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March 2022 Pain BC Newsletter
From our Executive Director, Maria Hudspith
Like everyone else, employers and health care providers have spent the last two years adapting to the realities of our global health crisis. This has included changes that immunocompromised persons and people with disabilities have called for since long before the pandemic; one such major change has been the increase in flexible remote work arrangements.

With restrictions easing in BC including the elimination of mask mandates, many employers may pause flexible work options, putting immunocompromised people and those with other health conditions at increased risk. To truly level the playing field for people living with disabilities, including chronic pain, we need to ensure these flexible work options remain permanent. To enable those with pain to remain in the workforce and further prevent acute pain from becoming chronic, employment standards must be updated to require fully paid sick leave for all workers.

Along with our many partners, we continue to advocate nationally for these changes and many more to improve outcomes for the eight million Canadians living with chronic pain, their families, communities and society.

We’re also committed to these changes as an employer. Pain BC is a part of BC’s community of accessible employers through the Presidents Group. We deeply value the diverse lived experiences on our staff and are committed to economic equity and social inclusion for all people, including our many employees with pain.

We know improvement is needed to make Canada’s systems equitable and accessible for people with pain – including our health and employment systems – and we’re honoured to work alongside you until the work is done.
Pain BC programs, resources and updates
Upcoming dates for Pain Support and Wellness Groups
Virtual groups for BC residents

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. Groups meet online every second and fourth Tuesday of the month with alternating mid-day and evening sessions. Each two-hour session will allow participants to share their experiences, discuss self-management skills and take part in gentle movements as a group.

Upcoming meeting dates and times (in Pacific Time):

  • April 12, 2022 from 11:00AM – 1:00PM
  • April 26, 2022 from 6:00PM – 8:00PM
  • May 10, 2022 from 11:00AM – 1:00PM
  • May 24, 2022 from 6:00PM – 8:00PM
  • June 14, 2022 from 11:00AM – 1:00PM
  • June 28, 2022 from 6:00PM – 8:00PM
Pain Waves logo
The World Health Organization recognizes chronic pain
Tune in to the newest episode of the Pain Waves podcast

On January 1, 2022, the World Health Organization enacted their new classification standards for diseases called the ICD-11. For the first time ever, they have recognized chronic pain as a condition. In this month’s episode of the Pain Waves podcast, we’re joined by Maria Hudspith, Pain BC Executive Director and co-chair of the Canadian Pain Task Force, and Rolf Detlef-Treede, who led the work on the WHO recognition of chronic pain. They explain what the ICD-11 is and how it may improve care for those living with chronic pain.
People stacking their hands together to show teamwork
Apply to become a Coaching for Health volunteer
Program accepting applications until April 1, 2022

Are you interested in volunteering with Pain BC’s Coaching for Health program? We are currently seeking volunteers to participate in our upcoming training session. The training will be approximately 40 hours long, with a mix of self-guided online training and facilitated (live) online training sessions. The full training schedule is available here.

If you are interested and able to commit to the training according to the timeline, please complete our application form by Friday, April 1st at 4:00PM PT. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. If you have any questions, please contact us at
close-up of person's hands typing on a laptop
Virtual focus group with Punjabi speakers who live with pain
April 1, 2022 from 11:30AM - 12:30PM

Pain BC is hosting an online, one-hour focus group with members of the South Asian community on April 1, 2022 to learn more about cultural concepts around pain and pain management. If you speak Punjabi, live with pain or care for someone who does, and have access to a computer/smartphone with internet connection, please register to join us.

Please note, the focus group is limited to 6-8 participants. Pain BC will pay participants a $25 honorarium to thank them for their time.
CanadaHelps Make It Monthly logo
This March, multiply your impact on the lives of people with pain
CanadaHelps is making your support go further when you make a monthly gift

Every month, people living with pain rely on the generosity of donors to make it possible for Pain BC to:
  • Deliver more than 90 one-on-one coaching sessions
  • Answer 125 calls from people seeking resources or a listening ear
  • Host 18 virtual support group sessions

This March only, CanadaHelps is making your support go further by making an additional $20 one-time donation to Pain BC when you set up a new monthly gift of $20 or more.

Please consider becoming a monthly donor to support people with pain all year long. Your support will help achieve a future where no one is alone 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 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
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.

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
Take a Pain Check logo
Mind, Body, Bluetooth: Virtual mindfulness event for youth
Virtual event will take place March 26, 2022

To observe Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month, Take a Pain Check is hosting an experiential learning and mindfulness event open to anyone aged 13-25. The session will be modified to accommodate participants' pain. You will learn self-regulation practices to manage pain and flares, as well as gentle yoga practices to help ease tension in the body.
Pain Toolkit: Supported self-management workshop
The workshop is pay-what-you-can and takes place April 4-8, 2022

Pain Toolkit is offering a pay-what-you-can five-day supported self-management workshop for Canadians living with pain. It takes place from April 4 to 8, 2022, for 2.5 hours a day. The workshop is open to people living with persistent pain, up to a maximum of 10 participants. The main objective is to provide attendees with comprehensive learning and tools to move forward and improve well-being.
Health Standards Organization (HSO) logo
Public review on HSO's new long-term care services standard
Submit feedback by March 27, 2022

The Health Standards Organization (HSO) is seeking public input on a new draft national long-term care services standard. Once finalized, this document will be used inform health policy in Canada, and to develop and assess long-term care services. Anyone with an interest in providing feedback on the standard, such as people who have used long-term care services, designated supported persons, members of the long-term care workforce, and leaders and administrators in long-term care, can do so until March 27, 2022.
Research and engagement opportunities
University of the Fraser Valley logo
Study: Testing a mind-body app for pain

Researchers from the University of the Fraser Valley are looking for people living with chronic pain to take part in a study investigating the effectiveness of a mind-body app. Those who have experienced chronic pain (bodily or migraine) for at least six months and felt pain for at least half of the days of the previous six months are encouraged to apply. To learn more, please email Dr. Cynthia Thomson at
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:
Study: Tracking the parasympathetic nervous system and subjective state of well-being in chronic pain

The UBC Vision Lab is studying how parasympathetic activity tracked with a wearable sensor is related to emotional and physical wellbeing in chronic pain. You will be asked to wear a wrist sensor and respond to some questions for two months. If you are at least 18 years of age, a fluent English speaker, have chronic back pain and no heart disease, please contact Veronica Dudarev at to sign up.
In the news
The millions of people stuck in a pandemic 'limbo'
Immunocompromised people share how policies and accommodations that protected and benefited them during the pandemic are disappearing.
Nova Scotia man helps support child with same rare disease as him
This CBC article, featuring a cross-border connection, highlights the importance of community in dealing with rare conditions.
Learning to advocate for myself in the workplace with rheumatoid arthritis
The author of this article, who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis over 20 years ago, shares her journey of advocating for herself in the workplace.
Why "get well soon" culture isn't helping anyone heal
The author shares her experience of living with long-haul COVID and describes why "get well soon" is not as empathetic as well-wishers may think.
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