The Film

In this twelve minute documentary about a dad, a disease, and a document, filmmaker Delaney Ruston struggles to understand psychiatric advance directives — forms which allow a person to indicate treatment choices and surrogate decision makers in anticipation of a mental crisis.

Will this relatively new tool help her father, living with schizophrenia, get the psychiatric treatment he wants during a mental crisis? Her father is dubious, but Ruston meets with others living with severe mental illness for whom the directive was useful. These advance directives are now available in 25 states, and in all states, psychiatric treatment preferences can be written in a medical advance directive.

Learn more about these directives at


“Delaney Ruston, a physician at the city-run Pike Market Medical Clinic in Seattle, often tells her patients with serious mental illness about PADs…”
– Wall Street Journal