NEW Georgia Psychiatric Advance Directive

Recently a new and important bill was signed into law. Georgia House Bill 752, also known as the Georgia Psychiatric Advance Directive (PAD), is a forward-thinking law that empowers individuals to take control of their lives and health care through proactive decision-making to address their unique mental health needs and situations.

Why is this important?

This law is an important development for Georgia residents who have experienced a mental health crisis, have a mental health diagnosis, or have a family member with a mental health diagnosis.  HB 752 allows Georgia residents to plan and maintain their independence when it comes to treatment and care. Similar to how an Advance Directive for Healthcare gives individuals the ability to designate a trusted agent to make medical treatment decisions and serves as a place for outlining treatment preferences, the Psychiatric Advance Directive addresses decision-making related to mental health care treatment.

This legal document gives individuals who have already experienced or recovered from a mental health crisis the ability to express their wishes about what types of treatments, services, and other assistance they are comfortable with receiving during a mental health crisis. It also serves as a place where individuals can state which health care professionals they prefer to receive treatment from; and which techniques, procedures, and medications have proven effective for their unique circumstances in the past.

What are some of the benefits?

The PAD also allows individuals to grant decision-making authority to another person which enables that person to act as an advocate and mental health care agent until the crisis is over. By executing a PAD during periods when they can objectively make rational decisions about their care, individuals with mental health concerns are better able to preserve their autonomy and take control of treatment, prior to experiencing a future mental health episode

Additionally, putting a PAD in place decreases the likelihood that an individual is involuntarily committed, receives care that is ineffective and does not align with an individual’s preferences, or is subject to the decisions of someone they do not know or trust.

NAMI (National Alliance on mental Illness) encourages everyone who has a mental health diagnosis or experiences mental health episodes, to create a Psychiatric Advance Directive to be prepared for situations that may arise.

Hurley Elder Care Law is offering a FREE webinar to further discuss this new law and document. Please join Sam Evans, JD, on Sept. 14 from 12:00 PM- 12:30 PM as he presents “The NEW Georgia Psychiatric Advance Directive: A Quantum Leap for Mental Health”. Register HERE.

Call Hurley Elder Care Law at 404-843-0121 to learn more and to create this document as part of your estate plan.

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