Safety watches to protect mental health workers

Wednesday, 03 February, 2016

3G safety watches that can alert emergency services to a wearer’s exact location via a GPS signal will be handed out to Victorian health workers following a $20 million state government funding initiative to help reduce and prevent mental health violence.

Worn on the wrist, the 3G safety watch is a personal emergency alarm and mobile phone watch that is monitored 24/7 by security services who will dispatch emergency assistance should the user require immediate support.

It will allow health staff managing a crisis to quickly notify Emergency Services via ‘000’ of their exact location via a 24-hour security monitoring centre.

The safety watches also have an ‘Amber Alert’ function, which a doctor, nurse or paramedic can use to notify the monitoring centre that they are entering a risky environment.

They can nominate a time by which they will contact the centre again. If that contact is not made in time, emergency services will be activated automatically.

Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley said eight metropolitan and six rural mental health facilities will share in the funding.

The $20 million Health Service Violence Prevention Fund has $10 million in grants for general hospitals and a further $10 million for mental-health facilities.

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