- 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.
Missouri’s Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Act allows you to appoint an agent to make healthcare decisions for you if you become incompetent to make those decisions yourself. Healthcare decisions may include decisions about mental health. The Missouri Bar Association has published a standard form for this purpose, available here. Although it is not mandatory, it is advisable to use part I of this form to appoint an agent because of the required wording it contains.