June 2021 Pain BC Newsletter
From our Executive Director, Maria Hudspith
June is Indigenous History Month, an opportunity to reflect on the legacy of colonialism in Canada, to learn about its impacts and to commit to action. As an organization, Pain BC cares about human rights and justice. We know that experiences of pain are intertwined with experiences of trauma. We also know that current and historical injustices create barriers to healing and care.
The Pain BC team was heartbroken to learn that the remains of 215 children were located on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, and, more recently, an additional 751 unmarked graves were uncovered at the former Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan. We express our sincere condolences to the friends and families of the children, the survivors of the residential school system and to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and Cowessess First Nations. We stand in solidarity with all who are calling for justice for these children, and for the many other children who suffered or died as a result of this system.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was formed as a means of reckoning with the devastating legacy left by these institutions. We must prioritize and accelerate the implementation of the TRC’s Calls to Action. We must also prioritize the implementation of all eight of the Indigenous-specific recommendations in the Canadian Pain Task Force’s Action Plan for Pain in Canada to ensure the pain of Indigenous peoples is recognized, respected, and effectively addressed. Pain BC has a number of efforts underway to support these recommendations and is committed to expanding and deepening this work.

We know this recent news will reopen wounds for many people and we encourage those who need support to ask for the help they need. This Pain BC blog post outlines a number of resources available for residential school survivors and their families, and shares ideas for how non-Indigenous allies can take action to support residential school survivors, their families, and reconciliation.

For far too long, Indigenous communities have carried the pain of the residential school system. It is long past time we individually and collectively step up to support healing and to realize the truth, justice and equity the TRC called for years ago. 
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.
2020 Pain BC Annual Report

We’re excited to share our 2020 Annual Report is now available. The report highlights our work to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with pain, as well as the impact of our ongoing work to improve the well-being of people with pain through empowerment, care, education and innovation. If you are inspired by what you read or have questions about our work, please feel free to reach out to us at communications@painbc.ca.
Dr. Wesley Buch: Saying thank you to an incredible Pain BC Board member

It’s a bittersweet time for Pain BC as we thank Dr. Wesley Buch for six years of service and commitment as a Pain BC Board member. In addition to providing expertise and leadership on our Board, Wesley has been a steadfast champion for people living with pain and for pain education. As a long-standing member of Pain BC’s Education Committee, Wesley’s clinical experience as a registered psychologist has informed the direction of Pain BC’s education programs and ensured our work is evidence-based, trauma-informed and patient-centred.
In addition to providing clinical guidance on our Education Committee, Wesley has generously given his time and expertise to many other education initiatives over the past six years, all while maintaining a full-time job and pursuing a second PhD. He has contributed to Pain BC’s Pain Foundations course, facilitated numerous webinars, participated in podcasts, and written articles on mental health and chronic pain for our Live Plan Be self-management website.
More recently, Wesley’s deep knowledge and understanding of the intersections between trauma, marginalization and chronic pain helped us establish the Making Sense of Pain class series. Similarly, his passion for advocating for people living with pain in the Downtown East Side served as a catalyst for our partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health to pilot a first-of-its-kind multidisciplinary pain service for people experiencing pain, trauma, and substance use in Squamish and on the Sunshine Coast.
Wesley’s unwavering expertise, support, encouragement and sense of humour have been deeply appreciated by everyone at Pain BC and we can’t thank him enough for his countless, invaluable contributions to our mission. Thank you for being such an incredible champion for Pain BC and people living with pain, Wesley!
Opportunities to join the Pain BC team

We're excited to share we're currently looking for four 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.

Support Services Program Lead

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.
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.
Pain Support and Wellness Group Lead

We're looking for a full-time social worker or counsellor who can oversee the day-to-day management of our Pain Support and Wellness Groups for people living with pain.
Social Worker

We're looking for a full-time social worker or counsellor who can provide programmatic support to Pain BC's Support Services programs for people living with pain.
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
UPLiFT Conference: Call for submissions
November 2-23, 2021

The IASP's Global Alliance of Partners for Pain Advocacy (GAPPA) is holding its first UPLiFT virtual conference this November to connect people in pain, researchers and health care providers with the goal of advancing the equitable integration of the lived experience of pain into all aspects of pain research, education, advocacy, and treatment. Specifically, the UPLiFT conference will:

  • Share ways people living with pain can take charge of their own health through supported self-management.
  • Connect people with pain to valuable education, resources, and skills in pain advocacy, research partnerships, and the science of pain in ways that are easily accessible and free of jargon.
  • Connect people living with pain, clinicians, and researchers who are interested in partnering together in research and clinical care.

GAPPA has issued a call for submissions for anyone interested in providing a virtual presentation at the conference. All submissions must include people living with pain and people with lived experience are encouraged to submit. Learn more about the call for submissions and apply here.

Registration and additional details will be available beginning September 2021.
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
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
The Canadian Pain Task Force: An Action Plan for Pain in Canada
On May 5th, Health Canada released the final report from the Canadian Pain Task Force (CPTF), An Action Plan for Pain in Canada. 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.

We encourage you to read and share An Action Plan for Pain in Canada and add your voice to the conversation by using the tools available on www.paincanada.ca and the campaign hashtag #PrioritizePain.
New research: The chronic pain experience and health inequities during the COVID-19 pandemic
Pain BC recently collaborated with researchers from the Center hospitalier de l'Université de MontréalQuebec Pain Research Network and Chronic Pain Network on a study to understand the experiences of chronic pain and health inequities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This qualitative study was part of a larger pan-Canadian mixed-methods project that aimed to understand the experiences and challenges of people living with chronic pain during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.

The full article has been published in the International Journal for Equity in Health and is available for free.
Four tips to avoid injuries and back pain while gardening
This article by the BC Chiropractic Association provides a number of different tips and exercises that can help prevent injuries and back pain while gardening.
Power of Disability podcast explores forces of change
The Power of Disability podcast series highlights the many contributions of people living with disabilities - in the arts, activism, policy change, and many other sites of social transformation and innovation.
Adapting self-talk and affirmations for life with chronic illness
The author of this article shares the value of adapting self-talk affirmations when living with a chronic illness.
Helping people who use substances during the COVID-19 pandemic
The Government of Canada has created a webpage with information and resources on how to help someone who uses substances during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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