Today, Governor Sisolak and Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve issued a statement calling the first Monday in May an International Day of Hope. It is part of an initiative called “Cities of Hope” developed by the International Foundation for Research and Education (IFRED).
Mayor Schieve says Reno is the first city to launch the “Cities of Hope” initiative, she says the lack of hope is a major predictor of depression, anxiety and suicide, especially after the pandemic hit.
Mayor Schieve says, “The pandemic has been so devastating to so many people and so we really need to spend time reaching out and educating people why we should have hope.”
She also says that now more than ever people need access to mental health and treatment. The founder of IFRED and the “Cities of Hope” initiative says she has also struggled with hopelessness and a suicide attempt in her early 20s after her father died when she was 18 years old.
Kathryn Goetzke, Creator of IFRED, “Hopeful Minds” and “Hopeful Cities,” tells us: “I was never taught what hopelessness is and how to achieve hope … and hopelessness is the only predictor of suicide, so “It was a very personal journey.”
She says there are two key ingredients to having hope.
Goetzke explains, “The idea is that you have to feel your despair and go through it, you have to catch the helplessness and take action.”
Mayor Schieve says the mural of hope that now appears in the city center brings not only hope to the city, but also liveliness. This mural consists of four panels, each of which represents hope.
Goetzke explains to each panel, “How to spread hope, how to grow hope, even in the darkest times, why it is important to grow cities and communities of hope, and how to personally shine hope.”
Mayor Schieve adds: “We are doing everything we can to activate hope around the city and we are really excited about it.”
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