How to Advocate for Chronic Pain

Two dozen pain advocates gathered in Dallas this past weekend as part of the U.S. Pain Foundation Pain Ambassador Advocacy Summit.

The goal is to train more pain patients and their loved ones to communicate with policy makers, elected officials and journalists—all of them or at least some of them.

Most believe—and especially those who attended this weekend’s session—that the story of the pain patient is best told by the pain patient—and a lot of the weekend was spent telling and refining the patient stories.

As we moved around the room, we heard some very interesting “topics” from the advocates.

“How do I advocate for my children who are in pain?”

“I think I was fired because of my chronic pain?”

“My family just doesn’t get my chronic pain.”

“Prepare yourself—when you tell your story, not everyone will get it.”

“I can do advocacy from my bed.”

As the weekend ended and the advocacy training concluded, U.S. Pain Foundation outlined some tasks to help participants practice their advocacy skills.

  • Follow your state/federal lawmakers on social media
  • Schedule in-person meeting with your U. S. Senator and/or Congressional Representative aides…to educate them on chronic pain and discuss best practices report.

U.S. Pain will continue to support active advocates.

Advocates who want to be navigating through the issues at the state and federal levels were trained.

They were made aware of the policy successes that U.S. Pain has enjoyed and the issues going forward that are important to chronic pain patients, their loved ones and the elected officials that represent them.

As President Obama once declared, “Democracy is not a spectator sport,” and that AIDS activists argued that changing stigma to compromise changed the discussion about issues we care about.

Do you know who your Congressional representative is?

Do you know who your state representative is?

Let us know.

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