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.

Just Posted

15-year-old Nanaimo singer who had viral Facebook video releases single

Lauren Spencer-Smith recently appeared on American comedian Steve Harvey’s talk show

Meet Clover the Commonwealth Cat

Feline has made Saanich Commonwealth Place a second home

Column: Rest in peace, customer service

Customer service on the phone is often lacking; online it’s nearly non-existent

Margaret Atwood coming to UVic to discuss ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ sequel

‘The Testaments’ comes 34 years after release of famous novel, now a Hulu series

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

RCMP arrest violent offender on Vancouver Island

Campbell River police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Most Read