Published on April 28, 2016

NAMI Wake County hosts 10th Annual Celebration of Courage

Events during Mental Health Week, sponsored by UNC REX Healthcare and UNC Health Care, will raise awareness of and celebrate the recovery and courage of people with mental illnesses


National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Wake County, with support from UNC REX Healthcare and UNC Health Care, will hold three events in early May to increase community awareness of mental illness, celebrate recovery and raise money for essential treatment, education and support programs.

Iris Installation, May 1 – May 8

On Sunday, May 1, NAMI Wake County volunteers will “plant” 1,000 artificial irises on UNC REX Healthcare’s main Raleigh campus at the corner of Lake Boone Trail and Blue Ridge Road. The display re-creates the famous Van Gogh masterpiece, “The Irises,” which Van Gogh painted when he was institutionalized with mental illness. NAMI Wake County has adopted the iris flower as a symbol of hope and courage. The outdoor installation will remain set up through Sunday, May 8.

Celebration of Courage Luncheon, Thursday, May 5

NAMI Wake County's annual Celebration of Courage Luncheon will be feature speaker Melody Moezzi, an author, mental health advocate and activist originally from Iran. She will focus on recovery and her bipolar disorder.

Gala for Courage and Hope, Friday, May 6

NAMI Wake County will hold a Gala for Courage and Hope, featuring actress, singer and Broadway star Lauren Kennedy. The benefit will include dinner, a cash bar, a silent auction and more.

Why: One in five individuals in the U.S. lives with a mental illness, and one in 17 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

In Wake County alone, more than 65,000 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.
  • There is hope with treatment.
  • There is no reason for blame or shame.

When/Where: Iris Installation

Sunday, May 1 – Sunday, May 8 (set up starts at 4 p.m. on May 1)
UNC REX Hospital Campus
Corner of Blue Ridge & Lake Boone Trail
4420 Lake Boone Trail, Raleigh

Celebration of Courage Luncheon

Thursday, May 5, 12:15-1:15 p.m.
Highland United Methodist Church
Bradley Hall
1901 Ridge Rd., Raleigh

Gala for Courage and Hope

Friday, May 6, 12:15-1:15 p.m.
Carolina Country Club
2500 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh


About NAMI Wake

NAMI Wake is a part of a national grassroots organization composed of family members, consumers, and friends of people with mental illness. The mission of NAMI Wake County is to provide support, education, advocacy for persons with mental illness and their families and friends. NAMI Wake is an affiliate of NAMI NC and NAMI, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization. Visit for more information.