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A Ulysses Agreement (UA) is an informal care, treatment and personal management agreement plan. It is similar to a WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) or Family Care Plan. It is not legally binding like a Representation Agreement.
A Ulysses Agreement is a plan made when an individual is well, to be put in place if and when a person becomes unwell. It is created by the individual living with a mental illness or addiction in collaboration with others (i.e. friends, family, mental health team, etc.). A Ulysses Agreement is a collaborative process.
If a person living with a mental illness or addiction has children or other dependents, it is beneficial to develop a Ulysses Agreement with other family members, friends, and/or mental health professionals who are part of their support team. This creates openness and transparency about the person’s mental health challenges, and helps empower not only the person living with mental illness, but those around them.
While a Ulysses Agreement is not legally binding, it represents a positive way for an individual to take an active part in their own treatment. It offers an opportunity for the individual to plan for and build a strong support base in the event of a relapse. It is also useful to indicate how a representative should take into account a Ulysses Agreement when making decisions for the person they are not able to do so for themselves.
Building a Ulysses Agreement together helps an individual to know that they are NOT alone in coping with their mental illness.
A Ulysses Agreement doesn’t need to be long or exhaustive, it can be as simple as a few sentences that are a part of their discharge plan that is discussed with the clinician before they leave the hospital or treatment centre.
Things for a person living with mental illness to consider including when creating a Ulysses Agreement:
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this section is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any matter. We encourage you to seek legal advice when dealing with any of these issues.
The following are a list of useful resources that covers all planning mechanisms that address decisions for a person who has become incapable of making decisions.