Creating a Community of Allies
Pain BC is a collaborative non-profit organization made up of people in pain, health care providers, and leaders from universities, government, business and the non-profit sector. We aim to improve the lives of people in pain through education, empowerment and innovation.
Living with chronic pain can be debilitating, demoralizing, and isolating. Collectively, people in pain, caregivers, health care providers and policy makers come together as a team to provide the best support in BC. Join us! Let's talk about pain honestly and remove the stigma. Nobody should be alone with pain.
Starting Pain BC
In 2006, a group of like-minded health care professionals from the Lower Mainland ignited the spark for Pain BC. They understood firsthand (personally and professionally) that chronic pain impacts every aspect of life. Recognizing that there were few resources available for managing and reducing pain, they wanted to create change.
Dr. Michael Negraeff (a founding member) was inspired to work on pain and pain management after suffering his own Spinal Cord Injury.
Michael Negraeff MD, FRCPC, FFPMANZCA
"When I began having pain after my injury it was hard to accept it might be 'chronic.' I was angry about it. Even more frustrating was that few people could explain what was causing the pain. The concept of neuropathic pain—pain coming from a nerve injury—was not common knowledge in the medical community at the time. I consulted with pain experts in Seattle who confirmed that diagnosis and gave treatment recommendations. After that experience I wanted to see better resources, supports and understanding for people living with pain in British Columbia. Creating Pain BC came from that drive and the collaborative ambitions of other health care professionals and people living with pain."
Engaging People in Pain
Working in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health, the team engaged the community to better understand their needs and priorities. Individuals living with chronic pain, as well as caregivers of those in pain, participated in the dialogue. Finally, people were asking the right questions and bringing the severity of suffering out of the shadows. Participants shared openly and honestly…
"I have felt suicidal. If I compare my life before to my life now, I don’t want to live long. I mourn my losses, the mobility, my colourful life. When the pain is really severe, you want to die. No one can fully understand your pain, or help, even if they want to."
"Fear, frustration, grief, numbness, short-temperedn ess, anger. All of this in a rotating soup including anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Occasionally there is joy, happiness, peace and calm. But don’t ask me when last any of that happened. It was like a book I once read."
"I HAVE NO HOPE."
Read the full report inspired by stories, reflections and suggestions from people in pain.
Becoming an Official Non-Profit Organization
Pain BC continued to grow and gain recognition, becoming an official non-profit organization in 2008. Many people — health care providers, patients, business leaders and others — contributed to the building momentum. Our work as an organization is inherently about partnership, with the voices of people in pain driving our plans and priorities.
Working Together to Make Change
We are the only organization in Canada bringing together patients, caregivers, health care providers and policy makers to reduce pain and its impacts. This innovative partnership has created a galvanizing force, challenging the silence around pain, offering support to those affected, and making a positive difference in the health care system in British Columbia.
Want to know more or get involved? Join us! Help shape the future of Pain BC.