I was pleasantly surprised when I saw so many people attending the Palm Beach County NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) lunch and learned that our guest speaker was Christine Stapleton. My daughter and I gained much strength and understanding from her articles on depression and other mental illnesses when she wrote for the Palm Beach Post some years ago. It was okay to talk about it in public and those who suffer from depression really could relate to her articles. With the right medication for bi-polar and staying sober she is an inspiration for many. You can get through it, be successful and have a good life though there are tough times and it takes hard work. Her journey though specifics may be different is the journey of so many. Three things stood out that she said. First, she opened with I am mentally ill. She made me chuckle when she said basically okay that’s out of the way. She then began her talk. The statistics she shared of mental illness was put in such a way that included not only people that are mentally ill but included those that are affected by a loved one’s illness. That percentage was staggering. Third, she made the point of reminding everyone that alcohol was defined as a mental illness starting in 1959. Though opinions and my writing are my own, I again suggest that you support NAMI’s efforts and if you love someone with mental illness or have mental illness, definitely see if a chapter is in your area.