What is a We Heart You card?
The We Heart You card was developed by first responders throughout the Winnebago County area after recognizing a need to have a discreet, non-intimidating way to offer in-the-moment help to those impacted by drug overdoses. The We Heart You card is the size of your standard business card and easily fits in any pocket. It is a simple card with a simple message: we care about you, and we want you to get the help you need, when you are ready.
How did it start?
The community partners that developed and began implementing the card are participants in the Winnebago County Overdose Fatality Review team. This team reviews fatal overdoses throughout Winnebago County with a goal of understanding the entire lifespan of addiction and how it impacts individuals, friends and family, and the community. While many review teams focus on individual factors, the Winnebago County OFR makes recommendations for system level improvement based on trends identified through individual case reviews. It is through this process the need for first responders to have a discreet, non-intimidating way to offer in-the-moment help to those impacted by substance use was identified and the We Heart You card was born.
How has it grown?
The We Heart You card had more of an impact that we imagined. It is now on its way to individuals who need it throughout 10 counties, and the reach keeps growing. From first responders to librarians, school teachers to business owners everyone recognized the need for this card. If you'd like to request cards for your organization, click here to fill out the request form.
What if someone I know is struggling and I am worried they will try substances like drugs or alcohol to cope; can this card help them?
Absolutely! While the idea for the We Heart You card was born out of Overdose Fatality Review and the desire to reach people impacted by substance use and overdose, we recognize the role this can play in connecting individuals to a variety of resources for including:
substance use prevention
substance use disorder diagnosis and treatment
mental health treatment
local pantries and food banks
OK - I have the cards. But, how do I use them?
Congratulations on receiving the cards! To learn more about their intent and how to use them, click here to view the instruction form we created. We are also working on instructional videos, which will be available soon.