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Community effort: PAD Group Facilitation

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Charlotte and the Crisis Navigation Project will present Psychiatric Advance Directive (PAD) Group Facilitation at the Promise Resource Network in Charlotte, N.C., on May 8.

Psychiatric Advance Directives and Health Care Powers of Attorney are legal and medical documents that can help avoid a serious health and legal crisis, according to the Mecklenburg County Assistant Public Defender Robert Ward. 

“They make it possible for someone with a mental health condition to save time, money, and better achieve and maintain overall health and welfare – even under challenging circumstances. They also make it possible to avoid pain, coercion, forced medications, solitary confinement, jail, prison, hurt or broken relationships, poorer health, and worse,” Ward wrote about the upcoming PAD event.

This event will cover your legal right to have your treatment preferences shared with and heard by providers as well as the right to choose who will advocate for your preferences if you are unable to speak for yourself. 
PAD facilitators will be available to share information, answer questions and help with the development of your PAD. If you have a Wellness Recovery action Plan (WRAP), you can bring it to the training and include it your PAD.

Laurie Whitson, a Senior Community Executive for Cardinal Innovations, said the PAD Group Facilitation event is a community-wide effort and is one way the community is observing Mental Health Awareness Month in May. The Crisis Navigation Project is implementing the PAD events in Mecklenburg County with a grant.

Whitson facilitates the PAD Steering Committee in Mecklenburg County that is supporting this event. She said Cardinal Innovations is one of many partners sending members and their families to the group facilitation sessions so they can learn more about PADs and get one the day of the event if they are interested.

“Their PAD will also be uploaded to the state website to be accessible if they were to be hospitalized,” Whitson said.

NAMI and the Promise Resource Network have each committed to host PAD Group Facilitation events every six weeks with the help of 40 volunteer facilitators from the community. Cardinal Innovations Member Engagement Specialist Ron Clark is one of the 40 PAD facilitators in Mecklenburg County. Other agencies including InnerVision, Atrium Health and some local churches have also agreed to host events periodically.

“In Charlotte, although we are just now ‘cutting our teeth, crawling,’ we are attempting to launch a community wide effort related to PAD implementation,” Whitson said.
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