Advance Statements

How We Can Help

The Mental Health Legal Centre can help to make an Advance Statement.  We work with consumers to understand what their treatment preferences are and to ensure that this is expressed clearly in their Advance Statements.

Please contact us on (03) 9629 4422 to make an appointment with our Advance Statements team.

The ‘Your Treatment Your Voice’ App has been developed as an Advance Statement Guide. The aim of the App is to assist consumers in navigating the first steps to preparing their Advance Statement.

This App was created in collaboration with students from Melbourne University and Neota Logic, for more information about this innovative program, please visit: https://law.unimelb.edu.au

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What is an Advance Statement?

  • An Advance Statement is a document that helps you have more say in how you are treated when you are receiving compulsory treatment.
  • An Advance Statement sets out what treatment you want if you require compulsory treatment.
  • An Advance Statement may include information about:
      • Which treatment you find effective.
      • Which treatment has been less effective for you in the past.
      • Your views about electroconvulsive treatment.
  • You can make an Advance Statement at any time.
  • An Advance Statement must be:
      • In writing.
      • Signed and dated by you.
      • Witnessed by an ‘authorised witness’ who signs to say you understand what an Advance Statement is and the consequences of making one.

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Effect of Advance Statement

  • You should ensure that the people involved in your treatment and care know that you have made an Advance Statement and where it is.
  • If you have an Advance Statement then this must be considered by your treating team.
  • Sometimes your treating team will not follow your Advance Statement if they do not provide the treatment requested or if they do not think it will work.
  • If this happens you can ask for written reasons from your treating team, these reasons must be provided within 10 days of your request.
  • An Advance Statement cannot be altered. You will need to make a new one if you want to change it.

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Why write an Advance Statement?

  • An Advance Statement 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 gives you the chance to sit down when well to work out what needs to be done and what works best for you should you become unwell.
  • The information is then available to the hospital or clinic when you need them to know, but may be in a poor position to explain and have your wishes taken account.

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Still have more questions?

Feel free to send us a message via email or phone us on 9629 4422 if you have more questions.

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