Category Archives: News

Canadians Denied Entry Into US Due to Mental Illness

Apparently, on several occasions, US border patrol has denied entry into the United States to Canadian citizens who have a history of mental illness. 

It really surprised me to learn that these Canadians weren’t trying to move to the US or anything, they were simply trying to cross the border for a vacation! 

Canadian medical records are supposed to be confidential, but the database Canadian authorities use to keep police records are shared with the border patrols. In one instance of this discrimination, a woman had a record of police entering her home when her significant other called 911 when she attempted suicide years earlier. Though she attempted to to cross the border after several years of therapy and with much improvement in her depression, she was denied access to the US. 

US border patrol are allowed to deny border access to anyone “deemed a threat to themselves, others, or their property” but to assume anyone with a history of mental illness is considered a threat is extremely ignorant.

You can read more on this topic here through the CBC:
Canadian Woman Refused US Entry Because of Depression
Canadians with Mental Illness Denied US Entry

Government Shutdown and Social Security Disability

So it is all over the news right now, a potential government shutdown (something this country hasn’t seen since the 90’s) may be imminent. When I heard that the government would be operating on a very trimmed down version of itself, I was a little nervous. After all, I have been waiting for my social security disability hearing date for months, would this affect my application?

Here are a couple of the big questions (and answers) I found while trolling the internet.

In a government shutdown, are Social Security Disability payments affected? No, for those who have been awarded social security disability,  checks should be sent out on time.

What happens to my Social Security Disability hearing if the government shuts down? From what I read, hearings will most likely continue but staff will be trimmed down, ultimately causing delays in scheduling and decision making.

(Great, more delays, just what I need!)

If the government shuts down, what happens to my Social Security Disability application? The answer here is a little more unclear, during the last government shutdown the employee cuts made it difficult for processing new applications, so there very well could be delays in this arena as well.

Overall, if you already receive Social Security Disability benefits, you shouldn’t run into any problems. For those of us who have applied and are waiting (or are about to apply) there could be more waiting involved in what is already a very long process.

For more, visit one of these websites.

Blood Test May Predict Suicide Risk

According to a recent study (published in Molecular Psychiatry) of bipolar patients in Indiana, molecules in the blood appear to indicate an individual’s current degree of suicidal intent.

The study was done on a small sample of the bipolar population (nine patients) so is really just a preliminary sort of study, however the findings were pretty interesting.

Researchers found that there are 41 enzymes and proteins in the blood that levels appear to fluctuate based on the patient’s level of suicidal risk.

One enzyme in particular called SAT1 was elevated in subjects who were feeling suicidal. Researchers also found that postmortem studies of the blood of subjects who had commit suicide had levels of SAT1 even greater than the living subjects researchers were studying.

Researchers also identified four biomarkers that may be used to indicate potential suicide risk in a patient even if the patient is not currently suicidal.

What an interesting find! You can find the whole article (with more detail) here.

Pill Dispenser For the Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse

Some students at Brigham Young University have created what they’ve dubbed the MedVault Pill Dispenser.

The cylindrical dispenser is tamper proof (the woman on the news said you could hit it with a hammer and not be able to open it) and the program in the device is programed by your pharmacist when it is filled to determine what pills are dispensed and when to the user. To make security even tighter, users enter an access code on the top of the device when it is time for medication to be dispensed.

Though I know this device is primarily to keep people from abusing or stealing people’s prescription drugs, I’ve been known (on occasion) to take the wrong pills or the wrong dosage, simply due to confusion. On that account I think this little device would be pretty helpful, though also taking some medications “as needed” sort of defeats the purpose here. I also think having to enter an access code would be a little dubious for my purposes, as remembering when to take the medication is also a problem.

Maybe it could beep when it was time to dispense medication?

In any case, I thought this was an interesting device. You can find more on the MedVault Pill Dispenser here.