Issue 24: Legal Concerns (Part 2)

Goal: Enhance the use of advance directives for mental health consumers.


Consumer driven mental health treatment is enhanced by the person's advance directives through the "Declaration for Mental Health Treatment." Consumers have often been at the mercy of their illness and subject to crisis planning. In 1996, the Legislature passed a law establishing the ability of consumers to develop "advance directives." These directives allow consumers to make choices in advance when they are more stable and able to make clearer treatment choices. The Alaska Mental Health Board and advocacy groups recognize the value of having consumers' rights presented to each person at several points in their life, i.e., at intake into a community mental health program, followed by a yearly review and upon discharge from the Alaska Psychiatric Institute. These would be optimal times for caregivers and service providers to work collaboratively with the mentally ill person to establish advance directives.


303. Through regulatory changes, establish points where advance directives are routinely discussed with consumers, that is, at intake into a community mental health program, with a yearly review and upon discharge from hospitalization.

304. Service providers will work collaboratively with consumers to establish advance directives and to make them a part of treatment planning.

305. Provide funds for routine training of providers and consumers regarding advance directives.
Responsible party (actions 1-3): Division of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities and advocacy groups