Cards for Connection help Veterans cope

Not your average deck of cards


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Cards for Connection is a free resource that puts simple coping skills and VA phone numbers directly into Veterans’ hands. Originally created for Veterans who had experienced homelessness, the card deck has now been updated with information for all Veterans.

The 52 cards in the deck have easy-to-implement coping skills and important phone numbers, such as the Veterans Crisis Line and the Help for Homeless Veterans line.

As a result, Veterans playing a game of cards read positive affirmations, reminders to breathe, and encouragement to make a connection with others.

Cards for Connection help Veterans with suggested coping skills and VA support contacts.

Cards for Connection hopes to help Veterans cope with different situations.

Developing Cards for Connection

Input from Veterans and the VA staff that work with them helped to inform the messages on the cards.

Some Veterans reported great feedback. Many wanted to see phone numbers on the cards, whether to see a doctor, find a safe place to sleep, or ask about VA resources.

“I like the feel of them. I was noticing the texture, it’s nice,” said one Veteran.

Another Veteran said, “I love this picture. If you’re in a [bad place], and you actually have a picture of something beautiful to look at, that’s something great.”

Veteran feedback will update future versions

VA will collect additional feedback on the cards via anonymous pre-addressed/stamped postcards. It will also collect from focus groups and anonymous staff surveys. VA will use this information to update future versions.

How do I get a deck of Cards for Connection?

There are about 8,000 decks available for any Veteran who could benefit from using them. Requests for a deck from Veterans can be sent to Katherine.Juhasz@va.gov.

Cards for Connection are free for Veterans – they were developed with support from the VHA Innovators Network, which helps identify, create, disseminate, and sustain innovative practices like this one.

For more details on PTSD and how to treat it, read 8 Things to Know About PTSD.


Katherine Juhasz is a Health Science Specialist working for the National Center for PTSD, Dissemination & Training Division. She focuses on the development of educational resources for Veterans, VA staff, and the general public.

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Brendan Johansen    

    Please forward an affirmation Card deck to this Veteran.
    Have experienced homelessness, multiple health problems ongoing. The affirmation aspect of these cards is what’s compelling me to ask. Am a 100% service connected Vet.
    Have had limited experience with various PTSD programs through VA. Thank you….

  2. Max Doland    

    Wow! I love this and hope to get several decks to use with homeless veterans and also with vets I know who get together frequently. I’m writing you an email separately to detail this.

  3. Rebecca Beals    

    Great idea. I would love to see and be able to contribute to my brother and sister Veterans. Rb

  4. Kim Dewar    

    This is such a wonderful idea I look forward to seeing these and sharing the information. I’m a board member for Sacramento Stand down which helps Homeless Veterans get off the street here in Sacramento. These is never enough information in helping our Veterans. I have sent you a email.

  5. Dr Larry Dale Morse (DC RET. )    

    Where may I receive the deck of cards and any other available literature?
    Thank you
    Larry

    1. Katherine Juhasz    

      Thank you for your interest! Please email me at Katherine.Juhasz@va.gov and I can send you more information.

  6. Kevin Patric Quirke    

    Please mail me a deck of all the cards.
    What I do not use I will pass out at the
    Va Hospital.

    1. Katherine Juhasz    

      Thank you for your interest! Please email me at Katherine.Juhasz@va.gov and I can send you more information.

Comments are closed.