FILE – Paramedic with BC Ambulance Services drivig in Victoria, B.C. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick Images)

Pilot project to use MedicAlert bracelets for B.C. youth with mental health conditions

Bracelets used for people with dementia, medication allergies to be tested at BC Children’s Hospital

Emergencies can be a scary or traumatic time for kids with mental health challenges. BC Children’s Hospital is hoping MedicAlert bracelets will equip emergency responders when helping these youth in times of crisis.

On Tuesday, BC Children’s Hospital launched the pilot project with MedicAlert Foundation Canada, the company behind bracelets for medication allergies, diabetes and cognitive conditions such as autism and dementia, to create a similar kind of bracelet for youth with mental health challenges.

BC Children’s Hospital psychiatrist-in-chief, Dr. Jana Davidson, said in a news release that the collaboration will first and foremost help medical personnel give the specific care a youth needs when in the midst of a mental health crisis.

“Children and youth with mental health challenges can be particularly vulnerable in emergency situations,” she said. “By empowering [first responders] with the right information, we can help ensure young people in B.C. receive supportive, appropriate care.”

READ MORE: Youth in care need better path to independence, B.C. experts say

READ MORE: B.C. teen’s death points to gaps in youth mental-health supports: rep

Each bracelet includes a code that tells paramedics, police and firefighters the child’s medical diagnosis. Emergency responders can then call the MedicAlert hotline to access the youth’s medication information, their support network and effective ways to calm them down.

Meanwhile, MedicAlert notifies the caregiver or family about the emergency and the child’s location.

The Provincial Health Services Authority is hoping to enroll 100 patients during the pilot, which is now open to patients across B.C.

READ MORE: Kids Help Phone to launch 24/7 online chat for B.C. youth

Enrollment will be made available at the time of diagnosis at BC Children’s Neuropsychiatry Clinic or when discharged from one of BC Children’s three psychiatric inpatient units. Children not currently being treated at the hospital can enrol by calling MedicAlert at 1-855-348-3353.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton photographer publishes book showcasing resilience of Okanagan people

Okanagan Strong showcases the bravery of many during crisis; from COVID-19, to floods, and fires

Summerland steam train to begin operations

Reduced schedule, physical distancing planned for Kettle Valley Steam Railway beginning July 18

Summerland to hold meeting on solar project

Event on July 13 at 1 p.m. open to comments from the public

LETTER: Land for Summerland’s solar project site was designated for growth

Site represents close to 20 per cent of land marked for future growth

South Okanagan RCMP member speaks out against criticism

Police have been the subject of intense scrutiny in recent weeks

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Kelowna taxpayers could pay $90K for losses caused by cancelled Memorial Cup

$135,000 would be put aside for a potential bid for a future opportunity to host the tournament

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Motorcycle rider seriously injured in collision with vehicle on Highway 97 west of Pritchard

Chase RCMP report that motorcycle was attempting to pass when crash occurred

Predator mutilated cats in Kelowna: BC SPCA

The BC SPCA confirmed a mutilated cat was killed by a predator

LETTER: Former Summerland mayors speak out on solar project

Five former Summerland mayors sign name to short letter

Emergency crews conduct CPR on unresponsive person in Okanagan Lake

West Kelowna emergency crews are on scene at the shores of Jubilee Mobile Home Park

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Most Read