October 10 Marks World Mental Health Day, with a Focus on Youth, and iFred Aims to Spread Hope

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Hopeful Minds, a program free and available globally, is designed to teach hope.

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Depression and anxiety do not discriminate, and they are impacting our children at greater rates so we must teach them skills to self-regulate before these negative emotions turn into an actual depressive episode or long-term anxiety.

The Hopeful Minds program is encouraging others to share this powerful video to inspire hope on World Mental Health Day on October 10. The initial research by iFred in the USA illustrated that hope was teachable, and new research conducted in Northern Ireland by Ulster University is showing ‘The Hope Curriculum’ may be an effective means of reducing anxiety, and increasing emotional regulation and confidence, in youth.

As depression is now the leading cause of death in 15-18 year old girls, and 36% of girls in the US are reporting depression prior to graduating high school, there is a significant, immediate need for this type of program globally.

The Hopeful Minds program promotes mental health and wellness through an all school approach among primary and post primary school children. The original program was developed by a group of experts with the support of Kathryn Goetzke, the Founder of iFred, President & CEO of The Mood Factory, and global mental health advocate serving a number of advisory boards including Y Mental Health, FundamentalSDG, and the Global Mental Health Movement.

Kathryn will be a delegate for The Economics of, and Investment in, Mental Health at the UK’s first ever Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit, with Kate Middleton and Prince William in attendance. She is then off to the World health Organization’s yearly conference in Geneva, Switzerland on Global Mental Health.

With World Mental Health Day on October 10th and its focus on youth specifically, it is perfect timing for iFred to get the message out there on its Hopeful Minds program.

The curriculum is comprised of 12 lessons, an hour each, and available online which makes it teachable at home, in schools, at churches, in girl or boy scout troops, or in after school programs. The lessons teach the meaning of hope, what supports a hopeful state personally and in the classroom or groups, mindfulness, emotional self-regulation techniques, gratitude, the importance of brain nutrition, the meaning of success as the journey and not the destination, giving hope to others, how to address failure, a technique for ending rumination, and more. It aims to equip students, educators, leaders, and parents with the tools they need to experience and maintain ‘Hope’ at the critical age of 8-10, right before depression rates are seen to increase in youth.

“Depression and anxiety do not discriminate, and they are impacting our children at greater rates so we must teach them skills to self-regulate before these negative emotions turn into an actual depressive episode or long-term anxiety,” Goetzke added. “While 36% of girls in the US are identifying with depression prior to age 18, and kids now being as anxious as adults, I also believe we can and must reverse this trend. Hopeful Minds is starting to open the door to show us how to do that very thing, and I think with our strong new advisory team in place and compelling research we are equipped to make a much greater impact.”

If you are interested in bringing Hopeful Minds to your church, school, after-school program or more, simply visit http://www.hopefulminds.org as you can review and print directly from your computer. The program is created in a way that it could be self-led and free, as iFred believes Hope is a Human Right and should be accessible to all. If you are interested in getting involved in helping research, fundraise, grow, do social media or create an app or work to gamify it, please contact us at hopeful minds at ifred.org.

Please share this video to help inspire hope: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCghDiyjP7o&feature=youtu.be

About iFred: The mission of International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression (iFred) is to shine a positive light on depression and eliminate the stigma associated with the disease through prevention, research and education. Its goal is to ensure 100% of the 350 million people affected by depression seek and receive treatment.

iFred is creating a shift in society’s negative perception of depression through positive imagery and branding—establishing the sunflower and color yellow as the international symbols of hope for depression. To further its mission, iFred engages with individuals and organizations to execute high-impact and effective campaigns that educate the public about support and treatment for depression and teaches Hope to young kids through Hopeful Minds.

About Ulster University: Ulster University has a national and international reputation for excellence, innovation and regional engagement, making a major contribution to the economic, social and cultural development of Northern Ireland.

Its core business activities are teaching and learning, widening access to education, research and innovation and technology and knowledge transfer. Take a look at their courses and see how they're preparing students for tomorrow's world today.

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Amber Masciorini
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