Published on March 25, 2014

March 25, 2014

Ann Oakland
NAMI-Wake County (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
(919) 266-0766

Rex and UNC Sponsor NAMI Wake's Eighth Annual Celebration of Courage

RALEIGH, N.C. — One in four individuals in the US lives with a mental illness. Of these illnesses, one in seventeen is serious such as schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, or borderline personality disorder. In Wake County alone, 67,000 people live with a serious mental illness. According to the Association of State Mental Health Directors, people living with mental illness live 25 years less than other Americans.

NAMI Wake’s Celebration of Courage event raises community awareness about mental illness and raises funds to provide essential and free education and support group programs for people living with mental illness and their loved ones. Funds also support NAMI Wake’s efforts to effect change through tireless advocacy for a health care system that ensures access to treatment for those in need. These programs and advocacy efforts help both families and people living with mental illness.

Dates - Times: April 3, 11:30 - 1:30 NAMI Wake Celebration of Courage Luncheon

Two hundred and fifty individuals—people living with mental illness, family members, mental health providers, and public officials-- will fill Bradley Hall at Highland United Methodist Church, 1901 Ridge Rd. to see what mental health recovery looks like. Our local general medical/surgical hospitals have joined to sponsor this event as well as all area psychiatric hospitals.. Public officials plan to attend including the Deputy Secretary for NC DHHS, Dave Richards, COO for the State Budget Office, Mr. Tony Gurley, Acting County Manager, Joe Durham, the CEO of Alliance Behavioral Healthcare, members of the NC General Assembly, and other officials.

Our featured luncheon speakers are Cynthia and David Binanay. David Binanay, is no doubt a survivor. He endured four open heart surgeries before he graduated from Cardinal Gibbons High School. But that didn’t stop him from being elected president of his class and on top of that becoming a talented violinist. After graduating from high school, he went on to Villanova College and returned to the Triangle after completing his studies. In 2006, just a year after graduating college, he experienced the onset of schizophrenia. He described it as the first time in his life he had ever been truly afraid. Soon after the onset, (with the support of his family), he sought help at the UNC Outreach and Support Intervention Services center (OASIS) in Carrboro. Newly diagnosed, and weary about the thought of long term medication, Binanay often refused to take his medication. His loving and supportive parents struggled to get him to do so. Determined to recover, Binanay eventually learned ways to work with his individual care plan (which included medication.) He has accomplished many goals already such as creating a nonprofit organization called “Music Over Mind” which brings music to hospitals and clinics while raising awareness about mental illness. He is now engaged and currently describes recovery from mental illness as any other type of recovery… as a process…day by day. David’s mom, Cynthia is especially passionate about sharing a vision of hope for family members traumatized by a recent diagnosis and being an advocate for better healthcare for the mentally ill.

Date: April 6 – 13.

Place: Rex Hospital Main Campus, Corner of Lake Boone Trail & Blue Ridge Rd.

On Sunday, April 6, beginning at 1:00 pm, volunteers will be putting hundreds of giant 45” high beautiful, colorful irises, with blooms that span 14 inches into the ground to replicate Van Gogh’s Irises painting.

This event (a landscape art installation) is a re-creation of the famous Van Gogh painting, The Irises. Van Gogh created his masterpiece when he was institutionalized with mental illness. NAMI has adopted the Iris as a symbol of hope and courage. This display will cover approximately ½ acre.

Our goal is to raise awareness that mental illnesses are brain disorders, that with treatment there is hope, and that there is no reason for blame or shame.