Special scholarships are available to eligible U.S. Pain volunteers to attend a two-day training program for support group leaders on March 2-4 in Phoenix, AZ. Two additional trainings will be held in Chicago and New York later this year.

Run by Pain Connection, a program of U.S. Pain, the trainings are designed to teach professionals/peer leaders to work with individuals with chronic pain in a group setting. The trainers are: Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW, clinical director of Pain Connection, and Cindy Steinberg, U.S. Pain’s national director of policy and advocacy. The training provides education on the psychosocial aspects of chronic pain, the ABC’s of starting and running a support group. group work process, program development, and leadership, as well as receiving support for the chronic pain support group leaders.

The number of scholarships available for U.S. Pain volunteers for the March 2-4 training is limited and applications are due tomorrow, Friday, February 2nd. If you are interested in facilitating a U.S. Pain support group in your state and would like to attend, please fill out the application following paperwork by Feb. 2 and email it to gwenn@uspainfoundation.org. The scholarship for U.S. Pain volunteers includes a $400 travel stipend, the cost of hotels, the cost of breakfast and lunches, and the cost of the training.

Please note that volunteers from the following states have first priority when applying; other states will have first priority for future trainings: AK, WA, OR, CA, HI, ID, NV, MT, WY, CO, NM, ND, SD, NE, KS, OK, TX.

Since attending the Connecticut Pain Connection training, Bobbi Blades, now runs a successful support group in New Hampshire.  About the training, Blades says: “Gwenn and the other teachers were most inspiring by their pure examples of how to live a good life, even with chronic pain.”

Blades felt the resources given to her during the training were extremely helpful and have been useful as she leads her support group. Blades “loves to see the whole process of people helping one another with information, resources, and experiences. We learn so much from each other. I hope our groups will help our communities create a healing society.”