Pain BC launches Basics For Health program—help beyond the doctor’s office

November 02, 2014

November 2-8, 2014 is National Pain Awareness Week; here in British Columbia, Pain BC is raising awareness about persistent pain like never before. As one respondent recently shared with Pain BC in an online survey conducted by Catalyst Research Group in October, "Chronic pain is very difficult to deal with alone. The supports created by Pain BC are invaluable."

This week marks the launch of a very special program, specifically designed to help people in pain and their families connect with much-needed resources outside the doctor's office. Pain BC has partnered with the Basics for Health Society to create Pain BC's Basics for Health (B4H) program. This free program helps people in pain tackle life's big challenges such as income tax filing, child or elder care services, employment security, housing services, assistance with forms, and more. Health care providers can only do so much—often patients face difficulties in order to meet their basic, everyday needs. This program supports doctors who wish to help, but lack the time or knowledge to address the social needs that have an effect on their patients' overall health.

"Pain BC's partnership with Basics for Health will further our goals: to empower people living in pain, to help them better navigate the health care system, and to reduce the impacts of pain in all aspects of their lives."—Maria Hudspith, Executive Director

This new program fills a large gap as chronic pain continues to affect 1 in 5 Canadian adults. The Canadian Pain Coalition's recent survey shows that on average, many have been living with pain for almost 6 years. Many also face daunting socio-economic challenges.

"Chronic pain can be a debilitating condition that can reduce a person's ability to complete even the simplest tasks," said Health Minister Terry Lake. "The launch of this new program builds on the valuable work Pain BC is already doing to engage with patients and health care providers to improve supports and resources for B.C.'s chronic pain patients."

The Basics for Health Society is a new organization aiming to support patients living with complex, chronic conditions throughout BC. For Pain BC's Basics for Health program, the Society and Pain BC have partnered to offer targeted support to people in pain. This program is supported by a recent $1M grant to Pain BC from the Ministry of Health.

Co-founded by Dr. Vanessa Brcic, Sarah Dobson, and Manjit Chand, the Basics for Health program is based on the successful Health Leads USA model. In collaboration with health care and social service providers, Pain BC's Basics for Health program advocates on behalf of patients, enables connection to community resources, and follows up with people in pain and their families. A team of trained volunteers is available to help with the socio-economic needs of chronic pain patients via telephone and online support across the province, 10am-2pm, Monday to Friday. Referral forms are available online for people in pain, friends, family members, and health care professionals.

Pain BC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of people living with persistent pain through education, empowerment and innovation. For more information, please visit the new Pain BC's Basics for Health webpage. To arrange an interview, please contact Maria Hudspith, Pain BC Executive Director at or 604.349.0150 or Dr. Vanessa Brcic, Basics for Health Board Chair and co-founder at