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Mental health advance directives
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A mental health advance directive is a legal written document that describes what you want to happen if your mental health problems become so severe that you need help from others. This might be when your judgment is impaired and/or you are unable to communicate effectively.
It can inform others about what treatment you want or don't want, and it can identify a person to whom you have given the authority to make decisions on your behalf.
Can I change or revoke my mental health advance directive?
- Yes. As long as you have capacity you can change or revoke your mental health advance directive at any time.
- If you are incapacitated, you can only change or revoke your directive if it is already written.
- Changes need to be made in writing.
- Make sure that you tell everyone who has a copy of your directive about any changes that you make to your directive.
Download and complete a mental health advance directive form.
- View a model "fill-in-the-blanks" form (developed by Northwest Justice Project).
- Your mental health provider may also have copies of the form.
If you name an agent to represent you, you must give them a copy.
You may also want to give copies to:
- Your current mental health care providers
- Your lawyer
- Trusted family members
If there is a conflict between a mental health advance directive and any other directive, like a living will, the newer document will have legal priority. To reduce confusion, it is probably best to have one person act as your mental health advance directive agent and durable power of attorney.
To create a mental health advance directive go to: