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Chronic Pain Awareness Month art competition

The following is intended for use as a media release for CPANZ (Chronic Pain Awareness NZ) and the art competition that is run yearly to promote awareness of chronic pain conditions.
It’s a virtual competition, run through www.painmonth.co.nz and our facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/144794125543979/?ref=ts#!/permalink.php?story_fbid=344530538966665&id=146536915432696¬if_t=like

Media Release
CPANZ has run an annual art competition, during the month of September, since 2010. Hannah Gross started it in order to provide a voice for those with chronic pain, having herself lived with fibromyalgia since the age of 16. Hannah was inspired to act after travelling to America for treatment and seeing the disparity between the ways Chronic Pain patients are handled there compared to here in New Zealand.

Building on the realisation that the people with chronic pain are highly creative, We chose art as a means of expression for them, and as a safe way of opening up conversation about Chronic Pain, what it is, how it actually affects those who live with it, and the impact on their friends and family.

Pfizer has done the first study of Chronic Pain specific to New Zealand, making 2012 a significant year for Chronic Pain in New Zealand. The report can be found both on the Pfizer and Arthritis NZ websites. It revealed that one in eight New Zealanders suffer from some form of Chronic Pain. Some, like arthritis, are better known, but all are significant and impact the quality of life, the ability to work and socialise, to do household chores and keep up with family commitments.

This year, as before, the art competition is open to all mediums, all styles, and everyone with an experience of chronic pain. Photographs of the pieces are posted on the CPANZ website and facebook page on a daily basis, and are open to voting from others involved. The piece with the most votes at the end of each day gets a daily prize, and the piece with the most votes at the end of the competition wins the Peoples Choice award. Our judges deliberate at the end of the competition, 12am on the 1st of October. The competition is run as a virtual event as those with Chronic Pain often find leaving their houses a huge challenge

This year the charity auction will be held at Hard Luck Café on K’rd. We will be auctioning all artworks offered by the artist for inclusion, and if their piece sells the artist gets to choose which Pain Charity the proceeds go to. This provides an opportunity for the artists to gain some exposure for themselves and their work, and hopefully, as in previous years, we can attract some high profile buyers to this year’s event.

Hannah and CPANZ would love to invite you to join in with the competition. During the two year course of this competition Hannah has done radio interviews and there have been a few small print articles. Recently Hannah also made an appearance on Breakfast TV promoting the Pfizer report on Chronic Pain. The reaction they, and we, got from that 5 minute slot was huge. For the next month Hannah received email after email from ordinary Kiwis who finally felt comfortable to talk about their condition for the first time. We would love to be able to build on that momentum while it is there. The report revealed that one in every eight New Zealanders lives with some form of Chronic Pain, so there is a good chance that you know someone who is affected, even though they may not talk about it. The Pfizer report also revealed that only 50% of people with Chronic Pain are receiving treatment for their conditions. We need to get information out to these people so they can live a more active, fulfilled life, and realise they are not alone in their situation.

Hannah is very motivated to share the knowledge she has accumulated over the last 14 years living with multiple Chronic Pain conditions. Doing the Breakfast TV interview was a great experience because it allowed Hannah to see the attitudes of the interviewers change as they encountered an accurate definition and portrayal of life with a Chronic Pain condition for the first time.

We’re a small organisation, our profile is growing however, and we have good exposure, with our competition expanding every year. We are actively looking to expand the circle of those who know about the competition. It is hard to bare your soul in a piece of art, and pain is a challenging subject to talk about, so we want to support those with conditions so they are comfortable with being honest about their conditions; and educate those without Chronic Pain so they better understand what sufferers are going through.

ends

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