In News & Blog, Opinion, Vivian's Corner

Each month Vivian Garcia, long time Peer mentor and organizer of the Surrey City Centre SCI BC Peer Coffee Group, puts together a newsletter about upcoming Surrey events, opportunities, and important information for people living with SCI—featured here in Vivian’s Corner.

vivians-corner surrey 2019

This edition of Vivian’s Corner highlights: 

Connection and Loneliness
Pain and Pain Management

Click here to download the full July 2019 newsletter.


Although the idea that loneliness can cause emotional distress is not new, it is only within the last decade or so that researchers have begun to gain a true sense of the physical impact of loneliness and develop insights into its biological underpinnings, says an article from University Affairs.

There are a number of resources and articles that exist in regards to loneliness and solitude, here are some examples:

CBC – Feeling Lonely? You’re Not Alone…
Angus Reid Institute – A Portrait of Social Isolation and Loneliness in Canada Today
TED X – The Most Important Lesson from 83,000 Brain Scans
SCI BC’s Peer Support Program

Our Indo-Canadian Surrey Coffee Group leader, Amit Sharma, has also found meditation to be a useful mental health tool. One of his favourite methods of meditation is through the Oak Meditation and Breathing App which helps users with meditation, breathing, sleep and tracking progress. Here is more info about the app.



with Heather Lamb, MSW

SCI BC’s Information Resource Specialist, Heather Lamb, shares info on loneliness vs solitude; and pain

What is the difference between loneliness and solitude? Here’s a good explanation from Psychology Today: Loneliness is marked by a sense of isolation. Solitude, on the other hand, is a state of being alone without being lonely and can lead to self-awareness…Solitude restores body and mind. Loneliness depletes them.

What about pain? When you talk about pain, what specifically are you looking for, and when are you looking for it? At the time of injury or afterward? Here are some good sites for SCI-related nerve pain:

Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center – Factsheets on Pain after Spinal Cord Injury
SCIRE Community – Pain after Spinal Cord Injury
CRAIG – Pain Management
Pain BC
Living with SCI – Pain

Some key takeaways from these sites include:

  • Pain is a common health concern after spinal cord injury (SCI).
  • Pain can come from any part of the body, including the muscles, joints, organs, skin, and nerves.
  • Nerve pain from an SCI is called neuropathic pain, and is a common cause of chronic pain after SCI.
  • There are a wide range of treatments for pain, including mind-body treatments, physical treatments, medications, and surgeries
  • Managing pain after SCI can be challenging. You may need to try several strategies before you find what works best for you.

For more information on any of these topics, call SCI BC’s InfoLine: 1-800-689-2477, toll-free: 9 am–5 pm, Monday–Friday. Or contact us via email at

Thanks for reading Vivian’s Corner! Download the full version here for more articles and Peer stories, and be sure to join the next Surrey Bean There Coffee Group on July 3, 2019.

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