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

Young farmers find a home through land-matching program

Young Agrarians links would-be farmers with landowners who have land to spare

Morning start: A history of the Arrow Lakes

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Wednesday, May 27

COLUMN: Contagion, kindness, and the importance of libraries

While the pandemic has been challenging, it has also made people reconnect with the library

Joanne Siderius wins 2020 Suzy Hamilton Legacy Award

The award is presented annually to a female-identified environmental activist in the West Kootenay

Trial date set in Castlegar RCMP shooting death

Constable Jason Tait has elected a jury trial.

BC Ferries losing up to $1.5 million each day as pandemic tanks ridership

The company does not qualify for the wage subsidy

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

Chilliwack school board censures trustee Barry Neufeld after controversial Facebook post

Board chair issues statement on censure but little else regarding Facebook post controversy

Twenty-nine of Canada’s 48 national parks to reopen to day-use visitors June 1

All national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas have been closed for weeks

JK Rowling publishes first chapters of new story online

Book will be a fairy tale for kids and benefit those particularly affected by the pandemic

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Most Read