Advance Directives

A Mental Health Advanced Directive (MHAD), also known as a Psychiatric Advance Directive (PAD), is a legal document that allows you to make decisions in advance about your healthcare in case you ever become unable to make or communicate these decisions.  For example, if you have a psychiatric episode that leaves you unable to make decisions, the MHAD will be used to direct your treatment.

With the MHAD, you can make specific decisions in advance about things like medications, voluntary admission to inpatient treatment, and electroconvulsive therapy.  You can also give instructions about things that you have learned from experience will help you or make things worse.

The instructions you include with this advance directive will only become effective if you become incapable of making a decision about your care.  Your treatment providers must still seek your informed consent at all times that it is required and you have capacity to give informed consent.  You have the right to revoke your MHAD at any time you have the capacity.

Advanced Directive for Mental Health Care in New Jersey

http://www.state.nj.us/health/advancedirective/ad/

The site for advance directives in the state of New Jersey.

National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advanced Directives

http://www.nrc-pad.org/

A good place to find out detailed information about MHAD and the specific laws of each state.