Writing an advance statement
An advance statement is a document that you write when you are feeling mentally well. In the document you describe what you want to happen if you become unwell.
An advance statement can:
- let staff know what care / medications work for you and which ones don’t work
- let staff know about any physical health needs or disabilities
- help things to run smoothly if you become ill, for example, deciding who you would like to look after your pets if you need to go into hospital
It can provide peace of mind for practical parts of your day-to-day life such as any benefits you may receive, what to do about bills or work, taking care of children or other people you may care for.
Completing an advance statement
We’re here to help you if you would like to complete an advance statement. Please speak to your doctor, care coordinator or another member of the team providing your care if you would like support to complete your advance statement.
Your doctor or care coordinator will be able to:
- give you advice and information about available treatments
- agree care and treatment with you in advance
- ensure your statement is recorded on our Trust’s systems and accessed by our staff when needed
- can agree with you how and when you review your advance statement
You should review your advance statement once a year.
Your advance statement should be clearly labelled and easy to access in a crisis. You should give a copy of your advance statement to any close friends or family who might support you in a crisis.
More information if you need help in a crisis can be found on our help in a crisis page.
What an advance statement cannot do
An advance statement cannot legally ensure you get your preferred treatment, nor can it:
- stop your being sectioned under the Mental Health Act
- stop your being treated against your will if you are sectioned under the Mental Health Act
Advance decisions to refuse treatment
You can also create a legally binding document when you are mentally capable to refuse specific medical treatment, for a time in the future when you may lack mental capacity to consent or refuse that treatment. This is called an Advance Decision.
An Advance Decision can refuse treatment for a physical or mental issue. A refusal of treatment for mental disorder can be overruled by the Mental Health Act.
Before creating an Advance Decision you should discuss it with your psychiatrist or GP. You may also wish to seek legal advice.
Templates and resources to help you create your advance statement
We have also created an example of a completed advance statement to give you an idea of what you may choose to include.
The template is meant to be a useful resource that helps you as an individual. It might be that not every question on the template is right for you to answer.
Please just answer those questions that you wish to, the most important thing is that your advance statement is right for you and your needs and wishes.
If you are unsure about which questions you would like to answer, please discuss this with your doctor, care coordinator or other healthcare professional.