My Plan, My Life—My Psychiatric Advance Directive: New Awareness Initiative
Mental Health America in October launched My Plan, My Life - My Psychiatric Advance Directive (www.MyPlanMyLife.com)—a new online resource to inform consumers with mental illness, their families and health care professionals about the importance of psychiatric advance directives as a tool that provides instructions regarding treatment or services one wishes to have or not have during a mental health crisis.
"We know that given the proper guidance, information and support, most individuals have a real interest in putting a psychiatric advance directive in place for themselves," said David Shern, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America. "That's why My Plan, My Life was developed."
A psychiatric advance directive allows you to specify considerations about your mental health care treatment and appoint an agent who may make decisions about your treatment in the event of a mental health crisis. In some cases, you may also give further background information about how you have reacted to past treatment.
Despite these benefits, a survey of over 1,000 psychiatric outpatients in five U.S. cities concluded the underuse of psychiatric advance directives in the United States. It found that while about 70 percent of consumers in public-sector treatment would like to complete a psychiatric advance directive (and say they would do so if provided assistance), fewer than 1 in 10 have actually completed one.
A comprehensive and easy-to-understand online resource and information center, My Plan, My Life answers some of the most frequent questions people have about psychiatric advance directives and provides a step-by-step guide on how to create one. The site also features the video stories of several individuals who have integrated psychiatric advance directives into their own psychiatric care.
The public awareness initiative, which is sponsored by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, launched during Mental Illness Awareness Week. My Plan, My Life was developed in partnership with a team of mental health experts who have strong professional and personal expertise in psychiatric advance directive research and advocacy.
For more information about psychiatric advance directives, please visit www.MyPlanMyLife.com. ::