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Reno Commits to Hope, Becoming the First Ever Hopeful City to Help Create, Maintain, and Grow Hope Citywide, Powered by iFred

·8 min read

**Virtual** Media Availability:

What: Hopeful Cities
When: Monday, December 28, 2020 at 11 a.m. PST / 2 p.m. EST
Who: Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, iFred Founder Kathryn Goetzke, and Dr. Myron Belfer
Media RSVP: pia@capedcreative.com (to receive the Zoom Meeting Registration link)

RENO, NV / ACCESSWIRE / December 28, 2020 / The International Foundation of Research and Education (iFred), today introduces Hopeful Cities, with Reno, Nevada becoming the first city to partner with iFred by committing to making mental health a priority and becoming the first ever Hopeful City in the world.

Hopeful Cities is a new initiative developed by iFred that incorporates years of research on what it takes to create, maintain, and grow hope. iFred started with the development of the Hopeful Minds curriculum, the only free global program aimed at teaching hope as a skill to youth around the world. It has been used extensively, with the BBC covering it in a documentary, "Teens on the Edge."

"The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic sent the world and Reno into a spiral of hopelessness, the primary symptom of depression and anxiety," says Hillary Schieve, Reno Mayor. "The physical isolation triggered many complications, including depressive symptoms, anxiety, stress, sleep disorders, and emotional disturbance. The job and home losses are also adding to the dire circumstances of many, and it is critical we use hope as a strategy, and the related skills, to combat the many challenges we face."

Hopeful Cities aims to operationalize the work of Hope in Reno through a Workplace Campaign with the 5 Keys to Hope, a new 30-Day Global Hope Challenge for teens and adults, the Hopeful Minds curriculum in the Washoe County School District and Boys and Girls Club, and billboards, yard signs, and PSAs around the city about the power of Hope and where to go for support. All program materials are free for download at Hopeful Cities, and iFred aims to encourage all to share and spread.

"We've got to stop just talking about hope as a wish, as it is much more, and there is a robust scientific field in hope," says Kathryn Goetzke, Founder of iFred, Creator of Hopeful Minds, Author of The Biggest Little Book About Hope and host of The Hope Matrix. Hopelessness is both a feeling of despair and a sense of helplessness, so we aim to teach individuals the ‘how to' of getting from despair to positive feelings, and helplessness to inspired action. And share the resources available of where to go for support if they can't find it. Hope is always possible, though I will never say easy. Yet always, always possible."

The Hopeful Minds curriculum provides parents and educators with free downloadable curriculums that are easy to use in the classroom and remotely, and target grades K-6 yet are adaptable for all ages. The overview features Hope Hero stories of modern-day icons that have used the skills of hope in life, including John Krasinski, Magic Johnson, Selena Gomez, and the Deep Dive features The Rock, Lady Gaga, Chrissy Teigen, Mr. Rogers, Sam Walton, John McCain, Ken Jeong, Serena Williams, Bill & Melinda Gates, Oprah, Arianna Huffington, Shaka Senghor, Bruce Springsteen, Zak Williams, George Bush, and Michelle Obama. The curriculum is remote learning compliant, meets National Health Education Standards, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) guidelines, and is Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) informed.

Myron Belfer, MD, MPA, an advisor for the Hopeful Minds and, and Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, has shown from a review of research that, "Hope is tangible and teachable, and it is an essential ingredient for a successful life trajectory." He has cited the clinical approach of the Nobel Prize winner Dr. Joseph E. Murray, who helped his severely ill patients not by talking about prognosis but by offering a future orientation embodying hope.

The Hopeful Minds curriculum teaches the meaning and power of hope, mindfulness, emotional self-regulation techniques, gratitude, the importance of brain nutrition, biology and behavior, the meaning of success as the journey and not the destination, giving hope to others, how to address failure, ending rumination and worry, finding purpose, wonder, awe, navigating change, creating a network for hope, and much more. All lessons are for either in-classroom study, or remote learning, and no special certification is needed to teach and can be downloaded free at hopefulminds.org.

As hopelessness is the primary predictor of suicide, and a key symptom of depression and anxiety, iFred turned theory intopractice by launching the first ever free global curriculum designed to teach the opposite as a skill: HOPE. Higher levels of hope correspond to greater emotional and psychological well-being, greater economic security, improved academic performance, less violence, more connection, less loneliness, and enhanced personal relationships. Hopeful Minds has been featured as an innovation at the World Bank, and presented at IACAPAP, Harvard, United Nations, British Psychological Society, One Mind, The Kennedy Forum, and more.

The Hopeful Cities workplace campaign includes the Five Keys to Hope including; Identifying and Managing the Stress Response, Practicing Habits for Happiness, Taking Inspired Actions using Smart Goals, Creating a Strong Network for Hope, and Overcoming Challenges to Hope. The 30-Day Global Hope Challenge includes a daily email, with a video / written lesson that includes one action step to practice daily and a free downloadable workbook. It includes a before and after Hope score as well, using the Snyder Adult Hope Scale, so individuals can measure their own journey to hope.

The program also includes PSAs, billboards, ads, yard signs, social media kits, and more, free for all to download and implement in their own city. To advance the mental health mission of Hopeful Cities and Reno, Talkspace will offer free therapy support to city residents, 13 or older. This new and innovative city plan for mental health to start addressing on a macro level, looking primarily at anxiety and depression, is first of its kind, and an innovation and roadmap for cities to follow. While there is much to be done in and around the city, the aim is to change the conversation and landscape to one that, "It is OK to talk."

Find out more at hopefulcites.org.

About iFred:

iFred, a 501(c)3 organization, is working to teach hope. iFred has worked to shine a positive light on mental health and eliminate stigma through prevention, research and education and created a shift in society's negative perception of the disease through positive imagery, rebranding, celebrity engagement, cause marketing campaigns, and establishing the sunflower and color yellow as the international symbols for hope. iFred worked with The Mood Factory to do the first nationwide cause marketing campaign for mental health in the US, and created the first ever program to teach hope, based on research it is a teachable skill.

About Hopeful Minds

Hopeful Minds is a project developed by iFred, the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression, and a set of free, global, downloadable curriculums. It is based on research that suggests hope is teachable (a skill). The aim is to equip students, teachers, and parents with the tools they need to define, learn, and grow a hopeful mindset and prevent hopelessness around the world. See our latest presentation at the International Child Mental Health Working Group (ICMH), Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston where we share our goals and ambitions for the project. Find out more at hopefulminds.org.

About Hopeful Cities

Hopeful Cities is a project developed by iFred. It is a marketing plan in action. It operationalizes hope as it creates awareness about the importance of it. It teaches while it talks. iFred was grown out of a need to rebrand depression, and provide tools globally that not just educate on the importance of hope, but teach the ‘how to' in the process. Reno, the first city to join the initiative, helped sponsor the program through Cares Act funding, recognizing how all aspects of the global pandemic impact mental health. As hope is a known protective factor for anxiety and depression, the more we actively practice our hope skills, the better we all are in the world. Hopeful Cities include free, downloadable materials that are continually being updated. Find out more at hopefulcites.org.

About the City of Reno

The City of Reno government's mission is creating a community that people are proud to call home. In order to achieve that purpose, the Reno City Council has established six Tier 1 priorities and seven Tier 2 priorities. To learn more about the City of Reno, visit Reno.gov or call 775-334-INFO (4636).

Media Contacts:

Pia Grace Torres, Caped Creative: 657-206-7742, pia@capedcreative.com
City of Reno Media Phone: 775-430-5005


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