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Webinar: Inclusive Language, Imagery, and Storytelling for Pain Researcher Teams

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

HEAL-funded researchers studying opioid use disorder and addiction must carefully communicate their studies to avoid perpetuating stigma and negative stereotypes about these conditions and the people affected by them. Inclusive language, imagery, and storytelling are powerful tools that counter stigma by promoting respect and building trust—but even the most sensitive among us are at risk of relying on graphic and language conventions that inadvertently reinforce negative perceptions.

This Sharing Session is part two of a two-part series (learn more about series here) and will focus on tips and tricks to help HEAL pain researchers use language, imagery, and storytelling in respectful ways that engage all stakeholders.

Topics Covered

  • Learn real-world case examples for communicating with respect to stakeholders from those who have researched stigma and its impact on people with lived experience.

  • Explore actionable resources to reduce stigma and make research communications more engaging and impactful.

  • Hear about opportunities to partner with HEAL Connections to support the use of inclusive language, imagery, and communications product development.


  • Keynote: Walter Koroshetz, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

  • Presenter: Joanna Hobson, University of Alabama

  • Presenter: Emily Wakefield, Connecticut Children’s Hospital

  • Presenter: Kate Nicholson, National Pain Advocacy Center

  • Presenter: Soumitri Sil, Emory University

  • Presenter: Kerri Cavanaugh, Vanderbilt University

The Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative® is an NIH-wide effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis. In part one, presenters will provide information useful to policymakers, professionals in health and criminal justice fields, and the general public, as the awareness of inclusive language and imagery for individuals with substance use disorder.

Thursday, August 31, 2023 | 1 p.m. ET


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