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MedicAlert pilot for children and youth with mental health challenges

Kids with mental health challenges might not always know how best to communicate in a difficult or stressful situation.

This is why BC Children's has partnered with MedicAlert Foundation Canada and FamilySmart to pilot a new initiative that means mental health patients at BC Children's have the opportunity to register with  MedicAlert and wear the MedicAlert bracelet.

Wearing a MedicAlert bracelet means that first responders and emergency healthcare professionals can find the important information about your child or youth's mental health condition in an emergency situation such as their care plan, so they know how best to respond. This system has already seen success in kids with conditions like diabetes or serious allergies. 

What is MedicAlert?

The goal of MedicAlert is to make a difference in the lives of children and youth with mental health challenges by ensuring that in an emergency, their mental health needs are addressed and vital information is accessible to first responders and healthcare professionals. In some cases, children or youth may not be able to communicate in a crisis meaning MedicAlert can communicate on their behalf.

You can register information like the contact details of parents or family members, your child's diagnosis, a care plan, medications needed or comforting measures to help your child in a time of need – all accessible to first responders and health professionals through a MedicAlert bracelet worn by your child. This also works if your family travels abroad.

If you're child doesn't want to wear a bracelet, there is also the option of a tag that can be worn on a bag or shoe, or a wallet card.

How to enrol

If your child is a patient at BC Children's Neuropsychiatry Clinic, you will have the option of enrolling in MedicAlert at time of diagnosis. If your child is at one of BC Children's three psychiatric inpatient units, you can enrol when they are discharged.

If your child is not currently being treated at BC Children's you can still enrol by calling MedicAlert: 1-855-348-3353.

If you're not interested – that's fine. Enrolling is completely voluntary. 

What is the cost?

MedicAlert service costs $5 per month for youth 18 years and older, or $4 per month for children and youth under the age of 18. Children, youth and families can choose from many ID styles. The cost for a bracelet starts at $39 , while an  option like a shoe tag is $30. 

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