Government of Canada announces over $5 million to enhance support for people living with chronic pain and to expand the Pain Canada Network

Press Release

From: Health Canada

November 7, 2022

Nearly eight million Canadians live with chronic pain, which is recognized as a disease by the World Health Organization. Chronic pain can affect people of all ages, and can take a significant toll on a person’s physical and mental health. It can also affect people’s quality of life, preventing them from socializing, doing activities they enjoy, or even working. Some populations in Canada, such as women, seniors, veterans and Indigenous populations, are disproportionally affected by chronic pain.

Today, as part of National Pain Awareness Week, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced funding for the expansion of the Pain Canada Network by the Pain BC Society (Pain BC) as well as enhanced supports for people living with chronic pain both in British Columbia and across Canada.

Funding of up to $4.5 million over five years has been approved for Pain BC’s project entitled: “Developing a Pain Canada Network and Expanding Best Practice Education and Training Programs Across Canada”. This initiative will expand the Pain Canada Network, enhance national collaboration, scale up best practices and expand resources available for people living with chronic pain.

Pain BC is also receiving more than $520,000 over 18 months for their project “Making Sense of Pain: An Intersectional Program Adaptation and Pilot”. This project will help improve access to care and services for people in British Columbia’s 2SLGBTQIA+ as well as Chinese, Punjabi and Arabic speaking communities who are living with chronic pain.

The Government of Canada is committed to better understanding, preventing and managing chronic pain. By advancing these efforts, we can help to enhance the mental well-being and quality of life for people with chronic pain and those who help care for them.


“Chronic pain interferes with day-to-day activities and being able to fully participate in the things one loves to do. Our Government is committed to helping Canadians living with this often invisible medical condition by continuing our work with people who live with pain, as well as our partners and stakeholders supporting them. Today’s funding to Pain BC for the expansion of the Pain Canada network, will help many Canadians affected by chronic pain access services and resources that can bring them relief and help them live fuller, happier lives.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett,

Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health

“This investment will continue the momentum created by decades of tireless advocacy, the work of the Canadian Pain Task Force, and by the thousands of stakeholders across the country who engaged with it over its three year mandate. This is an important step towards ensuring all people with pain in Canada have access to the support, care and connection they need, no matter where they live in this country.”

Maria Hudspith

Executive Director, Pain BC

Quick facts

  • Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts or recurs for more than three months. People living with chronic pain often face a wide range of physical, emotional and social challenges. It can also prevent some individuals from taking part in everyday activities. The pain may first emerge as a symptom of an injury or other health condition, but it can also occur without another underlying illness or injury. The World Health Organization now recognizes chronic pain as a disease and not just a symptom of something else.
  • Through the “Making Sense of Pain” project announced today, people experiencing pain, mental health issues, substance use harms, and other forms of social and economic marginalization will have access to a ten-week in-person self-management program. Funding for this project comes from Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP). The “Pain Canada Network” project will also increase access to pain education and mentorship opportunities for health professionals, and provide information regarding chronic pain and early interventions. Funding for this project comes from Health Canada’s Health Care Policy and Strategies Program (HCPSP). The HCPSP provides contribution funding for projects that improve the accessibility, quality, sustainability and accountability of Canada’s health system.
  • In addition to funding announced today, the federal government has invested more than $184 million since 2016 in pain-related research through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and has supported 17 pain-related projects worth over $22.5 million through Health Canada’s SUAP.

Associated links


Maja Staka
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and
Associate Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada


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