Association of Washington Public Hospital Districts
Skip Navigation Links
Our Members
News & Events
Publication & Resources
Contact Us
Mental Health Advance Directives

999 Third Avenue
Suite 1400
Seattle, WA 98104
Driving Directions

During the 2003 state legislative session, the Legislature passed and the Governor approved Senate Bill 5223, which authorizes the use of mental health advance directives. Mental health advance directives allow individuals to express their preferences and provide instructions about mental health treatment. The directive must be respected by medical and mental health professionals, guardians, agents, attorneys-in-fact, and other surrogate decision-makers acting on behalf of the patient.

The bill takes effect July 27, 2003. Hospitals must be prepared to comply with the bill’s requirements on this date.

The original bill proposed by the legislature would have been unmanageable for hospitals. We worked hard to develop a more reasonable mental health advance directives bill. Implementation of the bill’s requirements will still be challenging. This page provides materials hospitals and other health providers need to adhere to the new law.

Bulletins to Hospitals
This bulletin provides an introduction to the law and outlines materials WSHA and AWPHD have produced to help hospitals comply.

View WSHA Bulletin

Model Policy
Hospitals may adopt this model policy for their own facilities. It includes key definitions, procuedures, and considerations for hospital and medical staff.

More Information

Brochure For Patients
“What Patients Need to Know About Mental Health Advance Directives,” can be given to patients. It answers key questions and provides resources for patients who want to have a mental health advance directive. Providing the brochure to patients on admisssion will help hospitals meet the community education requirement of the Patient Self-Determination Act.

View Brochure

View Brochure in Spanish

Power Point Presentation
This presentation walks through the most significant parts of the mental health advance directive procedures and requirements. It is an excellent tool for training staff. (Thanks to Washington Casualty Company for developing it.)

View Presentation

Clinician checklist:
Clinicians can use this checklist to determine a patient’s capacity for purposes of triggering a mental health advance directive. (Thanks to Physicians Insurance and Washington Casualty Company for developing it.)

More Information

Text of the Law
This PDF file is the full text of Senate Bill 5223 as signed by the Governor.