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Psychiatric Advance Directives

Table of Contents


A psychiatric advance directive is a legal form that describes the care you want during a mental health crisis. You can put treatment choices in this form, like which medicines and hospitals you prefer. You can also include personal details, such as who to contact in an emergency.

You fill out this form when you are feeling well. It's only used if your condition makes you unable to decide on your treatment. During a crisis, a person you choose will use this form to make choices for you. That person is called a health care agent.

These forms can be different for each state. And they often have two parts. The first part is where you describe your wishes. The second part is called the medical power of attorney. This is where you name your health care agent.

Why would you want one?

During a mental health crisis, you may be unable to say what you need. This form gives health professionals and family members tips to help you get out of crisis. For example, it can list things that make you feel worse. And it can say what's helped you get better in the past.

How do you make one?

Here are some things to know as you create your psychiatric advance directive.

Credits for Psychiatric Advance Directives

Current as of: October 20, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Andrew Littlefield PhD - Psychology, Behavioral Health
Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine

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