Message from the Minister of Health and Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health on National Pain Awareness Week

Statement

November 7, 2022|Ottawa, ON|Health Canada

"This week is National Pain Awareness Week (NPAW) in Canada, an opportunity to learn about chronic pain, the programs and services that are available, and the steps we can take to better support those living with it.

Nearly eight million Canadians live with chronic pain, which can be defined as pain that lasts more than three months, and is recognized as a disease by the World Health Organization.

Just like many diseases, chronic pain can affect people of all ages and that can take a significant toll on a person's physical and mental health. It can also severely affect people's quality of life, preventing them from socializing, doing activities they enjoy, or even working.

As chronic pain is often an invisible condition, family, friends, and even healthcare providers may not understand or believe that the pain is real. Some people living with chronic pain experience stigma and may have trouble accessing health services, decide not to bother seeking support, or could try to hide their pain.

We recognize the challenges faced by Canadians living with chronic pain and continue to work to help them. Trades workers, for example, often experience chronic pain, which can lead to substance use. The Government of Canada has made important investments to ensure that targeted messages reach men working in physically demanding jobs, to provide the resources and support they need, and to reduce the stigma surrounding help-seeking.

In 2021, the Canadian Pain Task Force concluded its mandate and provided recommendations on priority actions for pain in Canada. As the Government of Canada continues to coordinate its response to those recommendations, we have already provided more than $16.5 million in funding through the Substance Use and Addictions Program to support chronic pain projects across the country.

Individuals with long-term conditions such as chronic pain are twice as likely to experience depression and anxiety when compared to the general population, which can further increase pain. If you or a loved one needs mental health and substance use support, free and confidential resources are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from Wellness Together Canada. You can also call Talk Suicide Canada at 1-833-456-4566 for suicide prevention and crisis support, or the Hope for Wellness line at 1-855-242-3310 to access services tailored to Indigenous communities.

This week, help us reduce the impacts of chronic pain by learning more about it and reaching out to someone you may know who experiences this condition. By raising awareness about chronic pain, we can help ensure that those who live with it receive the supports they need to manage their pain and lead fuller lives."

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, P.C., M.P.

Contacts

Marie-France Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
613-957-0200

Maja Staka
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health
343-552-5568

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada
613-957-2983
media@hc-sc.gc.ca

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