Health has always been a major part of my life – working in hospital, non-government health organisations and private specialist clinics in a variety of administrative roles; part & full-time complementary health practice (bodywork modalities; taiji & qigong; energy rebalancing); as well as long-term personal experience of chronic pain.
I am one of the founding members of Pain Support ACT (PSACT), as well as on the PSACT and now PSACT Inc Steering Committees.
An expression of interest meeting was held in October 2010 from which Pain Support ACT (PSACT) was formed. Its aim: support, information and advocacy for people in Canberra & surrounding region with chronic pain, their family and carers.
Over the years we have received assistance from other support organisations enabling the new organisation to focus on establishing discussion as well as expert speaker meetings, without the need to divert precious energy to fundraising. The core PSACT members have chronic pain so the freedom to just arrange meetings has always been greatly appreciated. The first Steering Committee was established mid-2012. January 2015 – Incorporation: Pain Support ACT has come of age and is now a support and advocacy group in its own right. Funding is still via donation and some small community grants.
Advocacy directly with local public and private health areas to promote the impact of chronic pain is an important part of PSACT Inc’s function. There are other pain organisations which work at a federal level, however we have also been invited to have input on some federal initiatives.
Suzanne's other projects, advocacy and groups:
Alzheimer’s Australia ACT press conference - Australian Pain Management Association representative July 2012
Australian Medical Council focus group on the Royal Australasian College of Physicians' education and training programs: Australian Pain Management Association & PSACT representative 2014.
Submission to the Health Protection Services "Controlled Medicines Prescribing Standards"
Meditation for chronic pain - talks and demonstrations at various PSACT meetings
Contributor to Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) discussions on Linkedin, particularly for the review of the World Health Organisation's 10th International Classification of Disease (ICD) Code. In 1994 chronic pain was listed in the ICD for the first time, under mental and behavioural disorders. In the current Review process recognition of chronic pain as a primary symptom is being sought by moving it into its own category with a separate coding number. Hopefully this move will provide greater awareness, research & education into the very real issues around debility caused by chronic pain.
Established in the mid-late 1800s, the 11th ICD Code will be due in 2017.
PSACT Inc contact details: membership & meetings
Support group member: Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia (ACT CFS/ME Society)