Approximately 100 first responders in Central MN to use new technology designed to protect the vulnerable

Mental health organizations, professionals and advocates from Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd, Wadena counties, and Leech Lake Band and Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe tribes collaborate to bring game-changing technology to the region

May 2, 2019 – Staples, MN – The Region V+ Adult Mental Health Initiative (AMHI) has teamed up with area law enforcement to launch the Vitals™ App in an effort to create safer interactions between first responders and people living with invisible and visible conditions and disabilities.

The Vitals™ First Responder App provides first responders with crucial information about vulnerable individuals, increasing the effectiveness of situational response and vastly expanding the potential for successful and safe resolutions. Vitals™ enrollees or their family members voluntarily provide the individualized information in this cutting-edge program revolving around technological innovation.

Region V+ AMHI is a committee dedicated to improving the mental health of central Minnesota residents and communities through intentional planning and partnership across the region. Additionally, the Region V+ Adult Mental Health Initiative is responsible for the identification of adult mental health service needs and the development of mechanisms for multi-county program development, evaluation, coordination and implementation when seen as feasible, by participating counties or tribes; including any other mental health related programs.

“When members of the AMHI learned about the Vitals™ App, we discussed how it could be a great option for consumers and families and a new resource for law enforcement,” said Kim Larson, chair of the committee. “We believe Vitals™ aligns perfectly with our work to bring innovative and effective programs to our region.”

Region V+ AMHI allocated pilot funding from their state mental health grant to bring Vitals™ to law enforcement agencies throughout the region. Law enforcement agencies are in the process of implementing the service in their respective communities.

“Region V+ AMHI is to be commended for working together to bring Vitals™ to counties in the central part of Minnesota. We know this committee strongly advocates for programs that benefit people living with mental health challenges,” said Janeé Harteau, president of Vitals™ Aware Services. “We believe that our services are helping save lives and giving people living with vulnerabilities more peace of mind.”

The Vitals™ App is a free service to individuals and caregivers and can be downloaded in Apple and Google Play stores. To sign up, go to www.thevitalsapp.com to text “vitals” at 797979.

For more details on the Vitals™ App and the company’s mission, please contact Stan Alleyne at 612-704-6621.

About Vitals™ Aware Services

Vitals™ Aware Services was launched in August of 2017. Approximately 60 first responding agencies and communities, most located in the State of Minnesota, are currently using the community-based service. Vitals™ works by equipping first responders with information voluntarily provided by Vitals enrollees. Law enforcement and other first responders download the Vitals™ First Responder app on their cellphones. The service allows a vulnerable person to register online, then wear a beacon that takes the form of a keychain, necklace, debit card or bracelet. An Android phone can also serve as the beacon. When a Vitals™ user comes within 80 feet of an officer or first responder equipped with the service, the officer will get a notification about the person’s diagnosis and how they may best interact with them. The Twin Cities-based tech company developed the app-based service in partnership with The Autism Society of Minnesota. The service was launched in August of 2017 in St. Paul. Vitals™ is also partnering with PACER Center, the Arc Minnesota, Wellness in the Woods, Minnesota Independence Community and College and Hammer Residences to build awareness and promote the service to potential users and their families. To learn more about Vitals™, go to www.thevitalsapp.com.

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