Chronic Pain Support Group
Friday, February 14, 2020 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Ashland Support Group Part of National Network Taking Aim at the Isolation and Suffering of Chronic Pain Ashland, Ohio – May 23, 2019 –Living with chronic pain can be an incredibly isolating and difficult experience, regardless of age, location, or income. Studies show that people who experience daily pain are more prone to anxiety, depression, and even suicide. But it does not have to be that way. Led by Cindy Dawson of Ashland, Ohio, a support group that meets monthly at Ashland Public Library at 224 Claremont Avenue is helping alleviate the myriad of struggles faced by individuals with chronic pain. Dawson draws on her own experiences with osteoarthritis, migraines, and back pain to help educate and encourage attendees. Participants attend the meetings to discuss coping with everything from dealing with having chronic pain, losing the ability to work, learning to pace oneself, grief process, relationship challenges and developing Relapse Prevention plans. They also learn about techniques and tools like meditation, visualization, breathing techniques, acupressure and more. The support group is part of a national network created through U.S. Pain Foundation, the largest advocacy organization in the country dedicated to serving people with chronic pain. Through U.S. Pain’s Pain Connection program, led by Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW, clinical director and social worker, who lives with chronic pain herself, volunteers go through an intensive training to become effective leaders for local support groups. The program has helped kick start and support 10 support groups nationwide, and also offer three monthly support groups via conference call called Pain Connection Live for those who cannot make a meeting in person or as an adjunct to their treatment plan. Significant others are encouraged to attend group sessions and conference calls. “Even after the intensive training, monthly conference calls are held for the group leaders to provide support and deal with group issues that arise. I wish I had a support group with a trained leader. It would have saved me years of suffering alone,” says Herman. After completing the training program, support group leaders return to their communities ready to establish and head up a support group for other people with chronic pain. The leaders use their own experiences with chronic health conditions to facilitate dialogue and understanding among group members, and nurture the sense of community that can be so valuable. “Many people with intractable pain are having their opioid prescriptions either tapered or cut out altogether due to the unintended consequences of the 2016 release of their opioid prescribing guidelines. There has to be a replacement for this lost treatment option and a chronic pain support group can facilitate new ways for the patient to cope with chronic pain,” says Dawson. The group, which meets at the Ashland Public Library at 224 Claremont Avenue on the 2nd Friday of the month from 3pm to 4pm beginning on June 14, 2019, has plans to create an accepting environment and reduce stigma of being a person with chronic pain. But above all, its purpose is to serve as a resource for chronic pain patients in the local community. ### U.S. Pain Foundation is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to serving those who live with pain conditions and their care providers. It offers dozens of programs and services designed to empower, educate, connect, and advocate for people living with conditions that cause pain. Learn more at https://uspainfoundation.org/.
Locally, contact Cindy Dawson at 419-606-9821
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