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Hope For Depression Research Foundation Presenting Second Annual Awareness Raising Week Of Hope

Lee Fryd

Lorraine Braco, Mayor Irving, and Audrey Gruss. (Photo: D.Gonzalez for Rob Rich/www.societyallure.com)

"In 2006, when I started the Hope for Depression Research Foundation," Audrey Gruss told Hamtons.com, "no one spoke the word 'depression' in polite society." Today, with the spate of celebrity suicides grabbing the public eye, as well as celebrities talking about their struggles with it, there is no doubt that depression is a serious illness that kills and disables. And there is no doubt that Gruss' efforts to raise awareness and fund cutting edge neuroscience research to cure it, has gone a long way to further destigmatize the disease.

Starting Thursday, July 25, Southamptonites can do their part, and the following Thursday, grab some luxury goods at a discount by shopping the stores that will participate in the Hope for Depression Research Foundation's second annual awareness raising Week of Hope. Look for the (environmentally safe and re-usable) yellow statement balloons in front of such stores as Ralph Lauren, J. Crew, J. McLaughlin, Michael Kors, Brook's Brothers, The White Company, the Southampton Arts Center, the Southampton Chamber of Commerce, and Southampton Town Hall symbolizing commitment to the cause.

"Depression is a world wide illness, now affecting over 350 million people," Mrs. Gruss told us. "And it's the Number 1 reason worldwide for disability and suicide, according to the World Health Organization. Disability means people cannot function, cannot get up to go to work. And today, there is a suicide epidemic in teens, college students and white males over 65."

"Depression is a mind and body illness. It's not only your mind that is chemically imbalanced but the body as well. It physically affects many of the systems. We were told by an orthopedic surgeon that 60% of his patients with back pain also have depression. It affects your sleep cycle, your eating patterns and body pain. Yet, 50% of the people who need help do not see a professional. So, the whole stigma that has been around depression has to change. That is why our cause to raise awareness and getting people to get help is so important. More than 20 million people struggle with depression in America."

The Week of Hope will launch outside of Ralph Lauren (41 Jobs Lane, Southampton, NY 11968) on Thursday, July 25, at Noon, hosted by Co-Grand Marshals Mrs. Gruss and Arthur Dunnam accompanied by Southampton Village Mayor Warren.

On Thursday, August 1 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., stores including Ralph Lauren, J. Crew, J. McLaughlin, Geary Gubbins Sport, and many more, will offer shopping discounts, and donate a percentage of sales back to HDRF. Geary Gubbins Sports will host a Race of Hope Kick-Off Party during this time where they will offer refreshments, live music, and raffles. Attendees can register for the Race. Registrees can pick up their race gear.

On Sunday, August 4, the final day of the Week of Hope, Audrey Gruss, Arthur Dunnam, and Grand Marshals Sailor Brinkley Cook and Jack Brinkley Cook will lead the fourth annual Race of Hope around Lake Agawam at 8:30 a.m. 100% of proceeds from the Race will fund groundbreaking research into the root causes of depression in the brain and new and better treatments. To sign up or learn more, please visit www.hopefordepression.org.

The Week of Hope starts on Thursday, July 25. (Photo: D.Gonzales for Rob Rich/www.societyallure.com)

Week of Hope participating business owners to date include: Aboff's Paints, AERIN Southampton, Aloof Icon, Arthur T. Kalaher Fine Art, AT& T Store, Bandier, Barber Lounge 36, Bean 2 Tween, Breezin Up, Brooks Brothers, Brownings Fitness Southampton, CAEC Engineering (Chiffert Engineering), Cashmere Emporium, Catena's Inc Food Market, Charles Schwab, Chaser Southampton, Chico's, Coldwell Banker Beau Hulse Realty Group, Compass Real Estate, Corcoran Real Estate, Corwin's Jewelers, Cremieux, CVS, Dazzelle, Dee Jays, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Dutch Girl Cleaners, East End Row, Edward Archer, Egg New York, Eric Messin Jewelry, Flying Point Surf & Sport, Fowler's Garden Center, Geary Gubbins Sports, Gym Source, Halstead Hamptons, Hampton Interiors, Hamptons Tax and Advisory Services, Hamptons Virtual Office Center, Herrick Hardware Inc, Hidden Gem NY, Hildreth's Home Goods, ilSandalo, J&G Happy Feet, J. McLaughlin, J.Crew, Jennifer Miller Jewelry, Jildor Shoes, Jill Lynn & Co, Jobs Lane Gastro Pub, Jobs Lane Jewelers, John Dillon Salon, Johnny Was, Katherine Tess Southampton, Latch Pop-Up Inn, Lavelier, Laviano Southampton, Le Chef, Lee Jewelers, LF Stores, Main Street Optics, Malia Mills, Mary Godfrey Custom Framing and Photography, Mattress Firm Southampton, Michael Kors, Morris & Sons, Nic + Zoe, Nest Seekers International, Oceana Nail and Spa, One Kings Lane Southampton, Palm Produce Resortwear, Paul's Italian American Restaurant, Peter Millar, Plaza Café, Pottery Barn, Ralph Lauren, Revolve Hair, Roberta Roller Rabbit, Rogers Memorial Library, Rotations Bicycle Center, Ruby + Jenna, Sample Sale, Sea Green Designs, Shari's Place, Shippys Pumpernickels, Sisal Rugs Wholesale, SOMA by Rodica, Southampton Arts Center, Southampton Chamber of Commerce, Southampton Inn, Southampton Publick House, Southampton Town Hall, Southampton Vacuum & Sewing Center, Inc, Southampton Village Motel, Southrifty Drug, Sterling National Bank, Stevenson's Toys & Games, Sunrise to Sunset Surf & Sport, Tackle Box, TENET, Tennis East, The Fudge Company, The Kevin Maple Salon, The Luss Group, The Village Gourmet Cheese Shoppe, The White Company, Therapy Life & Style Southampton, Topiaire Candy Shop, Topiaire Flower Shop, Town & Country Real Estate, Truffoire, UA Southampton 4 Theatres, Urban Renaissance, Village of Southampton, W.B. Mason.

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 and public education. 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 neuroscience research 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 $30-million through over 125 grants for breakthrough depression research that promises to transform the way depression is viewed, diagnosed, treated and prevented.

For more information, visit www.hopefordepression.org.

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