Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Field of Hope

iFred (International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression) is working to eliminate the stigma of depression since the launch of the Field of Hope in Ghana in 2009. This creative and unique initiative is designed to shine the spotlight on depression in Africa, and to raise money for depression reseach and advocacy efforts worldwide. Africa was chosen to host the field to highlight and educate just how poorly the disease is understood.

iFred has also chosen the sunflower as the international symbol for depression, and has launched a major ad campaign showing the relationships of sunflowers to depression survivors. According to their website:

"•A recent study by Rutger’s, the State University of New Jersey, showed that flowers have an immediate positive impact on happiness (100% of time, both males and females), that they have a long-term positive effect on moods, and that they make intimate connections. The study also said sunflowers are said to enhance alertness, as yellow light waves stimulate the brain.
•A recent study by Texas A&M also found that placing flowers and plants in offices led individuals to be more creative, better problem solvers, and more productive.
•A sunflower is the color yellow, often associated with joy and happiness.
•Sunflowers flourish with sun and light. Humans do as well.
•Sunflowers and depression both have lifecycles.
•Sunflowers grow from a small seed and can get bigger, as can a depressive episode when left untreated."

For more information on iFred, please visit and or email:

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