Advanced Directives for Mental Health
At some point in the future, you may need or want someone you trust to make decisions for you. Advanced directives are documents that state your instructions about your health care in case you become unable to speak for yourself at the time you need treatment.
Ohio law allows you to use different kinds of documents to state your instructions about your health care. There are important differences between these documents. The Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care can state your instructions about medical treatment or mental health treatment, or both. The Declaration for Mental Health Treatment can state your instructions for mental health treatment. You may have both of these documents stating your instructions about mental health treatment, but the Declaration for Mental Health Treatment is the controlling document for decisions about mental health treatment.
The most important difference between these two documents is that the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is always “revocable”, meaning you can change or cancel your instructions at any time. The Declaration for Mental Health Treatment is not always “revocable”, meaning if you become unable to make your own decisions because of mental illness, you will be bound by the instructions for treatment that you gave when you created the document.
It is advisable that you contact an attorney to prepare these documents for you. For referrals to lawyers, you may contact:
Ohio State Bar Association 614-487-2050 or
Ohio State Legal Services Association 866-529-6446 or
Ohio Legal Rights Service 800-282-9181 or TTY 800-858-3542 or