I came across the concept of Advance Statements only recently; I’m glad to now be able to share the idea and encourage you to think about them.
An Advance Statement is a document for people with mental health problems. The idea being that you write it when you are well, putting in your views on how you want to be treated and the kinds of treatment you would like if you become unwell and can’t tell people easily what you would like.
You may never need to use it but its there if you need it. Anyone who makes decisions about your treatment, such as doctors, nurses and the Mental Health Tribunal must read your Advance Statement and consider your wishes.
To support the Advance Statement you can include a personal statement giving a bit more information such as
- Things you like and help you, like listening to music and walking
- People you want to see
- People you don’t want to see
- Things that are important to you
The process of writing this can also be a helpful time to reflect on what matters to you and what makes you happy.
A good place for help putting an Advance Statement together is the Mental Health Welfare Commission for Scotland; their website has…
– lots of useful advice and help
– a template – to help you put down the important things
– a great guidance document
– films with people sharing their stories about the difference advance statements make (like the one below)
It’s worth thinking about an Advance Statement because once it’s done, it’s there just in case, & it can give you peace of mind so you can get on with other things.