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Patients to be given 'lifeline' cards

PUBLISHED: 12:37 21 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:43 03 July 2010

Mental health service patients in Norfolk and Waveney are being issued with information cards and fridge magnets carrying details of a local 24-hour crisis helpline number and other vital lifelines.

Mental health service patients in Norfolk and Waveney are being issued with information cards and fridge magnets carrying details of a local 24-hour crisis helpline number and other vital lifelines.

Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust has produced 6000 of the credit card-sized information cards for people to carry around with them, along with 600 fridge magnets.

In addition to the Trust's crisis helpline number, the cards also list numbers for the Samaritans, and SANEline. The name and number of the card holder's own care co-ordinator is featured on the back, and there is also space for the card holder to add details of family or friends who should be contacted in the case of emergency.

The card idea was the brainchild of Trust public governor Bob Murphy, who has lived with mental health issues for 30 years. “It's something useful that people can carry around with them,” said Mr Murphy. “Most people have mobile phones, so it's useful for them to have this kind of information to hand in an emergency, or if they feel unwell, or are panicking.

“Sometimes people know the daytime number for the crisis team, but they don't know the 24-hour number, and a lot of people don't necessarily know who their care co-ordinator is. They perhaps get visits from different people. This sort of information card can just make life a bit easier.”

Gwen Ford, the Trust's head of service governance, said: “We have already had some good feedback on these cards. They are simple, robust, and well-made, and people are finding them very useful.”


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