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Hope for Depression Research Foundation Hosts its First National Virtual Race of Hope SATURDAY, May 14th!

here + there :: The Hamptons’ PR Wire

Hope for Depression Research Foundation (HDRF) will host its first annual National Virtual Race of Hope to Defeat Depression on Saturday, May 14 in honor of Mental Health Awareness month. The event has registered hundreds of runners and walkers across the nation who will tie up their shoelaces to help advance research into new treatments for anxiety and depression.

HDRF Founder and Chair Audrey Gruss said: “It’s incredible to see so many people dedicated to health come together for the cause of mental health research. As rates of anxiety and depression have risen dramatically during the pandemic, they know that HDRF’s work to find the root causes of depression in the brain and new treatments is more important than ever.”

The National Virtual Race is a spin-off of the winter Race of Hope in Palm Beach and summer Race of Hope in Southampton. These local races have raised roughly $2 million for research since they began in 2016. This year, HDRF wanted to provide a stand-alone virtual race in May for its growing national audience. Registered participants for the virtual race can walk or run in their own hometowns, and they can choose their race distance: 5k, 10k, 15k, Half Marathon, or Marathon. For their registration fee, participants receive HDRF’s signature yellow gear in the mail to wear for their race.

For racers who want to complete their distance at the same time as other racers across the U.S., Race organizers will host a 60-minute broadcast, to be live-streamed on Facebook starting at 8:15 AM EST on Saturday, May 14. Racers can watch the broadcast using their phones or earbuds before, during and after their races. They can post comments on the live stream page as well as photos of themselves in their gear at their starting and finish lines and water breaks.

The goal of the broadcast is to create a sense of community even though the race is virtual. Racers in different locales across the U.S. will be able to interact with one another and cheer each other on. The broadcast will also feature open discussion about depression and treatment, including: Interview with the Chief Medical Officer of Talkspace, Dr. Varun Choudhary. Talkspace is a leading virtual behavioral healthcare provider based in New York City; interview with world-renowned neuroscientist Dr. Eric Nestler, Chair of HDRF’s Depression Task Force. Dr. Nestler will give an update on research progress into new, precision treatments for depression. Racers will dedicate their miles to someone who has been affected by depression, prompting open and honest discussion on the forum.

The cost to register for the National Virtual Race of Hope is $45. The first 500 to sign up will receive a race jacket, hat, bottle, bib, huge finisher medal. 100% of the funds raised will go directly to research that will transform the way depression is viewed, diagnosed, treated, and prevented. For more information or to register online at

What is HDRF, and a quick overview of their work/achievements in the past decade:

• HDRF is the leading non-profit dedicated solely to advanced depression research.

• Audrey Gruss founded the organization in 2006 in memory of her mother, Hope, who struggled with depression.

• The mission of HDRF is to fund cutting-edge neuroscience research into the origins, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of depression and other related mood disorders.

• In 2010, HDRF launched its Depression Task Force – a collaboration of nine leading scientists, at the frontiers of brain science, from different research institutions across the U.S. and Canada. To accelerate breakthrough research, they share ongoing results, in real-time, at the HDRF Data Center.

• HDRF has invested over $30 million in advanced depression research to date.

About Depression:

• In the United States, depression affects over 20-million adults each year – that is one in 10 adults.

• Depression is the leading cause of suicide. In the United States, one person dies by suicide every 11 minutes – over 47,000 people per year.

• Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

• Depression costs society $210-billion annually – 60% of which represents reduced efficiency at work and costs related to suicide.

The Crisis in Research and Treatment

• Over 30% of those diagnosed with depression do not respond to existing treatments.

• In 35 years since the introduction of Prozac and other SSRI anti-depressants, there has been almost no change in the treatment of depression, just tinkering with existing approaches.

• Although depression is one of the most serious and prevalent conditions in the US, it is ranked 77th (out of 250) in the amount of federal funding it receives.

• Most of the major pharmaceutical companies have discontinued brain research.

What Makes HDRF Different
• The Depression Task Force represents the most innovative approach to neuroscience research today.

• The Task Force has created an unprecedented research plan with each member executing a piece of the plan in their own laboratories. By avoiding well-worn paths of research, the team is shaking up the field for answers that will finally lead to new treatments for depression.

• They share results in real-time at a centralized data bank. This allows them to leverage data to accelerate research. This is unheard of in the entire scientific research field which is normally competitive and not collaborative.

About Hope for Depression

Audrey Gruss founded HDRF in April 2006 in memory of her mother Hope, who struggled with clinical depression. Today, HDRF is the leading nonprofit organization focused solely on depression research. The World Health Organization has declared depression as the leading cause of disability worldwide, but despite its prevalence, depression is still misunderstood, underfunded and under-researched. The mission of the HDRF is to fund innovative neuroscienceresearch into the origins, medical diagnosis, new treatments, and prevention of depression and its related mood disorders – bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorder and suicide. To date, HDRF has provided more than $20 million through over 125 grants for accelerated breakthrough depression research that promises to lead to new and better medications and treatments.

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May 13th, 2022 Posted by | here & there, | no comments