Advil has launched an important project aimed at dismantling pain inequity and bias within the Black community, and an esteemed journalist is detailing it to BOSSIP.
On Tuesday, Advil launched “The Advil Pain Equity Project” a multi-year commitment debuting with its inaugural storytelling campaign, “Believe My Pain.” Centered around stories of people who have experienced pain inequity, “Believe My Pain” is changing the narrative that Black people have higher pain thresholds and/or are exaggerating their level of pain compared to other races, a notion stemming from deep-rooted bias within healthcare.
Based on a quantitative study commissioned by Advil in partnership with the Morehouse School of Medicine, 93% of Black individuals said pain has an impact on their day-to-day lives; 83% said they have had a negative experience when seeking help managing pain, and 3 out of 4 Black individuals believe there is bias in how pain is diagnosed and treated, reports a press release.
In recent years, several celebs have drawn awareness to not only these issues but the Black eternality morality crisis, in particular. Included in that group is Serena Williams who penned an April 2022 essay detailing how after the birth of her daughter, she had to advocate for herself after experiencing painful blood clot symptoms.
Williams, who ultimately saved her own life despite constant dismissals from healthcare providers, noted how in the United States, African-American women are nearly three times more likely to die during or after childbirth than those who are white.
Like Williams, journalist, advocate, and new mom, Elaine Weltertoh was shocked to hear the statistics and told BOSSIP they’re discussed in Advil’s “Believe My Pain” campaign.
Hit the flip for her words.
Elaine Welteroth Talks Advil’s “Believe My Pain” Campaign
“I’m just so honored to be a part of this initiative that is so focused on solutions to a deeply systematic problem that faces our community,” Welteroth told BOSSIP’s Managing Editor Dani Canada. “I experienced some of this firsthand as a new mom navigating the maternal healthcare system and just being deeply disappointed in the care that is available to us”.
“I feel like this is an opportunity to parlay my personal experience, my passion around these issues into a really purpose-driven effort that’s multipronged.”
Weltertoh explained that one of the women profiled in the “Believe My Pain” campaign has a harrowing story of pain equity with her childbirth that had nearly life-threatening consequences.
“It was really hard to sit and listen to her story in particular as a new mom because I don’t think that it’s possible as a Black mother in this country to go into childbirth without the weight of fear that you might become a statistic,” said Welteroth before noting that medical gaslighting is a common issue. “As a mother, you should not feel like one of the lucky ones to be on the other side to tell your harrowing story of childbirth. This should not be the norm, this cannot be normal and yet it is all too common.”
While continuing to speak passionately, Welteroth praised Advil for parenting with experts in the community who have dedicated years of work to address the tough topic.
“I think it’s really important that we’re illuminating their work, experts like Dr. Uché Blackstock, who has a book coming out soon that is really contextualizing this issue in a really clear way—BLKHLTH, the Morehouse School of Medicine; for me, it really lends a lot of credibility to this effort,” said Welteroth.
“I’m honored to be able to help share these stories and to help push this messaging out there and make these resources available to more people because in some cases it’s really the difference between life and death.”
Advil is awarding the first-ever grants through The Advil Pain Equity Fund to Morehouse School of Medicine and BLKHLTH to support the development of patient resources and medical school course development.
Not only that, but this fall, Advil, Morehouse School of Medicine, and BLKHLTH will begin to develop a course to educate medical students on pain equity and offer tools and skills to help address the issue both in and outside of medical facilities.
Check out our exclusive with Elaine Welteroth about Advil’s Pain Equity Project above.