Psychiatric Advance Directives

What is a Psychiatric Advance Directive?

A Psychiatric Advance Directive (PAD) is a written legal document that expresses the wishes of an individual about their mental health care regarding what types of treatments, services and other assistance he or she might want, or not want, during a personal mental health crisis.


  • Is a plan put in place during a time of wellness, that can be relied upon in a time of crisis
  • Promotes individual autonomy and empowerment over one’s own treatment
  • Serves as pre-determined informed consent for treatments
  • Contains valuable health history information for doctors


The New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services offers a secure online registry that provides health care providers immediate and streamlined access to psychiatric advanced directives. Click here for more information and to access the registery. If you are using the forms above, this link is also provided as part of the Psychiatric Advance Directive Instructions sheet.

Additional Information and Resources

MHANJ Psychiatric Advance Directive Training Program

The MHANJ offers Three Specialized PAD Trainings:

  1. Individuals living with mental health conditions – those seeking information about how a PAD can benefit them, and how to complete it
  2. Family member/friend training – those seeking information about how a PAD might help their loved one, and how to help them complete it
  3. Providers/behavioral health staff – those seeking information about how to help their clients complete a PAD, what their legal requirements are and what the benefits of a PAD are for both the provider and individual

If you have any questions about Psychiatric Advance Directives, contact Barbara Johnston at or call 973-571-4100, Ext. 123.