Published on April 07, 2015

Rex-UNC Health Care Sponsor NAMI Wake’s 9th Annual Celebration of Courage

Event to raise community awareness as well as celebrate the hope, recovery, and courage of people with mental illness

Who/What: Rex Healthcare and UNC Health Care are proud to sponsor two events with NAMI Wake County that will raise community awareness and funds to provide essential education and support programs for people living with mental illness and their loved ones.

On Sunday, April 12, starting at 4 p.m., NAMI Wake volunteers will “plant” hundreds of artificial irises on Rex’s main Raleigh campus to re-create the famous Van Gogh painting, “The Irises,” which he created when he was institutionalized with mental illness. NAMI Wake has adopted the Iris as a symbol of hope and courage. The display will cover approximately ½ acre and is aimed at promoting awareness for mental illness. The installation will remain set up at the corner of Lake Boone Trail and Blue Ridge Road through Sunday, April 19.

 On Thursday, April 16, NAMI Wake County’s annual Celebration of Courage Luncheon will be emceed by WRAL anchor Linda Loveland. Keynote speakers will be General William Kernan and his wife Marianne Kernan, whose son, Keith, lives with schizophrenia.

Why: One in five individuals in the U.S. lives with a mental illness, and one in 20 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In Wake County alone, more than 50,000 people suffer from serious mental illness. In addition to the person directly experiencing a mental health condition, family, friends and communities are also affected. NAMI Wake hopes 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.


Luncheon: Thursday, April 16
12:15- 1:15 p.m.

Iris Installation: April 12- 16
Set up starts at 4 p.m., April 12


Highland United Methodist Chrch
Bradley Hall
1901 Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27607

Iris Installation:
Rex Hospital Campus
Corner of Blue Ridge Rd & Lake Boone Trail
Raleigh, NC 27607

Media Contact
For media inquiries and to arrange interviews, please contact:

Alan Wolf, UNC REX Healthcare