“This time, with a PAD, I did not receive any treatments that I did not want. They were very respectful. I really felt like the hospital took better care of me because I had my PAD. In fact, I think it’s the best care that I’ve ever received.” Read More PAD Stories...

About PADs

  • A psychiatric advance directive (PAD) is a legal document that documents a person’s preferences for future mental health treatment, and allows appointment of a health proxy to interpret those preferences during a crisis.
  • PADs may be drafted when a person is well enough to consider preferences for future mental health treatment.
  • PADs are used when a person becomes unable to make decisions during a mental health crisis.

Creating a Psychiatric Directive

This series of 5-minute videos gives helpful information on how to think about a psychiatric advance directive (PAD), complete the legal documents involved, or assist another person in the process. The videos include practical tips on selecting a health care agent, summarizing illness and treatment history, documenting medication and hospital preferences, and what to do after completing the documents to make sure they’ll be used in the event of a future mental health crisis. The suggestions offered in the videos are most consistent with North Carolina’s advance directive laws, but would generally apply to completing these documents in other states as well.

  1. How to choose the right person to be your health care agent for a PAD

2. Telling the story of your illness & treatment in a PAD: a “letter” to your future doctor

3. What to say about medication choices in a PAD

4. What to say about hospital choices in a PAD

5. What to do with your completed PAD