For the past several months, Mental Health America of Northeast Indiana (MHANI) has been working on a new website. The subject: guardianship.
Guardianship is a legal process in which an individual (usually a relative or friend) becomes the guardian of an individual and thereby makes medical and/or financial decisions for him/her. It is required that the individual be incapacitated before a guardianship is put in place. Incapacitation may be caused by mental illness, intellectual or developmental disability, or age-related disorders, and makes it difficult for individuals to make sound decisions on their own.
“When talking about guardianship in the community, we discovered that there was no central place for people to go,” Lisa Smith, executive director, said, talking about the reason for the creation of the website. “Since we have provided guardianships since 1988, we know a lot about the process and criteria for guardianship. But the average person trying to establish guardianship for a relative doesn’t have access to that knowledge, and no single place to go to get that information.”
Hence, the idea for the website was born. GuardianshipFrontDoor.org features pages explaining the process to establish guardianship, information about when a guardian is needed and who can act as guardian, as well as a place to contact MHANI for more information or refer an individual for guardianship.