Psychiatric Advance Directive
A psychiatric advance directive, or PAD, allows patients with mental illness to state their preferences for, or dislikes of, specific treatments, designate a proxy decision-maker or make other advance decisions about their care.
Advance directives are based on the principles of personal choice and self-determination. The preferences you express regarding future treatment or services, a person you authorize to make decisions for you (a proxy), the ability to revoke your advance directive, or any other issues are for you to decide, without anyone exerting any control or coercion over you. You also have the right to change your mind and change your advance directive at any time, but it is your responsibility to make sure that all copies of the advance directive are kept up-to-date and copies are shared with the appropriate people.
This worksheet is not a legal document, but is designed to help you start thinking about what you want to include in your own advance directive. It can also help you start gathering the information you will need when you write one that is legally binding.
Your Expressed Wishes
An advance directive is your opportunity to express what treatments or services you choose to have, or not to have, during a psychiatric crisis. These statements are known as your expressed wishes. If you have ever been hospitalized before, think back about those things that were helpful to you, and those things that were not.
What types of treatments or services are helpful to you during a crisis? This can include medications (and dosages), what facilities or healthcare professionals you want to be involved in your care, what helps you calm down if you’re feeling overly agitated, who can help you in other ways (such as taking care of children, pets, plants, or paying bills), people you want as visitors if you’re hospitalized, etc. Try to be as specific as possible. You may need to use additional sheets of paper: