The International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression (iFred) launched the first annual Global Day for Hope on May 2, 2015, to support the 350 million people living with the treatable disease of depression.
Organizations and individuals from around the globe joined together in solidarity to plant sunflowers, the international symbol of hope, in an effort to raise awareness for treatment of depression and help end the stigma that prevents so many people from seeking support.
Plantings took place in Nepal, Germany, South America, and across the United States, including Chicago, which served as the flagship planting event with support from the Chicago Park District. People of all ages shared messages of hope across social media, fueling the mission and inspiring a multitude of conversations promoting the importance of mental health care.
Global Day for Hope helped kick off May’s Mental Health Awareness Month and recognized the tremendous acts of service being done around the world among mental health organizations. iFred thanks everyone who participated in the day’s events and wants to acknowledge the following organizations and speakers for their dedication and advocacy in mental health.
- Department of Public Words
- Choices Magazine
- The Respite A Centre for Grief & Hope
- The North Suburban YMCA
- Operation Second Chance
- The Creative Coalition
- Project Helping
- Jefferson Center for Mental Health
- Cats in the Bag
- United Services, Inc.
- Radio Sonengrau
- Kathy Hart of Health with Heart
- The Mood Factory
- Stiftung Deutsche Depressionshilfe
- Positive Focus
- Nepal Mental Health Foundation
- Chicago Park District
- Mental Health Services for Clark and Madison Counties, Inc. (MHS)
Special thanks to our Chicago speakers: Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, Phyllis Foxworth of Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Joyce Marter of Urban Balance, Jessica Mead of Catholic Charities LOSS Program, Dr. Eugene Lipov of Global Post Traumatic Stress Injury Foundation, Kathryn Goetzke, the Founder of iFred, Penny Tate of iFred’s Schools for Hope Program, and Debbie Muraff for providing Yoga in the Park.
Even though Global Day for Hope has already passed, the important conversations must continue … To that point, everyone is invited to share planting photos with @ifredorg and messages of HOPE using #hope2015. Depression is treatable and by working together we can take the necessary steps to live in a world where stigma no longer prevents anyone from receiving help.
Visit iFred’s social platforms here to view the inspiring images of hope being planted around the world.