International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression (iFred) To Host Flagship Planting Day in Lincoln Park to Support HOPE

Kathryn Goetzke, Founder of iFred
Kathryn Goetzke, Founder of iFred

CHICAGO, IL — The International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression (iFred) will host the Global Day for Hope on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, located at 2391 N. Stockton Drive, Chicago at 9:00 am. The flagship Chicago event will be an outdoor sunflower seed planting occasion to support the 350 million people living with the treatable disease of depression.   Using sunflowers—the international symbol of hope for depression— iFred’s Global Day for Hope will beautifully amplify the organization’s mission to shine a positive light on depression and eliminate the stigma associated with the disease through prevention, research and education.  Global Day for Hope will bloom worldwide with plantings in Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Colorado, South America, Nepal, Germany and more.  People from all corners of the globe are invited to join the movement by planting sunflowers in their own communities and to unite on social media in an empowering, international symbol of hope.

iFred was founded by Kathryn Goetzke, a powerful and passionate advocate for igniting important discussions about depression and destigmatizing the disease.   “People don’t talk about depression and we must change that,” Goetzke said.  “Depression is treatable and yet because of the stigma associated with it, less than 25 percent of people with diagnosable depression receive treatment. We need to turn the conversation to provide solutions and hope for children and adults who silently suffer from the disease.”

According to a report by the World Health Organization, suicide is a preventable mental health disorder that is treatable.  And yet, because it is not significantly addressed, we lose over 800,000 lives annually, it is the second leading cause of death globally for youth ages 15-29, and is estimated to cost the United States alone over 100 billion dollars every year.

“Like so many other treatable medical conditions, support from family, friends and community can make all the difference to an individual fighting for a healthy life,” said Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, psychologist & physical therapist and author of Better than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love.  “We can all play a significant role in guiding our friends and loved ones to find and maintain hope by helping to address stress effectively, showing kindness and gratitude to one another and by stopping the unending search for perfection.  Hope is a teachable skill and we all have the power to help someone close to us find purpose and positivity in life.”

The Global Day for Hope will be celebrated worldwide with sunflower plantings in communities, homes, public spaces and parks and there are many ways to participate:

  • Plant Sunflowers: Plant one, plant a garden, get friends and community involved and celebrate HOPE together.
  • Wear Yellow: Yellow is the color of the joy and happiness we feel when depression is successfully treated.
  • Share, Share, Share:  Post, tweet, or share a photo on social media. Shine your light on hope and use the hashtags #HOPE2015 and #PLANTHOPE and be sure to tag us @ifredorg.

About iFred: International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression’s mission 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 the disease through positive imagery and branding-establishing the sunflower and the 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.

About Kathryn Goetzke: Kathryn Goetzke is the founder of iFred, the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression. Kathryn serves on the Global Mental Health Advisory Board, she has presented at the United Nations, and attended the invite-only World Mental Health event.  Kathryn has an MBA in International Marketing Management and a BA in Psychology and over 25 years of marketing experience for large and small companies.  She currently runs a company called The Mood Factory, featuring a brand called Mood-lites that is available in Lowes Home Improvement stores nationwide. The Mood Factory is presently launching other products based on how scents impact mood.

Press Contact: Elizabeth Abrams,, 773-908-3465

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