New SAMHSA app to help people develop a crisis plan
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a new mobile app earlier this month, called My Mental Health Crisis Plan, which helps individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) create a plan to guide their treatment during a mental health crisis.
From the SAMHSA newsroom:
The app was developed through SMI Adviser, a project funded by SAMHSA and administered by the American Psychiatric Association.
The app provides an easy, step-by-step process for individuals to create and share a psychiatric advance directive (PAD). A PAD is a legal document that includes a list of instructions and preferences that the individual wishes to be followed in case of a mental health crisis, should they not be able to make their own decisions.
My Mental Health Crisis Plan allows individuals with serious mental illness to:
Clearly state treatment preferences, including treatments to use and those not to use; medications to use and those not to use; preferences for hospitals; and preferences for doctors and other mental health professionals.
Decide who can act on their behalf, by designating a trusted person (sometimes referred to as “healthcare agent,” “proxy,” or “health care power of attorney”) as a decision-maker on their behalf. Some states require appointment of a decision-maker to carry out the PAD instructions.
Identify whom to notify in the event of a mental health crisis.
Share the plan with others, including doctors, other members of the care team, and family and friends.
The app includes state-specific requirements for completing the PAD (such as signatures, witnesses, notary public), and allows it to be shared via PDF or QR code with whomever an individual chooses.