Stop Stigma! The 2019–2020 Brain, Mind and Pain (BMP) Grant and its winners

‘Stop Stigma! Reduce stigma to improve quality of life for brain, mind, and pain patients’, was the theme of the second edition of the Brain, Mind and Pain (BMP) Grant. Stigma has a significant impact on the well-being of people living with pain – read on to discover how the BMP Grant winners aim to fight this matter.


The Brain, Mind and Pain Patient-Centred Innovation Grant (BMP Grant) is an initiative of Pain Alliance Europe (PAE) and Grünenthal. The BMP Grant aims identify, stimulate and encourage patient-centric and scientifically robust innovation in the domain of chronic pain and neurological disorders, to stimulate research and access to innovative treatments, to promote prevention and self-management approaches, to decrease stigma, and to work together to improve quality of life for people living with these disabling conditions.1


The 2019–2020 (second edition) BMP Grant theme was to ‘Stop Stigma!’, focusing on reducing the stigma associated with brain, mind and pain patients to improve their quality of life. Stigma – a mark of shame or discredit – is accompanied by an increased risk of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety in people living with chronic pain.2,3 The PAE 2019 report on chronic pain and stigma surveyed 6,069 people living with chronic pain. They found that 30–70% of people living with chronic pain felt stigmatised by family and friends or in a healthcare, work or social environment.4 Specifically within a healthcare setting, 56–59% of people experienced stigma from primary care physicians, general practitioners and hospital physicians who they saw for their pain condition.4 Approximately 90% had the impression that sometimes some people did not believe that they were suffering from chronic pain.4 Barriers to care exist as a consequence of stigmatisation; it is important to reduce stigmatisation to improve patient engagement and treatment effectiveness.2,4


The three successful applicants receiving support from the BMP Grant – ASpida, StigmApp and #RompeConElDolor – were chosen based on being the most patient-driven, patient-centred and scientifically robust projects. 

  1. The ASpida project attempts to stop stigma through the development of a programme to teach mindfulness, self-compassion and values-based living practices as antidotes to stigmatised behaviours. 
  2. StigmApp aims to fight stigma using an innovative mobile application that will focus on facilitating pain management, raising awareness, networking and creating a community for people living with pain. 
  3. #RompeConElDolor is a social media campaign led by the Spanish Diabetes Federation, which aims to raise awareness and break the stigma surrounding chronic pain in diabetes. 

Find out more about these projects and stay tuned on their progress here


Education and increasing awareness of pain are shared approaches among the winners of the BMP Grant and CHANGE PAIN. Within the last year, CHANGE PAIN has widened its audience to focus on improving pain management through adequate research, communication and education among healthcare professionals and patients. Read more about CHANGE PAIN’s mission here.