The other week, one of our nonprofit partners, The International Foundation for Research and Education (iFred) announced the winner of their Field for Hope content — the Kristin Brooks Hope Center. The Kristin Brooks Hope Center was the first to organize a national suicide helpline in 1998.
It has since moved on to other important projects in suicide awareness, prevention and education, including the announcement of YES-IMALIVE – 877-YOUTHLINE. This is “the first teen to teen peer counseling hotline to be launched in the US in the last 20 years.” They also run the IMALIVE.org virtual crisis center and 13 national programs that make up the National Hopeline Network.
iFred’s goal for its “Field for Hope” campaign was to plant one million sunflowers around the world in fields of Liberia, Kenya, Nepal, Australia, Germany and the United States to open up discussions about depression in a positive way.
Why fields of sunflowers? According to iFred:
Each Sunflower serves as a symbol of light and hope for the 350 million people living with the treatable disease. This unique movement captured the attention of leaders, activists and media from around the world who are working to raise awareness, combat the effects of depression on individuals, communities and nations and use messaging and imagery to offer a positive message of hope around mental illness.
iFred’s leadership in helping spread depression awareness was recognized by the Founder and President of the Kristin Brooks Hope Center, Reese Butler, who said the new funds helped make their new crisis center happen:
“Not only did the Field for Hope campaign stand as a symbol of possibility for those living depression, but it helped our facility launch the next phase of our growth, expansion and outreach,” said Butler.
“The Field for Hope campaign opened new doors for us in connecting us with teachers, the Boy Scouts and other supporters, helping us launch our anti-bullying campaign, furthering our veterans outreach program and, overall, building upon our core mission. It is a great honor to be part of the work of iFred’s international campaign, helping people here in Maryland and around the world find assistance, resources, and treatment for depression especially in times of crisis.”
Since the suicide of his wife Kristin in April 1998, Butler has been on a personal crusade — to offer hope and the option to live to those in the deepest emotional pain.
The Kristin Brooks Hope Center raised $10,000 during the campaign, which was matched by iFred.
It is estimated that 1 in 5 teens are suffering in silence with their depression around the world. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in this age group.
Our congratulations and thanks go out to these nonprofit organizations who are working tirelessly to help shed light on depression, and providing crisis resources for those in need. (The IMAlive online crisis center is here.)
Read the full iFred news release: iFred Announces Local Maryland Organization as Winner of International “Field for Hope” Campaign and please check out iFred’s website