On Saturday, May 14th, 2022 Hope for Depression Research Foundation (HDRF) will host its first annual National Virtual Race of Hope to Defeat Depression. It will be held this month i n honor of Mental Health Awareness month, raising awareness and funds for depression research.
The National Virtual Race is a spin-off of the winter Race of Hope in Palm Beach and the summer Race of Hope in Southampton, which have raised roughly $2 million for research since their inception.
The stand-alone virtual race allows registered participants to walk or run in their hometowns, and choose their race distance: 5k, 10k, 15k, Half Marathon, or Marathon. For those who want to complete their distance at the same time as other racers across the U.S., HDRF will host an hour-long broadcast, to be live-streamed on Facebook starting at 8:15 AM EST on May 14th. The goal of the broadcast is to create a sense of community even though the race is virtual, and racers can post photos and comments on the live stream page.
The broadcast will also feature an open discussion about depression and treatment, including:
- An interview with the Chief Medical Officer of Talkspace, Dr. Varun Choudhary. Talkspace is a leading virtual behavioral healthcare provider based in New York City.
- An 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.
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.
• 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.
The cost to register is $45 and the first 500 to sign up will receive a race jacket, hat, bottle, bib, and a huge finisher medal. 100% of the funds raised will go directly to depression research. For more information or to register, visit: Virtual.RaceOfHopeSeries.com