September marked Pain Awareness Month hosted by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). The month sparked more conversations and understanding about pain between health professionals, people living with pain, policy makers and the wider community. Awareness of chronic pain and its impact is imperative and a priority in ensuring better pain management for consumers as outlined in the National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management.
We recognise that ideal pain management, one that takes a holistic and multidisciplinary approach, is not accessible or affordable for every person experiencing chronic pain. That is why we are committed to making pain a national health priority, to ensure access to integrated pain management services for all Australians, especially our most vulnerable.
Education and training are vital to ensure our health professionals have the resources and knowledge they need and are supported to continue learning. We are all learning. Pain Awareness Month is a reminder of this, as communities come together to discuss pain and learn and share with our peers. However, we need to increase awareness of chronic pain for more than just one month or even one year, we need have those conversations and increase understanding of pain every single day.
Painaustralia has released a series of educational materials, including factsheets, blogs, online videos and a webinar to access and share so that everyone can understand the reality of living with chronic pain.
The voices of our National Patron and Pain Champions
We are delighted to introduce Australian Survivor winner and Painaustralia’s newest pain champion, Hayley Leake who talks about the challenges and triumphs of surviving pain in our blog here https://www.painaustralia.org.au/surviving-pain
The voices of our consumers
Don Firth, Painaustralia's Consumer Advisory Group
Don Firth, who was a long time front line firefighter and this combined with building and farm work has taken its toll on his body. In this video, Don shares how he got his life back. Tai Chi, singing in choirs and daily spas work together to improve and maintain the fitness of both his body and mind. He has been gradually able to reduce his dependence on pain killers and increase his physical activity. Courses in mind training and pacing are greatly helping this process.
Peter Rudland, Veteran and Invictus Games competitor, Pain Champion and Painaustralia's Consumer Advisory Group
Pain Awareness Month video features Peter Rudland, who has experienced challenge and triumph following a horrific Black Hawk helicopter crash. In this video, Pete shares how he uses his pain to drive the things that he does, and how the people in his life show support and understanding. Pete also explains the power of understanding your pain and learning as much as you can.
Kim Allgood, Painaustralia's Consumer Advisory Group
We asked Painaustralia CAG member Kim Allgood about the importance of having a supportive team around you. Kim has come to believe, through both lived and learned experiences, a team is required for successful pain management. A team where the patient is the central figure.
Leah Dwyer, Painaustralia's Consumer Advisory Group
We asked Leah Dwyer what helps her when she is experiencing an episode of chronic pain. Leah talks about the power of being heard.
Gabriella Kelly-Davies, Author
Gabriella Kelly-Davies has been writing stories ever since she mastered the alphabet. She recently authored Breaking Through the Pain Barrier: The extraordinary life of Dr Michael J. Cousins. In this video Gabriella talks about her experience with a pain management program