Mental Health Power of Attorney
Who needs a Mental Health Power of Attorney?
Anyone eighteen years of age or older who wants to appoint another to make future mental
health care decisions in the event the person becomes incapable of making those decisions for
him or herself.
What does a Mental Health Power of Attorney do?
A Durable Mental Health Care Power of Attorney gives instructions and preferences regarding
mental health treatment. The advance instruction may include consent to or refusal of mental
health treatment. "Mental health treatment" means the process of providing for the physical,
emotional, psychological, and social needs of the principal for the principal's mental illness. 1 2
Mental health treatment includes but is not limited to, electroconvulsive treatment, treatment of
mental illness with neuroleptic or other psychotropic medications, and admission to and
retention in a facility for care or treatment of mental illness.
When is a Mental Health Power of Attorney used?
The decision about when a person is incapable of making mental health decisions for
themselves can only be made by a licensed physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist who will
evaluate whether the person can give informed consent.