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Psychiatric Advance Directive

  • Jan 03, 2023

Severe mental illnesses are unpredictable. A patient with mental illness can experience an episode with little or no warning. That’s where a PAD comes in handy.

What Is A Psychiatric Advance Directive?

A PAD (Psychiatric Advance Directive) is a legal document with a person’s preferences concerning mental health treatment, support, and services. It ensures your voice is heard if you have a severe mental episode when you can’t advocate for yourself. A PAD can list another person certified to make care decisions.

Medical caregivers in New Jersey rely on the directives in this document when deciding on treatment and support courses. In addition, a mental health attorney in NJ can help you draft a psychiatric advance directive when fit enough to state your future mental health treatment preferences.

PADs are typically used when you aren’t capable of making decisions during mental health episodes. A PAD isn’t effective until you’re hospitalized and medically confirmed to be unable to make decisions yourself.

Falcon Law Group is your trusted mental health attorney in NJ to consult for an advance directive.

Why Should You Create a PAD?

You can create a psychiatric advance directive for many reasons. Some of the most popular reasons include the following;

Clarifying Treatment Preferences

People with severe mental health conditions like schizophrenia or dementia sometimes don’t have the cognitive function to make care decisions. So, creating a PAD before a crisis helps to clarify treatment preferences and guide the doctors’ decisions.

Avoiding Harmful Or Unwanted Treatments

There are many methods and treatments used for people with mental health crises. But unfortunately, some of them can badly affect patients. With the PAD in place, you can clearly state the treatments they are against, like certain medications or medical procedures.

Making Communication More Efficient

A PAD offers clear communication regarding the treatment wishes of a patient. It also lists a chosen person who can talk on behalf of the patient. Clear and direct communication helps to save time and avoids confusion when providing treatment to patients with a mental health crisis.

Creating a Psychiatric Advance Directive

Below are some tips for creating a PAD.

Decide Your Wishes

Think and write down your preferences, like how you would like to be treated in the event of a mental health crisis or when you get hospitalized. You should include the following:

  • Medical treatment(s) that you would like or wouldn’t like
  • Treatments or medications that work well for you and those to avoid
  • How do you want your treatment to be
  • Medical conditions and allergies
  • Who to inform in the event of a mental health crisis
  • People you would allow in the hospital

Look for a Health Care Agent

Get people or someone who knows and understands you and can act as your healthcare agent. Tell them why you require their help and what you want them to do. Your health care agent should:

  • Be reachable should the need arise
  • Speak for you when you can’t make decisions
  • Adhere to the wishes stated in your advance directive
  • You might also make decisions regarding your care that are not indicated in your advance directive

Write Your Advance Directive

The first section typically states your intention and wish to have these intentions followed, the other sections state specific wishes, and the last section is where you sign and date your form.

Draft Your PAD with a Mental Health Attorney in NJ

depressed mother, deprived of rights to guardianship of child, sits in office of lawyerTo maximize the eligibility of your advance directive and to know what your state allows, it’s good to consult an attorney.

The attorney can draft the psychiatric advance directive according to the state’s mandates. However, before the patient gives somebody a power of attorney to make healthcare decisions, they should discuss their plans and wishes. It ensures that the person agrees to offer this service and understands the person’s preferences.

When local hospitals, caregivers, medical providers, and police departments use PADs correctly, they can offer care in line with a person’s preference. With PADs, you’re more likely to work collaboratively with your clinicians and experience less strong crisis interferences. In addition, they will meet your personal needs for mental health services.

If you need an NJ advance directive, search for a mental health attorney in NJ to help you and your loved ones with special needs and mental health planning. Falcon Law Group believes that every person suffering from mental health conditions is worthy to access supports that promote wellness. We support general rules and laws that encourage PAD use. Get in touch with our mental health lawyer in NJ today to set up a consultation.

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