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Advance Directive for Mental Health Treatment

WHEREAS, an "Advance Directive for Mental Health Treatment" or "Advance Directive" means a written document, or a document in a form consistent with the provisions of the Federal American with Disabilities Act (ADA), that would protect the mental health consumer's choice when the mental health consumer is in a crisis mode and cannot articulate clearly or cogently; and

WHEREAS, the Advance Directive can speak clearly for consumers wishes concerning psychotropic medication, electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) and preferences for emergency intervention such as seclusion, physical restraints, restraint by injection of medication, or a combination of seclusion and restraints; and

WHEREAS, the purpose of the "Advance Directive" is to empower the consumer to indicate directives and preferences for treatment, balanced with the duty and desire of the provider to render ethical, effective treatment which is consistent with community standards; and

WHEREAS, the advance directive would allow mental health consumers to communicate to providers past experiences, current needs, emergency intervention (seclusion/restrain) and the knowledge to decrease symptoms as quickly as possible while preventing humiliation, embarrassment and preserving one's dignity; and

WHEREAS, Kentucky State Legislature passed into law HB99 on "Advanced Directives" for mental health directives in March 2003 into law to become one of at least twenty-one (21) states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming) with statutes creating an Advance Mental Health Directive.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP endorse and call upon all units to work with their state legislators to proclaim and preserve the freedom for those with mental health disabilities to communicate their rights with an Advance Mental Health Directive.