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vanillamochi

Disclosure of Health Issues

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Hey all,

I tried poking around on the forum for past discussions of this kind, but I didn't see anything directly related to my concerns.

I'm curious as to what needs to be disclosed/what is looked into when you are called to the bar with regards to (mental) health conditions and medications you are on.

Obviously, I want to take care of myself as best as I can in general and especially before I start law school this fall (this summer I'm looking into being treated for what I suspect could be Bipolar disorder), but I also don't want any medications or delcared illnesses to have a negative impact on my eligibility. Furthermore, I believe it may also be beneficial for me to be prescribed something like Concerta due to my ADHD-- does anyone have any insight with regards to if these things matter very much?

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1 hour ago, vanillamochi said:

Hey all,

I tried poking around on the forum for past discussions of this kind, but I didn't see anything directly related to my concerns.

I'm curious as to what needs to be disclosed/what is looked into when you are called to the bar with regards to (mental) health conditions and medications you are on.

Obviously, I want to take care of myself as best as I can in general and especially before I start law school this fall (this summer I'm looking into being treated for what I suspect could be Bipolar disorder), but I also don't want any medications or delcared illnesses to have a negative impact on my eligibility. Furthermore, I believe it may also be beneficial for me to be prescribed something like Concerta due to my ADHD-- does anyone have any insight with regards to if these things matter very much?

It depends on your jurisdiction. 

Speaking from experience, it's shortsighted to prioritize admission to the law society over your health.  Get the treatment you think you need.  

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1 hour ago, vanillamochi said:

Hey all,

I tried poking around on the forum for past discussions of this kind, but I didn't see anything directly related to my concerns.

I'm curious as to what needs to be disclosed/what is looked into when you are called to the bar with regards to (mental) health conditions and medications you are on.

Obviously, I want to take care of myself as best as I can in general and especially before I start law school this fall (this summer I'm looking into being treated for what I suspect could be Bipolar disorder), but I also don't want any medications or delcared illnesses to have a negative impact on my eligibility. Furthermore, I believe it may also be beneficial for me to be prescribed something like Concerta due to my ADHD-- does anyone have any insight with regards to if these things matter very much?

I would agree with @almostnot - go get diagnosed and get the treatment you need regardless of anything else. I would also check directly with your law society about this issue and get an answer directly from them. 

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Yes check and disclose if needed. The Law Society can’t really do too much to you for having a disability if it can be managed but can for not being forcoming or doing what you need to manage it. I had issues with my admission do to my disability (not metal health )  feel free to pm me. Also if you are just starting law school do something I didn’t do talk with disability accommodation people at the law school 

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As best as I can recall there are no question when it comes to "good character" that relate specifically to mental health.  At all.  As pointed out it's almost certainly contrary to the Charter to discriminate based on disability.

That being said, if your past mental health issues has caused you other issues in your life, such as trouble with the justice system, that then becomes far more complicated.

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In BC there is a form you fill out re mental health and addictions for articling. It is relatively new. 

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8 minutes ago, Hegdis said:

In BC there is a form you fill out re mental health and addictions for articling. It is relatively new. 

Does it affect your ability to article? Or is it solely for information gathering processes?

Regardless, that sounds like bad policy. Forced disclosure can lead to people hiding their illnesses and avoiding treatment (see above). 

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Forced disclosure also protects the public. It is a tough balance. I don’t say it’s perfect. But it’s hardly without merit. 

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If it's this form (at the end), then the question is:

Quote

 

"Based on your personal history, your current circumstances or any professional opinion or advice you have received, do you have any existing condition that is reasonably likely to impair your ability to function as an articled student?" 

 

 

Nova Scotia has a similar form. 

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On 2018-05-21 at 4:53 PM, vanillamochi said:

Hey all,

I tried poking around on the forum for past discussions of this kind, but I didn't see anything directly related to my concerns.

I'm curious as to what needs to be disclosed/what is looked into when you are called to the bar with regards to (mental) health conditions and medications you are on.

Obviously, I want to take care of myself as best as I can in general and especially before I start law school this fall (this summer I'm looking into being treated for what I suspect could be Bipolar disorder), but I also don't want any medications or delcared illnesses to have a negative impact on my eligibility. Furthermore, I believe it may also be beneficial for me to be prescribed something like Concerta due to my ADHD-- does anyone have any insight with regards to if these things matter very much?

i'm going into 3L this year. i have some mental health conditions as well (ocd, anxiety, etc) and haven't heard about any possible issues with regard to being called to the bar. i know other people in law school with similar mental health concerns and i don't think think it should be an impediment. as was said above i feel like it would be pretty discriminatory if it was. i don't really know anything concretely but just my two cents.

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12 hours ago, Malicious Prosecutor said:

As best as I can recall there are no question when it comes to "good character" that relate specifically to mental health.  At all.  As pointed out it's almost certainly contrary to the Charter to discriminate based on disability.

That being said, if your past mental health issues has caused you other issues in your life, such as trouble with the justice system, that then becomes far more complicated.

Thankfully it hasn’t, but that’s a good point!

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Thank you all for your perspective on the matter!

I’ll look into contacting the law societies that would potentially be involved. 

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20 hours ago, Hegdis said:

Forced disclosure also protects the public. It is a tough balance. I don’t say it’s perfect. But it’s hardly without merit. 

If it’s the form @realpseudonym linked, I retract my statement. Forced disclosure of  conditions which may impair one’s abilities seems to strike a good balance. If it was simply disclosure of all problems, I’d stand by my critique. 

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