Inaugural Guest Speakers training day proves that chronic pain won’t be silenced
“Great pain explanation” and enjoying “the interaction with very strong women” were some of the comments made by participants who attended the inaugural "Give Silent Pain a Voice" training day held Saturday 21/5/2011 in our Board room at Parramatta.
Give Silent Pain a Voice, or "GiSPaV" as it is becoming affectionately known, is a new program set up by Chronic Pain Australia which aims to reduce the social barriers for people in pain through the provision of guest speakers.
The day was attended by six participants who, along with the organisers, experience chronic pain. Conditions represented included fibromyalgia, back pain, migraine and some very unusual, often hard to diagnose, conditions. Ages ranged from early 20’s debunking the myth that young people do not experience chronic pain.
Pain physiology, public speaking principles and resources, dealing with difficult questions and a practice speaking exercise were all included in the day. Discussion was lively raising several key issues around chronic pain such as disbelief, being viewed as having a purely psychological problem, difficulty getting a diagnosis or being able to access rehab. However many positives were discussed including helpful doctors and health care teams and the personal growth which can occur through the experience of learning how to manage pain.
The day finished with drinks at the Chronic Pain Australia office which enabled the group to continue sharing ideas and bonding which was summed up by one participant advising that they enjoyed the “social interaction, peer support and sharing of ideas”.
“I was impressed by the high calibre of the group” Deidre Pinder, GiSPaV Manager, said. “Several were highly qualified and experienced with some currently studying, working or volunteering.”
“It debunks the myth that individuals living with chronic pain are malingers as in reality we are talking about high achievers who simply want to live a full life and contribute” Coralie wales, President of Chronic Pain Australia added.
“With their wealth of knowledge” Deidre concludes "GiSPaV will be able to provide excellent guest speakers for a wide range of audiences".
Chronic Pain Australia will be running future GiSPaV workshops for further volunteers interested in becoming guest speakers or in other roles involved in the program.
Our now trained guest speakers are keen to undertake speaking engagements. Any groups interested in engaging one of our guest speakers can contact the Chronic Pain Australia office on 1800 218 921 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to download a speaker engagement form.
Thanks to Grunenthal and CSL Laboratories for supporting this project.