To support its mission of shining a positive light on depression and eliminating the stigma associated with the disease, and to support the 350 million people suffering from depression, iFred is creating a shift in society’s negative perception of depression. iFred has used positive imagery, celebrity engagement, education of brain biology, and ultimately seeks to end stigma through rebranding—establishing the sunflower and color yellow as the international symbols of hope for depression.

iFred also has talked to hundreds of other nonprofits in the field of mental health to encourage them to focus on the hope with positive imagery and information as opposed to the sad, isolating images often associated with depression (i.e. a focus on symptoms, not outcome).

Summary of relevant work: 

Schools for Hope is a new curriculum project developed by iFred on Depression. It is based on research that suggests hope is a teachable skill. Our aim is to equip students, educators, and parents with the tools they need to find and maintain hope even during the most trying of times.

The leading predictor of suicide is hopelessness, so we believe through our positive advocacy we can reduce overall suicide attempts in youth. Our focus is on prevention through practical tools and exercises. We are offering it free in hopes that people around the world benefit from our research and material.

Fields for Hope and Gardens for Hope are projects developed to encourage individuals and organizations to plant sunflowers as a positive symbol of HOPE for the 350 million with depression worldwide.  The more we work to raise awareness, start conversations and educate people in a positive and hopeful way, the better our chances of ending stigma and encouraging treatment.  We all deserve to live a life of mental health and wellness.

Why the Sunflower?

Sunflowers serve as a symbol of light and hope for the 350 million people living with the treatable disease of depression.
Sunflowers grow towards the sunlight with their faces tracking the sun.  We need those with depression to seek light instead of responding to the natural instinct of hiding in darkness during a depressive episode.
iFred believes this symbol, if used similarly to the pink ribbon for breast cancer or red dress for heart disease, can serve as a much more hopeful and positive universal icon for depression survivors.

Global Day for Hope offers a day to celebrate all things HOPE and encourage plantings around the world by organizations to raise awareness for depression treatment.  It coincides with Children's Mental Health Month in May.

Artworks for Hope is a project encouraging various expressions of art to help raise depression awareness, educate others and offer helpful resources.  The more we work to educate people in a positive, and hopeful way, the better our chances of ending stigma.


P.O. Box 17598

Baltimore, Maryland 21297

(734) 355-6716
United States of America