Psychiatric Advance Directives

Should you name a health care agent?

One of the most powerful features of a psychiatric advance directive is your ability to name someone else (called a health care agent) to make decisions for you and speak on your behalf in times of a mental health crisis. You can name that person by stating that only he or she should make decisions for you in the event that you lack the capacity to make medical decisions for yourself.

Your advance directive does not have to name a health care agent, but in some states it may not be legally recognized as enforceable unless it includes one.