Pain Support ACT is a health promotion charity and health consumer organisation incorporated in the ACT. It provides support, information and advocacy for people in the Canberra region with chronic pain.
Pain Support’s activities are broad. The organisation runs regular Expert speaker meetings, Coffee meetings and Support and Information meetings, which include exchange of experience and ideas. It provides an informative quarterly member newsletter with articles and local events, along with email updates between meetings.
A Committee of management operates the organisation with a focus on responsible management and ensuring that we provide the best possible assistance for members and for all who can benefit from our events and activities.
The mission of Pain Support ACT is to promote the well-being and health of people living with chronic or persistent pain, their families and carers, in the ACT and region
Our vision is a society where all people with persistent or chronic pain are treated with respect and have timely access to high quality, evidence-based services and community support to help them to improve their health and well-being.
In working with and for people with chronic pain, the following values guide Pain Support ACT in its work:
• respect, recognition and support for people with pain, their carers and family;
• listening, learning and acknowledging the experience of people with pain;
• the importance of evidence-based practice in pain management;
• the importance of positivity and empowerment for people with pain;
• the value of education in enabling people to self-manage their situation;
• recognition of successes when people no longer need our support;
• the value of PSACT as a community support, not a medical support;
• the importance of advocacy and collaboration with others in the community; and
• accountability and responsiveness in our operation.
Code of Conduct
The aim of this policy is to set out a code of conduct for members of the Committee of Management of Pain Support ACT and Members of the organisation to promote the philosophy and values of the organisation as well as to support a harmonious and respectful environment for the activities of the organisation.
The Management Committee is responsible for ensuring that the code of conduct is followed throughout the organisation.
Members of the Management Committee are to:
- Uphold the vision, mission, values and philosophy[i] of the association.
- Respect and value the views and opinions of Committee Members and Members.
- Be responsible and accountable and act legally.
- Work as a member of a team and give and receive constructive feedback.
- Recognise that members are dealing with pain and respect their ability to contribute as best they can.
- Not give individual medical or professional advice to members or participants.
- Check the safety of the environment in which workshops and meetings are held. Ensure meetings and workshops are held in a safe place.
- Ensure that people’s health requirements are respected at meetings. Ensure meetings are held in an environment where people can be comfortable.
- Observe all the rules of the organisation including those set out in the Constitution[ii], the Associations Incorporation Act[iii] and relevant policies endorsed by the Committee
- Represent the organisation in a positive manner by not undertaking any activity that may cause a conflict of interest which could reflect on Pain Support ACT in a negative way.
- Respect the confidentiality of Members’ experiences and stories.
- Not engage in any activity that is illegal, for example, bully or harass members or participants.
- Exercise honesty and respectfulness when dealing with situations of conflict in the organisation, focussing on the issue and not the individual and refrain from negative and intolerant gossip.
- Use willingness and a commitment to working towards conflict resolution processes. Conflict is to be resolved through mediation and discussion.
Policy Approved July 2016. Footnotes:
[i] Please refer to The Pain Support ACT Constitution in its most recent form, plus the Vision, Mission and Values statements of Pain Support ACT.
[ii] See item 1 immediately above.
[iii] ACT Associations Incorporation Act 1991, which may be located in its current form at http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/a/1991-46/current/pdf/1991-46.pdf Note at the date of approval of this policy in mid 2016 the last date of publication of the ACT was effective 29 June 2016.
Mediation and Conflict Resolution
The aim of this policy is to provide an avenue through which members, volunteers and Members of the Management Committee can resolve issues as they arise.
This organization encourages its members and volunteers to resolve any issues or concerns that they may have at the earliest opportunity. The preferred process is to resolve issues to the satisfaction of all parties, internally, without feeling that they have to refer to external organisations or authorities for assistance.
The Management Committee is responsible for ensuring that this policy is promoted and followed in the organization.
Grievance — a grievance in this context means a complaint that one person has against another person or group of people
Conflict resolution the resolution of any dispute between parties undertaken in the spirit of reconsolidation
Anti-discrimination — actions, policies or procedures taken to avoid discrimination against individuals
Mediation — a facilitated process used to negotiate a resolution to a dispute or grievance.
This policy applies to all management group members, volunteers and members of the organization. This policy may be better understood in relation to other policies of Pain Support ACT.[i]
Principles to be followed when conflicts arise
All complaints need to be handled promptly and with transparency. The following principles must be adhered to in the conflict resolution process:
- Respect for another’s point of view
Each party involved should show respect for the other’s right to disagree.
- A commitment to resolving the issue and willingness to compromise
The parties involved should be willing to resolve the problem by being open to all proposals and suggestions and should be prepared to compromise.
Other people in the organisation should not have access to information on the conflict, unless they are directly involved or are handling the grievance.
[i] Reference to the following policies could be valuable: The Code of Conduct policy and the Values statement.
Policy approved July 2016