Kathryn Goetzke is a depression survivor that began a non-profit organization for depression called iFred (the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression) dedicated to encouraging research on depression and reducing the stigma associated with the disease. Kathryn lost both her father and her aunt to untreated depression — both tragically ending their lives in suicide. Kathryn herself experienced multiple depressive episodes before getting treatment. She began the organization in 2005, and it has attempted to bring more attention the impact that depression — and its untreated effects, such as suicide — has on families and society.

Recently, the Chicago CBS affiliate interviewed her briefly for a story about the signs of suicide, after the suicide of Chicago school board president, Michael Scott. Scott was among officials subpoenaed this summer in a federal investigation of admissions practices at Chicago’s selective enrollment high schools. He also was the subject of a Chicago Tribune investigation into a land deal and his key role on Chicago’s Olympics committee. He was found dead on Monday by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

This time of year, many of us will be gathering to give thanks for what we do have in our lives — family, friends, and the ability to try and provide a better world for our children, and our children’s children. Efforts like Kathryn’s give us all renewed hope, and I give thanks that folks like her are in the world, spreading the word about the significant impact depression and suicide have on so many.

Watch the video Suicides Can Come Without Warning (preceded by a 30 sec. commercial)

Learn more about the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression (iFred)

(Full disclosure: I sit on iFred’s advisory board, and I lost my best friend to suicide in my first year of graduate school.)