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The International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression (iFred), is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to researching causes of depression, to support those dealing with depression, and to combat the stigma associated with depression.
Though several organizations deal with mental illness, few, if any, actually focus internationally on depression in an encouraging, enlightening way.
iFred's primary goal is to bring energy and information together from a variety of existing sources to educate, inform and change the way we look at depression today.
We need to foster an environment where people feel comfortable getting help, they feel good about openly celebrating an individual's ability to recover from a depressive episode, and support and applaud them in moving forward in a battle similar to that of any other illness.
iFred was started by Kathryn Goetzke White when she was looking for a nonprofit to donate part of the proceeds to from the Mood-lites product line she was about to launch. She herself has experienced multiple depressive episodes, battled it with a number of ways of escaping before realizing that she needed to seek treatment, and since treatment has improved significantly and made many great contributions to society. Unfortunately, the only national organization dedicated to reducing the stigma associated with depression had closed the year prior and there was no international association dealing with the serious, prevalent, and treatable condition.
"We have to change the way we look at depression. I do not call myself a depression sufferer, I am a survivor, just as someone with cancer, heart disease, or arthritis is a survivor. I am challenged daily by my condition and am so thankful for my family, friends, coworkers, and others that have been so helpful and inspirational in my journey.
The Field of Hope is for all those people out there struggling with depression, as a symbol that it is not a hopeless condition, but one that can be treated. The field of hope is meant to give depression survivors the visual that there are brighter days coming."
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