How We Can Help
The Mental Health Legal Centre can help to make an Advance statement of preferences. We work with consumers to understand what their treatment preferences are and to ensure that this is expressed clearly in their Advance statement of preferences.
You contact us on (03) 9629 4422 to make an appointment with our Advance statement of preferences team.
What is an Advance statement of preferences?
- An Advance statement of preferences is a document that helps you have more say in how you are treated when you are receiving compulsory treatment.
- An Advance statement of preferences sets out your treatment preferences if you require compulsory treatment.
- An Advance statement of preferences may include information about:
- your preferences relating to treatment:
- Which treatment(s) you find effective;
- Which treatment(s) have been less effective in the past;
- Your views about Electroconvulsive Treatment (ECT); and
- Any other information you want your treating team to know.
- your preferences relating to care and support including appropriate supports to assist you to communicate and participate in decision making:
- your preferences about who may be provided with your health information;
- the name and contact details of your nominated support person or advocate (if you have one) and;
- the name and contact details of any person or organisation to be informed that you are a patient.
- You can make an Advance statement of preferences at any time.
- An Advance statement of preferences must be:
- In writing;
- Signed and dated by you in the presence of your witness; and
- Witnessed by an adult and include a statement by the witness confirming they believed you understand the advance statement of preferences, the consequences of making it and how to revoke it, that you make it of you own free will, and
that the witness observed you signing it.
An Advance statement of preferences is in effect from the time it is made until it is revoked.
Effect of Advance statement of preferences
- You should ensure that the people involved in your treatment and care know that you have made an Advance statement of preferences and where it is.
- If you have an Advance statement of preferences then your treating team must ensure all reasonable efforts are made to give effect to it.
- An authorised psychiatrist may only make a treatment decision that doesn’t accord with your wishes in the advance statement of preferences if they are satisfied the treatment is not clinically appropriate, or they are unable to provide the treatment. They must make all reasonable efforts to try provide the treatment.
- If an authorised psychiatrist decides to override your advance statement of preferences they must provide you and your nominated support person (if you have one) with written reasons for their decision. These reasons must be provided within 10 business days of your request. The authorised psychiatrist must also orally inform you of their decision.
- If you have an Advance statement of preferences, the Mental Health Tribunal must consider it.
- An Advance statement of preferences cannot be altered. You will need to make a new one if you want to change it.
Why write an Advance statement of preferences?
- An Advance statement of preferences can tell your treating team about your home life, your personal understanding of what works and what doesn’t work for your mental health and the people and things you rely on (and who rely on you) in daily life.
- None of us go to hospital when we are well, so hospital and crisis staff usually only see us when we are unwell.
- An Advance statement of preferences gives you the chance to sit down when well to work out what needs to be done and what works best for you if you become unwell.
- The information is then available to the hospital or clinic when you need them to know, but where you may not be able to properly explain and have your wishes considered.
Still have more questions?