Virginia Advance Healthcare Directive Resource Center

Virginia Advance Healthcare Directive Resource Center

Disability Law Center of Virginia (dLCV) formerly known as (VOPA)

Dana Traynham Esq., a VOPA staff attorney, has been working with consumers to develop advance directives for mental health care on a case by case basis for some time. Dana has written her own power of attorney and advance directive forms which she uses with her clients. Dana also tracks legislation related to advance directives and engages in related advocacy.

NAMI Virginia

NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer program includes many aspects of advance directive creation. In addition to numerous local peer-to-peer programs, there are peer-to-peer mentor (facilitator) trainings as well. NAMI Peer-to-Peer mentors may provide a pool for advance directive facilitator training in other projects. Participants in Peer-to-Peer create a relapse prevention plan to help identify tell-tale feelings, thoughts, behaviors, or events that may warn of impending relapse and to organization for intervention; mindfulness exercises to help focus and calm thinking; and survival skills for working with providers and the general public. In addition, the program has a focus on advance directives: what they are, why they are important, and what good they can do for a person who has experienced psychiatric crisis. The class facilitators spend time during at least two of the classes addressing the value of advance directives, facilitating discussion about how to thoughtfully identify a health care agent, and many other decisions a person should think about when completing an advance directive. Participants receive an advance directive template to fill out, customize, and integrate into their wellness planning.

Sarah Steadman:
Mary Beth Walsh:


Bonnie Neighbour: (804) 343-1777

The UVA-Duke Study

Dr. Richard Bonnie at the University of Virginia is conducting an in-depth study of the implementation of the new advanced directive law in Virginia funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Mental Health and the Law.

Dr. Richard Bonnie: