Advance Health Directive for Mental Health
The new Mental Health Act 2016 has commenced in Queensland and consumers now have the option to complete an Advanced Health Directives for Mental Health (AHD-MH). ADA Australia and Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI) worked with the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist at the Department of Health to help educate clinicians across Queensland about the AHD-MH in 2017-2018.
Who can make an AHD-MH? – A person can make an advance health directive for mental health (AHD-MH) if they are over 18 years of age and understand the following:
- the nature and likely effect of each matter in the AHD-MH
- the AHD-MH only applies when the person making the directive does not have capacity to make decisions about matters in the AHD-MH
- the AHD-MH can be revoked at any time if the person has the capacity to make the decision
- the person making the directive is unable to oversee the implementation of their AHD-MH at a future time, as the AHD-MH is only effective when the person does not have capacity to make decisions for themselves and it is clinically appropriate
Involvement of a Doctor – A person making an AHD-MH should discuss their directive with a doctor who understands their mental health. This will increase the likelihood that the directive can be properly used if, at a future time, the person does not have capacity to make decisions themselves.
So that a person can give informed consent in the directive, the doctor should give advice about:
- the mental health treatment and care the person may need in the future
- the benefits and risks associated with that mental health treatment and care
Although a doctor assists a person in making decisions, it is essential that the person decides the matters they want included in the directive.
Doctor Certification – Section 7 ADH-MH – To ensure an AHD-MH can take effect at a future time, a doctor must sign the directive and certify that the person appeared to have capacity to make the directive. The doctor is eligible to sign a person’s directive if he or she is not:
- the person witnessing the directive (refer AHD-MH — Section 8; Guide page 6)
- the person signing the directive on behalf of the person making the directive (refer AHD-MH — Section 8 — Eligible signer; Guide page 6)
- the attorney for the person making the directive (refer AHD-MH—Section 3; Guide page 5)
- a relation of the person making the directive or a relation of the attorney/s named on the directive (refer Powers of Attorney Act 1998)
- a beneficiary under the will of the person making the directive
Queensland Health Resources
- Advance Health Directive Guide and Form
- AHD-MH Checklist (Qld Health)
- Treatment and Care resources for clinicians
- Consumer/patient rights and support for the Mental Health Act 2016
- For other information on the Mental Health Act 2016 go to Queensland Health website & Mental Health Act 2016
Clinician Workshops, March – May 2018
Education sessions for clinicians and mental health service professionals were held from March to May 2018 in each Hospital and Health Service (HHS) around Queensland. A total of 34 sessions were delivered to explore:
- the AHD-MH and how it strengthens the rights of individuals
- the clinician’s role when assisting people wanting to make an AHD-MH.
A copy of the AHD-MH clinician education slides are available here
- FACTSHEET 1: About Advanced Health Directives for Mental Health (AHD-MH)
- FACTSHEET 2: Decision-making and Capacity
- FACTSHEET 3: Frequently Asked Questions
- FACTSHEET 4: Glossary
- FACTSHEET 5: Useful Resources and Information
- FACTSHEET 6: Empowering 8 Steps for consumers to make an AHD-MH
- FACTSHEET 7: International Case Note
Videos have been produced to support consumers in understanding more about the Advance Health Directives for Mental Health.
- VIDEO 1: “Completing the Advance Health Directive for Mental Health form”
- VIDEO 2: About “Advance Health Directives for Mental Health (QLD, Australia)”
- VIDEO 3: Consumer Information and Webinar Video AHD-MH
To view the ADA Australia Advance Health Directive for Mental Health consumer page click here.
Evaluation Site and Feedback about the Mental Health Act 2016 (Qld)
To provide your feedback on the Mental Health Act 2016 (Qld), please click here.
To return to the ADA Australia Advance Health Directive for Mental Health main page click here.