- 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.
Nebraska’s Health Care and Treatment Decisions statute allows you to appoint an agent (called an “Attorney in fact”) to make healthcare decisions for you if you become incompetent to make those decisions yourself. “Health care” may include mental health care. A recommended form for this purpose, called a Power of Attorney, is available here. The form is not mandatory but is helpful because you must in any event follow the formalities listed in the statute. Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services has published some helpful further information, available here.