Pain Support and Wellness Groups
found support in talking to others who understood
sharing their feelings
felt less alone
Thank you so, so much for the opportunity to attend these sessions – having this kind of support in experiences of pain is so important and helps me be so much less lonely!
During my first session, I felt heard and understood. It is life changing.
Being able to talk to others who truly understand my experience in such a safe environment has been invaluable to me. I no longer feel isolated and alone in pain.
Pain Support Line
increase from 2020
[The staff] is excellent! Very in tune with, and understanding of, my current circumstances. She gave me great tools and reference material. Thank you.
Coaching for Health
Our Coaching for Health program saw a significant increase in the complexity of client needs, largely due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with pain. To better address client needs, we redesigned our volunteer coach training program with an expanded emphasis on the health impacts of marginalization and socioeconomic status. We also built in a stronger emphasis on medical system navigation, trauma-informed practice, equity-oriented health care, and self-compassion – both for coaches and the people in pain they support. The new training material has been well-received by coaches and has been adapted for our Pain Support and Wellness Group facilitator training.
I was at a very low point in my then two-plus-years journey with chronic pain… Then along came [my coach]. I simply can’t say enough about what she has done for me! She has taught me to keep trying and to stay positive, not to be defined by my illness, not to stay entrenched in the cycle of sickness…
My coach was excellent, very compassionate and skilled in her support. This is an amazing program.
I looked forward to my sessions. The resources/information were things I would never have thought of trying without the coach’s direction.
Harnessing the dedication of volunteers
Total Pain BC volunteers
Total volunteer hours
Support Services volunteers
Working group members
People have so much to share and everyone’s story is different, but the one thing we have in common is chronic pain. It is heartwarming to hear group participants say they are grateful we understand their pain.
I appreciate the highs, the lows and everything in between with the Pain Support and Wellness Group I facilitate and those I coach. I enjoy sharing analogies, sincere empathy, laughter and hope for the future.
A lot of the teachable moments and discussion are group-generated, and the facilitators are also people living with pain. This dissolves the power imbalance you can often see in groups run by non-peers.
Developing new tools to support self-management
Launching in 2022, LivePlanBe+ is our free online self-management program for people living with pain. The program teaches pain self-management skills through animated videos, resources to explore, interviews with people living with pain and health care providers, and reflection questions.
Funding for this program is provided by the Northwest Pain Foundation, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, the BC Children’s Hospital Digital Lab, and the Sovereign Order of St. John.
500+ people living with pain
provided feedback throughout the development process through surveys, focus groups, workshops, and our advisory committee
Despite living with pain for years, I felt supported and smarter going through the program trial.
Making Sense of Pain
In 2021, we continued offering Making Sense of Pain, our self-management class series designed for people with pain who live with mental health conditions, trauma, substance use, and systemic racism.
The program was also successfully adapted for gender diverse youth and piloted in-person on Vancouver Island in the fall of 2021. These participants have maintained their social connections and are supporting each other six months after the program.
I was impressed with the program and would recommend it to anyone who struggles with pain.
I really liked the Indigenous crafts and medicine pouches to connect us more with earth and be grounded in our bodies rather than escaping the pain.
I am grateful for the opportunity to do this. It helped me to keep working on my journey and not left alone.