September is Pain Awareness Month and the American Pain Foundation invites you to join us in sounding the alarm in communities across the country about the barriers to accessing appropriate and effective pain management and the desperate need for better pain care. This year’s campaign, Conquering Pain Together, includes a first National Day of Action on September 26, which is designed to encourage a unified effort by generating widespread awareness about the undertreatment of pain and the tremendous barriers to optimal care through:
- community events,
- local media outreach,
- meetings with legislators and other key decision makers, organized by pain advocates, and
- an online petition to declare, “I COMMIT to improving appropriate and effective pain care for all!”
We need you! Perhaps your organization is already planning Pain Awareness Month activities. If so, please let us know so we can help promote your outreach and advocacy. If not, we invite you to check out the Conquering Pain Together website where you will find the petition and a toolkit chock full of template materials, resources and ideas to help you plan, promote and conduct successful Pain Awareness Month activities.
Easy ways you can help:
- Post the link to the “I commit petition” on your website and encourage your members to sign on: http://action.painfoundation.org/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=306.
- Help raise awareness by inserting an article about September – Pain Awareness Month on your website or in your newsletter. A hallmark of many chronic conditions, pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. Click here for more pain facts.
- Send September Pain Awareness Public Service Announcements to your local radio stations.
- Include in your communication with your members, the TEN THINGS YOU CAN DO TO RAISE AWARENESS IN TEN MINUTES.
- If you are having a conference or gathering, integrate suggested activities and resources provided in the Conquering Pain Together Toolkit.
American Pain Foundation’s Power Over Pain Action Network of leaders and advocates will be carrying out activities throughout September. Click here to see what activities are planned in your state (by APF and other groups/organizations), such as: public and professional presentations (i.e. at churches, hospitals and conferences), distribution of information and materials far and wide, pitching PSAs and articles, gaining and leveraging engagement from the government and other organizations through state and city PAM proclamations, promoting a national resolution to support PAM by the League of Women Voters and spreading the word through social networking. As pain knows no boundaries, the broad range of events and the communities we reach will demonstrate that diversity is our strength! Regardless of its size, EVERY activity has the potential to have a positive impact.
While we recognize that pain management may not be the primary focus of your organization, we believe that you support the right of people in pain to timely, appropriate and effective pain care. Please unite with us to promote this basic health care right by forwarding a message to your members, peers, family and friends asking them to sign the petition. The more people who sign this petition, the more impact the petition will have to convince our decision-makers to make policy choices that work to improve access to good pain care. Together, we can change minds and hearts!
If you have any questions or would like more information, feel free to contact me or the
Conquering Pain Together Campaign team.
Mary Bennett, MFA
Director of Grass Roots Advocacy
American Pain Foundation