Week of Hope for Depression Kicks Off Thursday in Southampton
Southampton’s blue skies will soon be filled with yellow as more than 100 businesses throughout the village display large yellow HOPE balloons in front of their stores in recognition of the annual Hope for Depression Research Foundation’s Week of Hope.
Week of Hope
The first balloon with be placed in front of the Veronica Beard store by the new Southampton Village Mayor, William Manger Jr., and the Hope For Depression Research Foundation (HDRF) founder and chair Audrey Gruss this Thursday, July 27 at 10 a.m.
“I’m delighted Mayor Manger will continue the tradition started by his predecessors to support this mental health campaign,” Gruss said. “Southampton is leading the way on Long Island by embracing mental health, one of the most important health issues of our day.”
This year’s Week of Hope leads up to the eighth Annual Race of Hope 5K to Defeat Depression on Sunday, August 6 at 8:30 a.m. around Lake Agawam. The yellow balloons serve to raise awareness for mental health, in line with HDRF’s mission.
The week-long event also includes several offerings to bring attention to the cause.
On August 4, HDRF will host the Hope Summer Seminar, “How to Talk to Friends and Family About Mental Health,” with psychiatrist Dr. Samantha Boardman at the Southampton Arts Center at 11 a.m.
There will also be a Shop for Hope hosted by Veronica Beard where 10% of purchases will go to HDRF’s research.
Other businesses including Loveshack Fancy, Ovando, Poubette St. Barth, and Veronica Beard will display the yellow HOPE balloons throughout the week in support and have special handouts from HDRF with up-to-date information on depression in the U.S. and how to spot the signs and symptoms.
Aside from these stores, a group of teen athletes from Southampton High School, with track coach Eddie Arnold, will be working with HDRF, spending Thursday setting up the balloons throughout the village.
“We’re so excited to be part of this effort,” said Arnold. “This is a festive and fun way for the youth in our community to be advocates for a critical cause that is sadly very prevalent in teens right now.”
Race of Hope
The Week of Hope began in 2018 as a lead up to the annual Race of Hope. The 5K has over 500 participants from around the Tri-State area and beyond. Combined with the Week of Hope, the race does a great deal for mental health awareness and to fund depression research.
This year, Gruss and Arthur Dunnam, an HDRF Advisory Board member, will be the Co-Grand Marshals, and the Teen Grand Marshals will be Grier Hammond Henchy, daughter of Brooke Shields, and Hayden Lucas, a senior in high school from New York City and leader of the new HDRF Teen Task Force.
All of the revenue from the Race of Hope 5K will go to research into the causes of depression in the brain and new, better treatments
Both the Week and Race of Hope has helped raise over $1 million for advanced depression research. Supported by many local residents and business owners, these events are able to make a large impact on HDRF’s mission.
HDRF was founded in 2006 by Gruss in memory of her mother Hope, who struggled with clinical depression. Its mission is to spur innovative research into the origins, medical diagnosis, and prevention of depression and related mood disorders.
The upcoming events in Southampton serve to further these goals.
Gruss said, “As we launch our Week and Race of Hope, we recognize the staggering statistics around depression and suicide in the United States. HDRF is working tirelessly to find solutions by focusing on education and research into novel treatments.”
To sign up for the Race of Hope or learn more, visit the website at hopefordepression.org.