Hopelessness took the life of my dad when I was 19 years old. It tried to take mine at 25, but thankfully, Hope won. I’m here today to share my story, encourage you to join our Global Hope Challenge, and spread the word that no matter what life brings, there is always a way to find hope.

For me, I found Hope in different things at different times, but my one thing is definitely my work at iFred and now teaching Hope to kids. As my biggest commitment was to be sure to give back to a disease that had once taken so much from me: depression and anxiety. And since that day, I’ve worked on and continue to fulfill that promise by speaking at the World Bank, United Nations, and conferences around the world sharing the importance of ending stigma and getting support for any mental health challenges. What was most ironic to me when starting this work, is that while less than 25% of those with mental health challenges were getting support, depression and anxiety are very treatable and of any disease states, these have the most hope for recovery.

Our Hopeful Minds program, was inspired by my desire to actually learn if it is possible to prevent anxiety and depression through a skill based program. It was developed from leading educators, scientists, Ted speakers, youth, business leaders, and more. We have some fantastic research coming out of Northern Ireland showing it is reducing anxiety, increasing emotional regulation, and increasing confidence in children, and we hope to build and grow that research. While the targets 8-10 year old youth, a critical age for the development of anxiety and depression, it can be used with any age group, so I encourage you to check it out and bring it to your community if so inspired.

To get the conversation moving further, we have a Global Hope Challenge Happening now, Mental Health Month, and through the end of May encouraging all around the world the #OneThing that brings Hope during dark days. As we ALL have dark days. The question is, do we ruminate in the days and/or worry about them, or do we find something to inspire us and help bring us out of the endless cycle of the mind? I have found for me, that can be the difference between solving a problem and going down a long, dark, deep, all encompassing hole of despair.

I hope you join our challenge, regardless of if you struggle with depression and anxiety. As we all need to share strategies for creating, maintaining, and sustaining a Hopeful Mindset. And who knows, you just may give someone the one message they needed to hear on that specific day to shift their hopeless mindset. 

For all those that work in mental health, and speak publicly about their challenges and successes, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. May all of your activities during this month reach far and wide, supporting all those that need to hear your message.

Join the challenge here: www.herox.com/hope 



  • Kathryn Goetzke

    MBA, Global Hope Ambassador, iFred Founder, Chief Mood Officer

    iFred, The Mood Factory

    Kathryn Goetzke is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, 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. As her role as Chief Mood Officer at The Mood Factory, her goal is to ‘Improve Moods’ by teaching consumers how to get in the present moment through engaging the senses. Armed with an MBA in International Marketing, an undergraduate degree in Psychology, over 20 years of experience with small and Fortune 100 companies, and a successful product launch of her own under her belt, she aims to do just that with her new line of product based on how scents impact moods and 21 Day Courses teaching how to rewire the brain. In addition to launching Mood-lites, Goetzke founded a non-profit organization for depression called iFred (the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression – www.ifred.org) dedicated to eradicating the stigma of the disease using the sunflower, a focus on hope, the color yellow, celebrity engagement, creating hopeful mindsets, and education on the biology of the brain. According to the World Health Organization, there are 300 million people around the world with major depressive disorder, yet depression is treatable and episodes often preventable. She is most excited about her Hopeful Minds initiative (www.hopefulminds.org), based on research that hope is a teachable skill and aimed at teaching kids around the world so they may be equipped to always create, maintain, and sustain hope. Goetzke and her work has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Home, InStyle, Family Living, Scholastic Choices Magazine, and others. She has spoken at the United Nations, World Bank, Global Mental Health Conference, Mental Health Community Associations Conference, the Scent Marketing Institute, and more. She has been featured on multiple radio and television shows including BBC, WGN Chicago, CBS Chicago, Tasty Trade, and eWomenNetwork. Goetzke is a regular contributor to the Thrive Global and PsychCentral, writes regularly for iFred and The Mood Factory, and serves on advisory boards for FundaMentalSDG, the Global Mental Health Movement, and Women's Brain Project, and is a member of the Founding Steering Committee Member of YMentalHealth, a global coalition for youth mental health nonprofits. Goetzke has a Master of Business Administration degree in International Marketing Management from the University of St. Thomas, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, International Studies and Biology from Winona State University. She currently resides in Reno, NV, where she enjoys hiking, meeting new people, playing with her nieces, exploring the mountains, skiing, and solving complex global challenges.