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

CHIME finds four days of noise, twelve days of silence from space

The radio telescope picked up the first recorded pattern in radio signals from space

Summerland’s Justin Kripps picks up back-to-back bronze medals in weekend racing

Canada’s two-man bobsleigh is third in the rankings heading into the World Championships

Meet the ultimate Penticton Vees fan

Jon Race owns an epic collection of Vees jerseys and hasn’t missed a home game in 15 years.

Mink farm once operated in Summerland

From 1967 to 1973, the Nielsen family raised mink

Penticton Vees clinch overtime win against Bulldogs

The Vees came from behind in a thrilling 3-2 win over Aberni Valley at home.

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Most Read