In recognition of September’s designation as Pain Awareness Month, the American Pain Foundation (APF) announced yesterday the start of an online Virtual March on Washington which will include the launch of the 10,000 Voices campaign.
Designed to highlight the need for access to timely, appropriate pain management and medical care for the more than 76.5 million Americans who deal with chronic pain, the Virtual March and 10,000 Voices campaign aim to provide the resources and tools for people to raise awareness of pain issues and pain management, advocate for continued improvements in pain policy, and provide a gathering place for people to share their personal stories on pain.
“Although provisions of the National Pain Care Policy Act of 2009 were signed into law last March, we still have a long way to go to bring pain to the forefront in every community throughout the country,” said Will Rowe, chief executive officer of APF. “We must seize this opportunity to come together and join the movement—people in pain, family members, caregivers and members of the medical community; build on the momentum of the bill; dismantle the barriers preventing better pain management; and conquer pain together.”
The Virtual March
The Virtual March runs from September 1 through September 30, 2010, and will feature:
- the launch of the 10,000 Voices campaign—an online opportunity for people in pain, their caregivers and health care professionals to record and share their individual stories;
- a letter-writing campaign with examples of letters on individual topics to send to lawmakers and other key officials;
- condition-specific videos examining the challenges of life with chronic pain;
- the Advocacy Toolkit, to help plan local awareness activities and local media outreach projects; and
- an online guide to effective use of social media tools (Facebook, Twitter, blogs) in chronic pain advocacy and public education efforts.
“The Virtual March offers the tools to unite, empower and rally those who care about people living with pain and encourages them to be part of a movement that is making a difference in pain policy and pain management in a way that is accessible from your home or office. People can choose to participate in one activity or all,” said Rowe.
To learn more about the Virtual March and to find or post an activity that is happening in your area, visit www.APFActionNetwork.org.
American Pain Foundation Resources
APF also encourages people in pain and their caregivers to read and consult the following free publications available at the APF website:
- “Access Matters: Making Sense of Health Coverage” provides an overview of health insurance and how to maximize your coverage;
- “Pain Resource Guide: Getting the Help You Need” helps chronic pain patients empower themselves to create an assertive treatment plan;
- “Treatment Options: A Guide for People Living with Pain” explains medications, psychosocial interventions, complementary approaches, rehabilitation therapies, surgical interventions and more;
- “Target Chronic Pain” provides easy-to-use practical tools for pain assessment, management and communication.
- “Pain Monitor,” a monthly e-newsletter, highlights news, legislative updates, research and resources for people living with pain.
- “Exit Wounds: A Survival Guide to Pain Management for Returning Veterans and Their Families” offers veterans and their families vital information for their pain journey.
PainAid — An Online Support Community
PainAid is APF’s online support community featuring regularly-scheduled live chats each week, 100+ message boards, and “Ask-the-Expert” sessions moderated by licensed health care professionals. Membership in the online forum is free for chronic pain patients and their caregivers and loved ones. Topics range from illness-specific pain, traditional and complementary treatments, to depression and family matters, as well as financial/legal issues such as disability and workers compensation.
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