The ACHH Initiative is committed to fully understanding the complexities of how Indigenous youth’s pain and hurt is expressed and treated, but our work doesn’t end there. We are also taking steps to find better ways to help clinicians support youth in conveying their hurt. An important piece of this puzzle is incorporating traditional, Indigenous ways of healing and self-management. Addressing this issue from multiple perspectives is crucial to finding long-lasting solutions.
Indigenous youth participants told us the pain assessment processes used in hospitals and clinics do not resonate with them. Instead they prefer to communicate their pain through storytelling. Based on this finding we began the development of a more interactive way to measure pain that will be easier and more culturally-relevant for Indigenous youth to use in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms.