Thanks Prince Buster. That is really interesting and hopeful. Do you mind me asking if she informed them that she was under section all those years ago, either beforehand or upon landing, as I have been told that they do ask that question upon application of your visa?
Here is a information on the form you have to fill in online now before you travel to the US. It doesn't appear to ask about your past health, just where you are now. I haven't been sectioned but I didn't have any problems getting here (thankfully). Are you coming to visit me?!
I went to the States twice last year. Once to New York with my family and once with some friends into Miami and on to a cruise. Both were short stay pleasure trips so on neither occassion did we need to apply for visas - just got out passport stamped at immigration. I am not sure if it is different if you are spending longer there but by the looks of things you should not have any trouble.
My father was more concerned with telling them he was a bookmaker in case he got banged up for racketeering than any discussions about my mother's mental health.
Someone suggested that if they asked to deny I've had a section but I worry about if I got physically sick and my health insurance was disqualified. But it's good to know they don't ask. I've never really ever wanted to visit America but now I have family (and friends....rollinat!) there, I might have to pay it a visit.
Sapphire, it would be lovely to meet you in real life so by all means plan your visit to include Colorado! The wording of the form seemed a bit different to how I remember the one you fill in on the plane (at the moment you have to do both but next year it will just be the online one) - anyway, it seemed more to make sure that you were stable so that you weren't likely to open the plane door at 30,000 ft - so I felt I could tick the "no" box without lying. I don't know about a section - it doesn't surely count as a crime, does it? Your travel insurance shouldn't affect you being allowed in the country, but it worth stating your MH diagnosis to your travel insurance provider - it may cost a bit more but it means any claim wouldn't be disallowed. And you really don't want to be in America without insurance - friend of a friend was in intensive care for 4 days and it cost $100K - luckily they had insurance.
When are you thinking of coming to the States?
PS Sorry that work is so rubbish for you just now - please look after yourself