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Chronic Pain Australia Wins Best Consumer Awareness Campaign

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Chronic Pain Australia

Chronic Pain Australia wins Painaustralia and Pain Foundation Pinnacles Pain Sector Award for Best Consumer Awareness Campaign for National Pain Week 2023. 

Chronic pain is an invisible condition that affects 3.6 million Australians. Not-for-profit body Chronic Pain Australia is the voice of Australians living with the debilitating condition. 

Each year, Chronic Pain Australia runs the National Pain Survey, asking Australians about the challenges they face in managing their condition. 

In 2023, communications partner Agenda C worked with Chronic Pain Australia to identify how the consumer advocacy body could reach more people living with chronic pain, encouraging them to make themselves heard through the National Pain Survey. 

The partners identified that men were much less likely than women to speak about their experience of chronic pain because they saw admitting to pain as a sign of weakness. 

In order to encourage more men to answer the National Pain Survey and empower them to speak publicly about their experience, Agenda C created a campaign that would appeal to men as well as to the broader pain community. 

The ‘Let Them Know How Strong You Are’ campaign recognised that people living with chronic pain carry an invisible burden. As a consequence, normal, everyday activities that people without pain take for granted require much more strength of people living with chronic pain. If people around them knew that they were carrying this invisible burden, they would realise that people living with chronic pain aren’t weak, but incredibly strong. 

Related: Opinion: Chronic Pain Attracts Federal Spotlight

The ‘Let Them Know How Strong You Are’ campaign was rolled out across social media, with special targeting to people identifying as male. Reaching out through forums such as Reddit, which skews male, the campaign was able to reach a greater number of men and increase responses to the National Pain Survey from people identifying as male in 2023. 

Drawing on the real lived experiences faced by the community every day and insights gained from the 2023 National Pain Survey the subsequent National Pain Week campaign highlighted the findings.  The survey revealed the vicious cycle of chronic pain, in which one symptom can lead to another, creating a cycle of social, physical and psychological pain, that often results in isolation and despair. 

The voices of people living with chronic pain were heard by over 6.7 million people.  We asked the chronic pain community to come together and share their #painchanger stories of chronic pain management and conducted webinars and social media outreach with the insights from the National Pain Survey. 

By raising awareness of the lived experiences faced by people living with chronic pain, the National Pain Survey has become a trusted source of information for policymakers and the media, contributing to national healthcare discussions and supporting work that is underway across the Government, peak bodies and the healthcare industry.  

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Pearl Dy is a community manager and journalist. She is passionate about business and development particularly involving not-for-profits, charity and social entrepreneurship.

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