Making Headway with Support for Brain Injury Survivors: Prince Harry Launches New Identity Cards
17th August 2017
By Elliot Miller
Headway and his Royal Highness Prince Harry have launched a new Brain Injury Identity Card, to help support people with brain injuries. The hidden effects of brain injury can often lead to misunderstandings and difficulties for survivors. Dominic Hurley suffered a brain injury when he fell off a moped while on holiday in Cyprus in 1994. The 44-year-old is regularly mistaken for being drunk due to his unsteady gait and slurred speech – which has led to him getting arrested three times. He said his treatment made him feel like a “common criminal”.
The ID card – developed as part of Headway’s Justice Project – aims to raise police officers’ awareness of brain injury, improve brain injury identification and ensure survivors receive appropriate support throughout the criminal justice system; helping all those in a similar situation to Hurley. Prince Harry has called the card a “saving grace” for both survivors and police officers. The scheme has received support from a number of police forces, including the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), Police Scotland and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
The cards – featuring the individual’s photo and some of the effects they commonly experience – also hopes to break down social exclusion by giving holders increased confidence in the knowledge they can easily explain the effects of their brain injury in everyday social situations. Mr Hurley now carries an ID card and says it is a “better way” of telling people the effects of his brain injury.
The Headway Brain Injury Identity Card is free and available to anyone aged 18 and over who has a verifiable brain injury. The card also includes a 24-hour criminal legal helpline managed by a firm of solicitors trained in understanding brain injury, enabling people to access specialist legal support should they find themselves in a difficult situation.
For more information and details of how to apply for a Headway Brain Injury Identity Card visit www.headway.org.uk/supporting-you/brain-injury-indentity-card/.