Peer support groups for people living with chronic pain are underutilized in the state of Maine. With the ongoing opioid crisis, health care providers are having a hard time creating the tailored treatment plans that are needed for people living with chronic pain. This is why I feel it is imperative that health care facilities look into what it takes to make a proper treatment plan that takes care of the physical and emotional aspects of a person’s condition.

Peer support groups can be an effective part of a treatment plan for a person with chronic pain.

Peer support groups are nonprofit entities and don’t cost anything. The facilitators are trained by the American Chronic Pain Association or the U.S. Pain Foundation. I am trained by both.

Our health care system is overloaded by time restraints and cost overruns. We need to consider creative alternatives.

We often say if you keep doing something and keep getting the same results that are not proven to be beneficial, then why do we still do it?

Here is an opportunity to make a difference for the people in Maine who are living with a chronic condition. Please help advocate for greater use of peer support groups for those living with chronic pain.

For more information, you can visit the Southern Maine Chronic Pain Support Group at

Ernie Merritt III


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