Are you aware?

About 60 million Americans experience mental health problems in any given year.

One in 17 lives with the most serious conditions.

Fewer than one-third get treatment.

Observed each year during the first full week of October, Mental Illness Awareness Week serves as a time to raise public awareness of serious mental illnesses such as major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, as well as post traumatic stress disorder and other anxiety disorders.

I'm celebrating by visiting my psychiatrist tomorrow and my therapist on Wednesday! How convenient is THAT?!

Actually, I admit that this awareness week crept up on me. Funny how you forget you're crazy when you're feeling normal. I use the word "crazy" in a sort of self-deprecating fashion. I'll fully admit to the double standard...I'm allowed to use it, you're not. At any rate, my meds -- three of them at the moment -- are at therapeutic levels and I'm trying to cope with the stresses and stumbles of life.

I hope you'll take a moment or two to visit the NAMI Web site and read about the latest mental health findings and information on stigma surrounding mental illness, and maybe observe a moment of silence or pray or whatever it is that you do to pay respect to those who haven't found the peace and wellness that I'm enjoying at the moment.

Finally, if you can find your way past the deluge of Ken Burns National Park footage on PBS, check your local listings for the program Minds on the Edge: Facing Mental Illness. It is scheduled to run during awareness week.

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