Psychiatric Advance Directives: Taking Care of Yourself
An advance directive is a written document that expresses your wishes in advance about what types of treatments, services and other assistance you want during a personal mental health crisis. A directive provides a clear statement of your medical treatment preferences and other wishes or instructions. You can also use it to grant legal decision-making authority to another person to be your advocate and agent until the crisis is over.
What are the benefits of having an advance directive?
A psychiatric advance directive can:
- Promote your autonomy and empowerment;
- Enhance communications between you, your doctor, treatment team and family;
- Protect you from ineffective, unwanted or possibly harmful treatment or actions;
- Help prevent crisis situations and reduce the use of involuntary treatment or safety interventions, such as restraint or seclusion.