- 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.
You may appoint an agent, known in Connecticut as a “Health Care Representative”, to make decisions about your treatment if you become incompetent to make decisions. You may also write instructions about your health care, including your mental health care. A helpful guide, produced by the Office of the Attorney General of Connecticut, is available here. This guide contains model forms, although the statute does not require a particular form of words. To specify mental health instructions, it is recommended that you use the model forms, attaching extra sheets where necessary.
Although Connecticut does not currently have a specific statute for a psychiatric advance directive, you can learn more about general advance directives for health care in Connecticut at the Caring Connections website.