The International Foundation of Research and Education (iFred) Introduces Hopeful Minds, a Free Global Program on Teaching Hope as a Skill – Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD / ACCESSWIRE / September 23, 2020 / The International Foundation of Research and Education (iFred), today introduces an updated Hopeful Minds curriculum, the only free global program aimed at teaching hope as a skill to youth around the world.

“Hopelessness is a consequence of many adverse life experiences including the very current and prominent concern with race-related discrimination, and the consequences of Covid 19 for the pursuit of a normal life These are critical times for focusing on what can make us have hope for the future,” said Kathryn Goetzke, Chief Mood Officer, The Mood Factory, Founder, iFred and creator of Hopeful Minds.

The updated curriculum targets grades K-6, is adaptable for all age lessons, and the recent improvements are based on the last six years of extensive research conducted in Suriname, Northern Ireland, Malaysia, Chicago, and more. The new Hopeful Minds Overview is three, 45-minute lessons on the how, why, and what of hope, and now features celebrity Hope Heroes including John Krasinski, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, and Selena Gomez, about how they used the strategies for hope and a hopeful mindset to overcome challenges and obstacles in life.

The Hopeful Minds curriculum is remote learning adaptive, meets National Health Education Standards, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) guidelines, is Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) informed and is an anti-bullying strategy. The World Health Organization and World Bank released a report in 2016, stating In 2010, the global cost of mental disorders was estimated to be approximately US$2.5 trillion; by 2030, that figure is projected to go up by 240%, to US$6.0 trillion. Research suggests the return on investment for prevention programs in youth is 18:1, and the time to invest is now.

“The consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and the death of George Floyd and others sent the world into a spiral of despair and hopelessness. The social isolation triggers complications, including depressive symptoms, anxiety, stress, sleep disorders, and emotional disturbance. The heightened awareness of racial discrimination, where hopelessness is a known consequence, has added to the despair and sense of helplessness of many,” Goetzke goes on to state.

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.

Hopeful Minds is built on the research about what it takes to create, maintain, and grow a hopeful mindset, and combat the feelings of despair and the sense of helplessness, the two key ingredients of hopelessness.

John White, Chief Executive Officer of Biosupplies and Compass Marketing, is a key program sponsor helping to launch a national ad campaign highlighting the Hopeful Minds program through advertisements to targeted audiences, including the National Parent Teachers Association.

“We are excited to help get hope skills into the hands of parents, teachers, and kids that need them right now,” said White. “Our world is in a state of drastic change and the ability to navigate the disruptions is key to our collective forward movement. I credit my success and competitive advantage with the skill sets I’ve learned in handling stress using the 90-second rule, practicing gratitude, and setting SMART goals, the same skills I look forward to passing along to the next generation of leaders.”

Hopeful Minds provides parents and educators with free, downloadable curriculums and support materials that are easy to use both in the classroom and in a remote learning environment. The Hopeful Minds Parents Guide introduces parents to the idea of hope and activities they can do at home to reinforce hope skills. The Educator Guides come in both an Overview (Three 45-minute Lessons) and Deep Dive (16 45-minute Lessons), and can be used by parents, teachers, mentors, after-school leaders, nurses, or others and provides students with a broad introduction to hope, including what hope is, why it is important, how feelings affect hope, and how hope skills, including Stress Skills and Happy Habits, combat worry, failure, and hopelessness. There is no specific training needed to teach hope, and iFred also offers a presentation for those passionate about teaching hope to share in their communities on the science, and need, for hope.

Hopeful Minds Deep Dive series contains 16 lessons on hope, featuring these known icons and showcasing how they used hope strategies in life. It includes Hope Hero features of 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. These stores show how hope skills allowed them to navigate some challenging times in their lives. Hope is an equal opportunity strategy and must be free and available to all.

The Hopeful Minds Deep Dive series, in addition to the core curriculum content, teaches the meaning and power of hope, mindfulness, emotional self-regulation techniques, gratitude, the importance of brain nutrition, biology and behavior, HRV, 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, practicing wonder and awe, navigating change, setting SMART goals, chunking down goals, controlling the controllables, 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

About iFred:

The mission of International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression (iFred) is to shine a positive light on depression and eliminate the stigma associated with the disease through prevention, research, and education. iFred is creating a shift in society’s negative perception of depression through positive imagery and branding-establishing the sunflower and color yellow as the international symbols of hope.

Hopeful Minds, created by a world-renowned advisory board, is the first, free global program to operationalize and teach hope. The program was featured as an innovation by the World Bank, and the BBC did a documentary featuring it called ‘Teens on the Edge’ in Northern Ireland. The new, updated program is now available for download at

About Kathryn Goetzke

Kathryn Goetzke is an entrepreneur, strategic consultant, and global depression advocate. She is the entrepreneur and innovator behind Mood-lites™, a brand that achieved over 35 million dollars in retail sales and ran the first national cause marketing campaign for mental health. As her role as Chief Mood Officer at The Mood Factory, she is committed to getting people into the present moment through her new line of product based on how scents impact moods, 21 Day courses teaching habits of how to live a positive, engaged, productive life, and conducting workplace training on strategies for improving workplace wellness.

Ms. Goetzke is the Founder of iFred, creator of Hopeful Minds, is a regular contributor to the Thrive Global and PsychCentral, She has presented at the United Nations on including mental health in the Sustainable Development Goals, and was published in a peer-reviewed journal on that topic. She has presented globally at conferences on the science of hope and is the author on The Biggest Little Book About Hope. Kathryn also serves on advisory boards for FundaMentalSDG, Y Mental Health, Women’s Brain Project, and the Global Mental Health Movement.


Nancy Thompson

Vorticom, Inc.

[email protected]


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