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Mental Health Advance Directive (MHAD)

In 2004, Pennsylvania enacted legislation (Act 194) that provides the opportunity for individuals living with mental illness to create a Mental Health Advance Directive (MHAD) and plan ahead for mental health services and supports in the event they become unable to make decisions for themselves. A MHAD offers a clear written statement of an individual’s mental health treatment preferences or other expressed wishes or instructions should they become incapacitated. It can also be used to assign decision-making authority to another person who can act on that person’s behalf during times of incapacitation. A completed MHAD is legally binding and MUST BE followed by attending medical personnel.

MHADs offer several key benefits. Correctly implemented and executed, they can:

  • Promote individual autonomy and empowerment in the recovery from mental illness;
  • Enhance communication between individuals and their families, friends, healthcare providers, and other professionals;
  • Protect individuals from being subjected to ineffective, unwanted, or possibly harmful treatments or actions; and
  • Help in preventing crises and the resulting use of involuntary treatment or safety interventions such as restrain or seclusion.

Click to Request MHAD Handbook

Pennsylvania Codes

Mental Health Procedures: PA Code 55, Chapter 5100
Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 51 Pa.B. 172 (January 2, 2021)

The act establishes procedures for the treatment of mentally ill persons. The procedures are to be applied consistently with the principles of due process to make voluntary and involuntary treatment available where the need is great and where the absence of treatment could result in serious harm to the mentally ill person or to others.

It is the policy of the Commonwealth to seek to assure that adequate treatment is available with the least restrictions necessary to meet each client’s needs. While this policy remains a shared responsibility between State, county, and facility personnel, the accountability for recommending the transfer to the least restrictive alternatives available remains a responsibility of those directing treatment. Adequate treatment provided in an individual’s own community or as close as possible to his own home shall be preferred.

Outpatient Psychiatric Services: PA Code 55, Chapter 1153
Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 51 Pa.B. 172 (January 2, 2021)

The MA Program provides payment for specific medically necessary psychiatric outpatient clinic services, MMHT services and psychiatric outpatient partial hospitalization services rendered to eligible MA beneficiaries by psychiatric outpatient clinics and psychiatric outpatient partial hospitalization facilities enrolled as providers under the program. Payment for behavioral health services.

Psychiatric Outpatient Clinics: PA Code 55, Chapter 5200
Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 51 Pa.B. 172 (January 2, 2021)

This chapter provides standards for the licensing of freestanding psychiatric outpatient clinics of the Human Services Code, and approval of psychiatric outpatient clinics which are a part of a health care facility of the Health Care Facilities Act and the Mental Health Procedures Act.

Liability for Community Mental Health and Disability Services: PA Code 55, Chapter 4305
Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 51 Pa.B. 172 (January 2, 2021)

One of the primary goals of the public mental health and intellectual disability program is to provide easy access to treatment or habilitation services and to encourage people to seek help.

Partial Hospitalization: PA Code 55, Chapter 5210
Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 51 Pa.B. 172 (January 2, 2021)

This chapter applies to private, nonprofit or for-profit facilities which provide mental examination, diagnosis, care and treatment to the mentally ill or emotionally disturbed for a period of more than 3 hours but not less than 24 hours during the day, evening or night, and which participate in the public mental health program.

Description of Services and Service Areas: PA Code 55, Chapter 4210
Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 51 Pa.B. 172 (January 2, 2021)

This chapter specifies the range of services that must be provided or arranged by the county Mental Health/Intellectual Disability (MH/ID) Program.

Intensive Behavioral Health Services: PA Code 55, Chapter 5240
Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 51 Pa.B. 172 (January 2, 2021)

This chapter applies to entities that provide intensive behavioral health services (IBHS), as defined in this chapter, to children, youth or young adults and sets forth the minimum requirements that shall be met for an agency to obtain a license to provide one or more IBHS.

Social Security Benefits and Disability for Mental Health Conditions

Disability Evaluation Information for Social Security Benefits

Social Security Disability Benefits

Office Phone: 717-221-1022

2551 Walnut Street

Harrisburg, PA 17103

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Call or Text 9-8-8

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