Message from the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health on International Pain Awareness Month


September 25, 2023 | Ottawa, Ontario | Health Canada

This month was International Pain Awareness Month, a time dedicated to improving our understanding of chronic pain, an often invisible condition that affects one in five Canadians across the country. That's roughly eight million Canadians, ranging from children to older adults, whose quality of life can be severely impacted for months, even years, because of pain. It could be your family, your friends or your neighbours who are silently struggling.

We have to recognize that chronic pain can take a heavy toll on people's mental and physical health. It can force people to give up the activities that they enjoy, making them feel isolated and alone. And, when pain goes unmanaged, it can sometimes lead people to turn to harmful ways to manage their pain like higher-risk substance use.

Improving our health system's capacity to better understand, prevent and manage chronic pain is imperative. That's why in 2019, our government established the Canadian Pain Task Force (CPTF). In March 2021, the Task Force released its final report – An Action Plan for Pain in Canada – which identified priority actions to make sure chronic pain is effectively understood and treated in Canada. We are also supporting Pain Canada – an initiative dedicated to coordinating national efforts and mobilizing resources for Canadians living with pain.

We are working to provide resources and support for health providers and people living with pain in managing this complex health condition. That includes working with people living with pain, pain experts, and other key stakeholders, to help better support those living with chronic pain.

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 Ya'ara Saks, P.C., M.P.


Alexander Fernandes
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Ya'ara Saks
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada

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