Psychiatric Advance Directives Innovation Project in California
The California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) included Psychiatric Advance Directives as part of their 2020–2023 Strategic Plan. Seven counties have opted to initiate this multi-county Innovation project to test the feasibility of using Psychiatric Advance Directives. This supports a statewide movement to create a standardized, sustainable Psychiatric Advance Directive process. The goal of the Innovation project is to help counties improve access to personal, health, and daily life care, the appropriateness and quality of care, preservation of the individual’s life goals and preferences, and to improve positive outcomes for people at risk of involuntary care, homelessness, unnecessary hospitalizations, and involvement with the criminal justice systems, at all stages of life.
The project includes development of all stages of the Psychiatric Advance Directive process, including the form, legal language, a training “tool-kit,” and evaluation. A key feature is the development of a user-friendly and secure online platform where people can learn about, complete, and store their Psychiatric Advance Directives, which will be accessible in real-time for first responders, crisis teams, and healthcare staff.
The Benefits of Psychiatric Advance Directives
Psychiatric Advance Directives have the potential to enhance individual independence for persons with mental health needs and related conditions. The benefits of this early advocacy include:
- Allowing individuals to take responsibility for their recovery
- Supporting person-centered thinking
- Supportive decision-making
- Allowing an appointed person to assist in making decisions during times when the person’s capacity is impaired
- Enhancing a family’s trust in the “system,” that their family member will receive the treatment to which they are entitled, and in a supportive fashion
- Providing appropriate and supportive care
- De-escalating potential crisis situations
Innovations Work Plan
Project Title: Multi-County Psychiatric Advance Directives Innovations Project