A recording is now available of U.S. Pain Foundation’s Nov. 26 panel discussion, “Chronic pain and the risk of suicide: A staggering crisis and what to do about it.”
The event was prompted by a study published this September in the Annals of Internal Medicine, which found that more than 10 percent of suicide cases in the United States involve chronic pain. Panelists discussed reasons behind this statistic, offer tips for coping with the mental health challenges pain creates, and gave suggestions for how clinicians and caregivers can help.
Meet the panel:
Robert Rosenbaum, PhD
Robert Rosenbaum, PhD, is a clinical neuropsychologist, psychotherapist, a Zen practice leader and senior teacher of Dayan Qigong. He brings a lifetime of practice to the moment-by-moment harmonization of body, mind, and spirit. Dr. Rosenbaum has been a Fulbright Professor at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience in India, chief psychologist at Kaiser Permanente, and director of a California Institute of Integral Studies psychology training program. His most recent books are Walking the Way: 81 Zen Encounters with the Tao Te Ching and What’s Wrong with Mindfulness (And What Isn’t). He currently resides in the San Francisco area.
Daniel Lev, PhD
After receiving his PhD in 1994 from the Wright Institute Graduate School of Clinical Psychology, Dr. Lev ran a private practice and worked as a part-time instructor in graduate clinical education and as director of the Family Counseling Center at Haight-Ashbury Psychological Services. He began work as a behavioral medicine/health psychologist in 1995 at Children’s Hospital-Oakland. Eventually, he took a position at Pain and Rehabilitative Consultants Medical Group in 2000 and transferred to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in 2002, where he worked closely with other providers in two different Interdisciplinary Pain Programs (Oakland and Vallejo). Since the early 1990s, Dr. Lev has trained in and practiced clinical hypnosis and meditation, specializing in hypnoanalgesia. In 2008, he became certified as a consultant by the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis. In 2014, he relocated to Hawaii, where he presently runs the Comfort Clinic and am chief psychologist for a chronic pain program in Kaneohe and Honolulu. He’s also an adjunct faculty member at Argosy University. In addition, Dr. Lev is author of “You are Bigger than the Pain,” a self-help book for people in chronic pain.
Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW
Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW, a social worker by training, has lived with chronic pain for 23 years due to a motor vehicle accident. Frustrated by the lack of resources for people with pain, in 1999, she founded Pain Connection, a national network of chronic pain support groups, support group leader trainings, and more. In 2016, Pain Connection joined forces with U.S. Pain Foundation and has continued to expand its offerings. In 2009, Herman co-authored the book, Making the Invisible Visible: Chronic Pain Manual for Health Care Providers. In 2018, Herman was appointed to the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, the highest-ranking pain policy oversight committee in the country. She also recently received a grant from the Massage Therapy Foundation to study the effect of massage on the need for pain medications. Herman currently lives in Arizona with her husband and has a private psychotherapy practice in Tucson.