Indigenous women, said their needs are not being met by our health care system.
Why Sia's reveal of chronic pain from Ehler-Danlos is so important
Australian singer Sia recently revealed being diagnosed with Ehler-Danlos Syndrome, shedding light on a condition that is poorly understood and under-recognized in the media.
Free Gentle Movement and Relaxation classes in South Surrey
The Solaj Laser & Wellness Clinic is hosting free Gentle Movement and Relaxation classes for people living with pain in Surrey throughout October and November.
Three letter acronyms and what they mean
Dr. Bronnie Lennox Thompson, a pain researcher and educator, discusses a few different types of psychological therapies commonly used by health care providers to help patients with managing chronic pain.
To the person who thinks chronic pain 'can't be that bad'
The author of this article shares how it can be hurtful when others minimize what it's like to live with a chronic illness.
31 difficult side effects of chronic illness no one's talking about
In this article, people with lived experience share a variety of side effects that aren't widely discussed, and further impact living with a chronic illness.
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