Promoting Pain Awareness Month

In 2001, the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) headed a coalition of groups and organizations that established SeptemberPain Awareness Month as Pain Awareness Month (PAM). It serves as a time to recognize the chronic pain community by increasing awareness and highlighting how pain affects individuals, families, communities, and the nation.

The ACPA provides support and education in pain-management skills to people living with pain, their family and friends, and health-care professionals. During Pain Awareness Month, it works with dozens of advocacy groups and other organizations to raise awareness about pain and pain management.

“The key to raising awareness is to get involved,” the group says. Here are four ways to promote Pain Awareness Month.

Talk with friends and family. Let them know that September is Pain Awareness Month. Like the ACPA on Facebook @TheAmericanChronicPainAssociation, and encourage others to do the same.

Contact community leaders. Let elected officials and other leaders know about Pain Awareness Month and issues of pain and pain management.

Talk with your health-care provider. Let him or her know that September is Pain Awareness Month.

Call local media. Ask them if they are doing a story on Pain Awareness Month.

The ACPA also recommends that people who live with pain take time out to care for themselves in September.
The group offers tools to improve communication with your health-care team, government leaders, and the press.

For 2018, the U.S. Pain Foundation is encouraging people to get involved by spreading awareness through events, virtual campaigns, social media, and other platforms. And this year, to show support for the more than 100 million Americans living with chronic pain, you can apply a special Pain Awareness Month 2018 graphic template to your online photos. Be sure to use the hashtags #PainWarriorsUnite #PAM18 and #PainAwarenessMonth.

As part of Pain-Free Living’s commitment to raising awareness of chronic pain and those affected by it, we will be posting articles, videos and more throughout September. Follow us on social media for information on a variety of conditions, statistics and links to profiles of inspiring members of our community tagged with #PFLPainAwareness2018.

Almost 100 million Americans experiencing chronic pain, which can cause frustration, depression and isolation. Pain Awareness Month affords us all a time to remember that even during the darkest days, we are members of a strong community that provides something we could all use: unconditional support. Don’t try to go it alone. We all need help sometimes, and the strongest among us are those who ask for it.

Want to learn how to raise pain awareness in your community? Read “Becoming an Arthritis Advocate” and “The Hows and Whys of Patient Advocacy.”

Joan Edgett is the editor of Pain-Free Living.

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