SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA

OFFICE OF THE STATE DIRECTOR OF MENTAL HEALTH  DIRECTIVE NO.  849-05
                                                                                                                                    (5-100)

TO:                  All Organizational Components

SUBJECT:       Psychiatric Advance Directives

I.          Purpose:

The purpose of this Directive is to establish procedures for informing and assisting consumers who wish to make a psychiatric advance directive regarding mental health treatment in the event of future lack of capacity or inability to communicate preferences for treatment. 

II.        Policy:

It is the Department’s policy to encourage the use of advance health care directives and to honor consumers’ advance directives. Psychiatric advance directives enable a consumer to communicate their desires and choices regarding their future psychiatric treatment and thereby promote individual responsibility and empowerment in an individual’s recovery from mental illness and enhance communication between individuals and their families, friends, healthcare providers, and other professionals.

III.      Procedures:

All South Carolina Department of Mental Health facilities and mental health centers will have written policies and procedures regarding psychiatric advance directives, which shall include provisions concerning:

  1. Providing information and material to consumers about their ability to make  psychiatric advance directives and other forms of advance directives (see SCDMH directive entitled “Advance Directives” regarding other forms of Advance Directives).
     

  2. Providing education and assistance to consumers who desire to create a psychiatric advance directive.         
     

  3. Requesting and retaining copies of psychiatric advance directives and other forms of advance directive in the consumer’s medical record.
     

  4. Honoring psychiatric advance directives and other forms of advance directives when such directives exist and staff is made aware of them.  Psychiatric Advance Directives are subject to procedures contained in the SCDMH Directive entitled, “Consent to Medical Treatment, Electroconvulsive Therapy and Neuroleptic Medications.”         

 IV.   Education:

Each South Carolina Department of Mental Health facility and mental health center will ensure there is adequate training of staff concerning psychiatric advance directives and other forms of advance directives and the provisions of this Directive in order to properly assist consumers who desire to create psychiatric advance directives.

                                                                                             

March 2, 2005