An Advance Directive for Planning Mental Health Care (sometimes called a Psychiatric Advance Directive) is a is a planning document that can be used to guide care in the event that a person with severe mental illness cannot make decisions for themselves. Advanced directives are a tool that people with mental illness, their loved ones, and caregivers can use to engage in care and self-determine how care is provided for them in a crisis.
The State of Maine supports the work of Disability Rights Maine a nonprofit organization which has compiled a comprehensive manual for Maine consumers complete with example forms to create your own Advanced Directive for Planning Mental Health Care.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness recommends preparing for a crisis event ahead of time by creating a Portable Treatment Record and Crisis Plan. This tool allows users to compile a comprehensive profile including provider contact information, current medications, and treatment history to help guide individuals, their providers, and family members in the event of a behavioral health crisis. It allows for the individual in crisis to communicate preferences for their treatment throughout the crisis event. It also allows emergency, medical, and mental health professionals to quickly assess and connect to the individual’s community care providers to facilitate a continuity of care.