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Advance statements

Advance statements are a powerful way of ensuring that people with mental health problems are listened to, even when they are unwell. Even so, we guess that only a small number of people who are treated for mental ill health are aware of them.

If you become unwell with a mental illness, you may need treatment. Sometimes, when people are very unwell, they are unable or unwilling to consent to treatment. In some cases, you may be given treatment even if you don't want it.

You may find it helpful to write an advance statement when you are well, stating how you would like to be treated if you become ill in the future. Anyone who makes decisions about your treatment, like doctors or a tribunal, should read your advance statement and consider your wishes.

An advance statement is not a guarantee that your wishes will be followed, but it is a guarantee that they will be taken into account. An advance statement should be witnessed and signed by a health or social care professional.

It is a good idea to review your advance statement every six or 12 months to make sure it is up to date.

Watch our films

To help show the difference an advance statement can make, we have created a series of short films, each with a different person's story.

See the films here, and share this link with others who might find it useful.

Watch our series of short films featuring people with first-hand experience of advance statements.