Burnley veteran seriously wounded in Afghanistan designs crisis cards for veterans in mental health danger

A Burnley veteran who was seriously wounded in Afghanistan has designed a mental health crisis card to help veterans out of immediate mental health danger by grounding or distracting them.
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Gregg Stevenson, NHS Mental Health Practitioner, Veterans High Intensity Service North, had the idea to base the ‘C-Cards’ on emergency evacuation cards called ‘9-Liners’ used by soldiers on the front line. Formerly in the Armed Forces, Gregg was encouraged and supported by his NHS senior leadership team to develop the concept.

Collaboration between NHS Op Courage Veterans High Intensity Service and Bolton-based creative agency, Portfolio, to introduce a pioneering mental health aid for veterans, has resulted in success at ‘The National Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards 2022’.

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Gregg said: “To get the idea off the ground, I knew I had to have a brew with Darren Clare at Portfolio and see how he felt this could work. By basing our crisis cards on 9-Liners, we were able to produce a familiar looking, valued and easily accessible way of presenting distraction and grounding techniques to keep soldiers focused when in a challenging situation.

Gregg and DarrenGregg and Darren
Gregg and Darren

“The collaboration meant we could create a product we knew was needed and something that would be successful in preventing hospital admissions and/or self-harm. The C-Cards have been incredibly well received by the Veteran Community and the NHS.

“To win at the National Positive Practice Mental Health Awards is a real honour. It’s been amazing for the team at NHS Op Courage Veterans High Intensity Service to receive recognition for the huge difference they make to so many lives.”

The ‘Crisis Cards’ designed to distract and stabilise veterans in times of extreme anxiety, won in the Specialist Services category at the ceremony dubbed the ‘Oscars’ of Mental Health. Held on October 6th in Durham, the annual event was organised by a partnership of 75 organisations, including NHS Trusts, Police Forces, CCGs, front line charities, third sector providers and service user groups.

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Portfolio was appointed to turn the vision into reality thanks to its impressive track-record for creating successful public health and wellbeing campaigns. Founded in 1995 by creative director, Darren Clare, the full service agency specialises in graphic design, branding, advertising, web development and social media.

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