About April 07, 2017

Every year the The World Health Organization picks a health theme for the year. On April 7, 2017, the theme is kicked off and this year the focus is depression. 350 million around the world have depression, yet less than 50% are receiving treatment.

Let´s talk. It´s time to open up the dialogue and focus on the bright spot so we can close the treatment gap and get people the support they need. It is time to let the world know: Depression is treatable.

Thank you, in advance, for making this year one to remember. Thank you for inspiring those you know to seek treatment. For honoring those that we have lost, and for celebrating those that have fought through their pain and anguish to make it here today. Thank you for helping create a global movement, a place where those with depression not just survive, but thrive.

Join In Solidarity

The more we share a common message, the easier it is to be heard. That is why we use the sunflower as the global symbol for depression. We must rebrand the disease to end stigma, just as we did for breast cancer and heart disease. So we are asking, no matter what your mission, or what your message, to incorporate sunflowers as a symbol for hope; depression once successfully treated. Plant one, plant a garden, paint sunflowers, and/or get your friends and community involved.

We have some ideas, and welcome yours:

  • Host a community sunflower planting. Gardening is great for your mental health, and planting is great for the environment. Place a downloadable sign next to your sunflower garden to continue to share the message for hope through the cycle of the flowers.
  • Get your local business involved. Ask them to support your favorite local charity by hosting a yoga, spinning, walk, painting, photography, or musical event and donate a % of proceeds to that organization. Add the event to our website to help spread the world. There is power in numbers.
  • Encourage your favorite celebrity to speak out. The more we amplify the message, the more people we reach. Have them host an event, get active on social, ask their favorite charity to get involved, or share their story with writers.
  • Wear yellow. Yellow is the color of the joy and happiness we feel when depression is successfully treated. It is a symbolic color for Hope, the exact opposite of the hopelessness those with depression know all too well.
  • Write to your Governor, Mayor, hospitals, garden clubs, or local park service. Ask them to plant sunflowers in public places and place a sign in front reminding folks that it is OK to talk about depression and seek treatment.
  • Share, Share, Share! Show us your planting pics, send an inspiring quote, song, or poem or take a selfie with a sunflower. Ask your favorite celebrities to do the same. Use the hashtag #HOPE2017 #LetsTalk #Depression #ItsTreatable
  • Tell us what brings you hope. Share with the world. Inspire others. You never know who you might touch. Tag @ifredorg for reposts and retweets.
  • Encourage your favorite depression nonprofit to join us. The more organizations we get with a consistent brand and message, the more we amplify the cause. Ask them to host an event. Suggest they become a partner so we can add their logo to our site.
  • Engage the Media. Request your local newspaper, radio, or TV station to talk about Hope on April 7th. Have them interview your favorite depression advocate. Ask them to run a PSA. We are working on some PSAs for you, and feel free to create your own.

Let´s make this a movement.

Incorporate the sunflower
And inspire the world with hope

Let´s show the world we have HOPE.

Why a Sunflower?

  • Sunflowers grow towards 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.
  • Sunflowers are yellow; the color of joy, happiness and hope¯symbolizing that depression can be successful treated. 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.
  • Sunflowers are a practical and potentially profitable symbol for other nonprofits and NGOs around the world; sunflowers can be planted to honor those with depression, cause marketing campaigns can be executed with yellow and / or sunflower products to raise funds, and sunflowers can be harvested and sold to help fund the NGO or nonprofit organization.
  • Sunflower planting and gardening is actually good for the brain and helps fight depression.
  • Sunflower seeds and oils contain antioxidants, Vitamin E and Omega 6´s. This kind of brain nutrition is incredibly important for those with depression.

Our Partners

We are so grateful to our partners around the world for making this event special in their communities. If you would like to become a partner, e-mail partners@ifred.org. Thanks for helping us shine a positive light on depression.

Get Inspired

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E-mail us at hope@ifred.org to get involved or fill out the form above. We welcome any and all suggestions on how to make this day amazing. We ask you as an individual, or your organization, to join us in the collective effort to bring depression out of the darkness and into the light.

"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness." -Desmond Tutu