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This educational resource is designed to inform people that use mental health services, their carers and clinicians about the government’s proposal to introduce Advance Choice Documents as part of the Mental Health Act reforms.

The modular format allows the viewers to see demonstrations of good practice in the development of Advance Choice Documents and ensuring that people who use services are at the centre of planning their treatment and care.

There is no need to view the whole product and viewers can choose which parts are more relevant or helpful to them.

As a guide for viewers the modules include:

Introduction to the project

An introduction by Dr Shubulade Smith

Module 1: Why ACDs benefit black service users

How the use of ACDs can be beneficial in reducing the rate of Mental Health Act detention for black service users

Module 2: Crisis Planning and patient choice

Exploring a person’s well-being, their values and identity.
  • Labelling, exploring experiences of distress, crisis or relapse
  • Exploring who might support the person when distressed and what they can do
  • Thinking about risk and safety
  • Agreeing who to share the information with and when to review

Module 3: Advance Choice Documents – how to develop the document

This module demonstrates the good practice between a member of clinical staff and the person who uses services when introducing and discussing what an advance choice document is.

Module 4: Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

How advance choice documents should be developed for young people.

Module 5: Learning Disabilities

How the approach to developing an ACD should be adapted for people with a learning disability.

Module 6: Autism

How the approach to developing an ACD should be adapted for people with autism.

Module 7: Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHAs)

The role of the IMHA in supporting a person when developing their ACD.

Module 8: Chaplaincy and supporting people who use services

How the role of the chaplain can help people when in hospital both with general support and working with them to develop their ACDs.

Module 9: Hopes and Fears voiced by people about ACDs

The benefits people see balanced with concerns they have around the practicalities of making ACDs work.


Viewers are invited to reflect either on (a) how their own practice as clinicians or (b) for people who use services, the experience they have had when developing care plans to include the their preferences and wishes for care. Clinicians are invited to think about what improvements they would see important in their own practice to make the experience for people better. People who use services are invited to think about how their previous experiences could be improved.