Image by mkuess/iStock / Getty Images

Image by mkuess/iStock / Getty Images

Serious mental illness is still not receiving the attention it deserves. Let's put faces on the numbers. Thousand of suicides, incarcerations, homeless men and women, people without services, and families stressed beyond their endurance are difficult to visualize. But one story of real life struggle is moving and impossible to ignore. Please send me your story about mental illness in your family or your own mental illness. You can use your name or write anonymously.

Some of you say, "I'm not a good writer." We're all good writers if we write as we speak and use our own voice. I can help you with editing but so far, I've had to do little of it. If I do edit your story, I'll send it back to you for your approval before I post it. The immediacy and honesty of your stories give them raw power. When you sit down to write them, take whatever comes...

Enter what you've written above in the box "Your Story" and "Submit." Or send your story to If you have a HAPPY PIC (original photo or artwork) you'd like to share, please send in jpeg format to

I know, from personal experience, that mental illness isn't easy to talk about. Intolerance and discrimination are part of it but, more than that, the stories we have to tell are often gut-wrenching. Thank you for your bravery, for stepping up and adding your voices to this blog, and for supporting each other. By being open and honest, you're helping to bring about change.