Who We Are
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.
As hopelessness is only predictor of suicide, is a primary symptom of depression and anxiety, iFred turned theory into practice by launching the first ever global curriculum designed to teach the opposite as a skill: HOPE. iFred proved the theory that Hope is teachable, through a research collaboration with Ulster University, and as each level of hope increased, depression and anxiety decreased, and emotional regulation and resilience increased. 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.
Research suggests 70% of youth feel their mental health, and that of peers, is their greatest challenge. One in nine students self-report suicide attempts before graduating high school, with 40% indicating their first attempts were made in grade school. Depression is now the leading cause of disability worldwide, and less than 50% are receiving treatment due to stigma and lack of resources. Yet we have proven, effective treatments with positive returns on investments.
Kathryn Goetzke, MBA, started iFred in honor her late father, Jon Goetzke, a successful banker and engaged family man who died by suicide when she was a freshman in college. She has lived experience with PTSD, ADHD, depression, anxiety, addiction and a previous suicide attempt. She believed by tackling stigma and branding she could reduce treatment gap and committed to a life of sobriety and presence to serve as an example for youth. Her company, The Mood Factory, launched the first nationwide cause marketing campaign for mental health, a tactic known to decrease stigma, raising over 1 million for charities. She serves on the advisory boards for Y Mental Health, FundaMentalSDG, Global Mental Health Movement and The Women’s Brain Project. In addition to being interviewed for and contributing to several national media outlets, she has appeared internationally to speak about business, rebranding, and hope.
- Award-winning program with an estimated 5,000 students taught and 500 teachers trained (not currently tracking), being taught in Suriname, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, United States, and more.
- New hope learning platform launched on 7 Cups, a peer to peer support app with 25 million users.
- Rated a 9 or 10 by kids, with positive impact on those teaching the curriculum
“Each and every child needs to be taught HOPE.” –Northern Ireland, Age 10
Engage in Hope
- Teach Hopeful Minds curriculum in schools, community, churches, workplaces, or more.
- Plant sunflowers and put up a sign for Gardens for Hope to increase awareness of program.
- Run a cause marketing campaign or help find financial supporters to help expand curriculum to other populations.
- Ask thought leaders or celebrities to engage with us on Hope and ask marketing agencies to work with us to create global PSA campaigns on Hope.