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January 2023 Pain BC Newsletter
Addressing mental health in chronic pain management
Winter can be a difficult time for living with pain. Chronic pain often accompanies other physical and mental health conditions, and people with chronic pain are twice as likely to experience depression and anxiety.

Offering non-stigmatizing, trauma-informed health care services is not only best-practice, but also helps to provide equal opportunities to learn more about managing pain and improving well-being. Many of our programs offer resources to help fill the gap in equitable and easily accessible care.

One such program is Making Sense of Pain, our class series designed for people with pain who experience poverty, mental health conditions, trauma, substance use, or systemic racism. Now in its fifth year, the program is offered at sites throughout BC and will expand nationally this year.

We’re also helping health care providers build skills and knowledge in addressing barriers to care through programs like our BC Adaptive Mentorship Network for Pain, Mental Health and Substance Use (BCAMN) provides opportunities for community-based health care providers to receive professional mentorship and grow their capacity to support people living with chronic pain, mental health and substance use conditions.

Here are some ways you can get information on mental health resources through our programs:
  • You can download fact sheets on mental health and wellness on our website.
  • Our Pain Support Line staff offer free information, emotional support and resource assistance on various topics, including mental health issues related to pain.
  • LivePlanBe+, our free online program for people living with pain, covers a number of topics related to mental health, as does the LivePlanBe Library.
  • This Pain Waves podcast episode offers tips for staying connected to loved ones and avoiding seasonal depression.

Here are some additional resources that may be helpful:
  • Call 310-6789 toll-free anywhere in BC, 24 hours a day, to access emotional support, information and resources specific to mental health and substance use.
  • For mental health resources for all ages, visit Wellness Together Canada where you can access free counselling and support as well as self-guided courses, apps and other resources.
  • The Government of BC has put together a list of virtual resources for mental health.

Throughout this year and beyond, you can count on us to continue our tireless work towards our vision of a future where no one is alone with pain.
Pain BC programs, resources and updates
Opportunity to join the Pain BC team
Applications open for a bilingual Communications Coordinator

We're currently looking for a Communications Coordinator - Bilingual to join our growing team. This role supports Pain BC's external communication efforts in both English and French.
A teal-coloured illustration of a telephone
New: Book an appointment with the Pain Support Line online
An easy way to schedule a phone appointment

It's now easier than ever to book an appointment with our Pain Support Line, which offers free information, emotional support and resource assistance for people living with pain and their loved ones. You can book a time to connect one-on-one with a trained staff member through our new online registration option. Simply select an available time that works for you and enter your contact information, and our staff will give you a call at the arranged time.
Are you interested in a support group for BIPOC people with pain?
Let us know by completing our survey

Are you Black, Indigenous or a person of colour with pain who lives in BC? Would you attend a BIPOC-focused Pain Support and Wellness Group? Please take a moment to complete our short, anonymous survey to help us determine the level of interest in this option.
Our supports for people with pain
LivePlanBe+ logo
Knowledge is power. Learn to manage pain and improve well-being though our library of evidence-based articles on LivePlanBe or start a customized program on LivePlanBe+.
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

Gentle Movement @ Home free online videos 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
Effective Prescribing of Opioids for Chronic Pain
In February 2023, Pain Canada will begin delivering Effective Prescribing of Opioids for Chronic Pain (EPOCH). The course consists of three webinars and a capstone workshop to help health care providers deepen skills and practice in using opioid medications as part of a multi-modal approach to chronic pain management. The course is available to health care providers across Canada.

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.

Pain BC relies on the generosity of our donors to deliver our programs and services. We gratefully acknowledge that many of our programs and services receive partial financial support from the Province of British Columbia, including Coaching for Health, the Pain Support Line, Pain Support and Wellness Groups, our chronic pain management workshops for health care providers, Gentle Movement and Relaxation course, LivePlanBe, Making Sense of Pain, Pain Foundations, and the Pain Waves podcast.
Other programs, opportunities and resources
Supported pain self-management conference
Virtual event takes place February 3, 2023 at 6:00 PM PT

This virtual event is presented by people living with persistent pain, Virgina McIntyre and Amy Eicher, along with health professionals Fiona Hodson (Australia), Dr. Bronnie Lennox Thompson (New Zealand), and Dr. Owen Williamson (Canada). The event has a small registration fee of GBP 5.98 (about CAD $10) to cover the conference costs incurred by the volunteer organizers. Any revenue generated above cost-recovery will be donated to charity. The event will be approximately four hours long, with pacing breaks between speakers. Recordings of the presentations will be sent to all registrants after the event.
Upcoming Cassie + Friends events
Virtual sessions in February and March

Cassie + Friends is hosting free virtual education sessions in February and March.
  • February 28, 2023: This session, Genetics in Pediatric Rheumatic Diseases, will be presented by medical speaker Dr. Ashish Marwaha from the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Ian Stedman from the Canadian Autoinflammatory Network, and a family speaker.
  • March 28, 2023: This session, Newly Diagnosed: The First 12 Months, will be presented by medical speaker Dr. Nadia Luca from the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and include both a parent and patient speaker.
Research and engagement opportunities
Power Over Pain portal for youth logo
Study: Power Over Pain Portal for Youth

The Power Over Pain portal for youth is an online portal designed to help young people manage their pain. Researchers are seeking participants aged 12-18 who have been experiencing pain for three months or longer. Participation will involve answering online questionnaires, using the Power Over Pain portal for eight weeks, and optionally completing a feedback interview. All participants will receive volunteer hours and gift card compensation. To sign up, email
Study: The mind-body connection and its role in chronic pain in youth

Researchers at BC Children’s Hospital want to explore narratives of youth affected by chronic pain and their parents to understand whether there are any unique ways that those affected by pain recognize the mind-body connection and its role in symptoms. Through learning more about facilitators and barriers to mental health care access for these families, they hope to improve access to current available treatments. You are eligible to participate if you are a youth (aged 12-18) experiencing chronic pain or a caregiver of youth experiencing chronic pain. Participation involves taking part in focus groups with other youth experiencing chronic pain and their parents. To participate, email
CircaPain logo
Study: Pain throughout the day

If you live with pain, does it change throughout the day? The CircaPain research team is studying how time of day impacts pain and wants to hear about your experience. This study is open to all adults who have had persistent pain for more than three months. Learn more and take the survey on CircaPain's website:
In the news
How to handle a pain flare-up
Many people living with chronic pain are familiar with flare-ups, periods of time when their pain feels particularly intense. In her newest video, Dr. Andrea Furlan shares tips for navigating a flare-up.
"I'm turning 34, but arthritis makes me feel 87"
Chronic pain impacts life in many ways, including how we organize our spaces. The author of this article shares nine ways she has adapted her bedroom to be more supportive of her needs.
Navigating acceptance and chronic pain
Pain educator and advocate Joletta Belton revisits the concept of acceptance with the help of an award-winning poster by Cass Macgregor and
her team.
Government of BC's accessibility feedback tool
Do you face barriers accessing Government of BC programs, locations or information, or receiving service or support? You can provide feedback using their accessibility tool online or via phone.
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