Hopeful Mindsets on the College Campus Launches to Improve the Lives of College Students Everywhere

As hopelessness rises to an all time high for college students returning to class this year, Hopeful Mindsets™ on the College Campus seeks to address this global issue by teaching the “how-to” of hope.

“Hope is teachable, it’s learnable. I think we’ve learned that hope is something that people can embrace, that there are strategies for learning about hope, and for modifying how one approaches life to create a more hopeful mindset”, said Myron Belfer, MD, MPA, Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry, Children’s Hospital Boston. Myron Belfer, alongside renowned mental health and wellness experts from top academic institutions and organizations around the world, have collaborated with iFred to develop Hopeful Mindsets on the College Campus. Hopeful Mindsets™, is a new course and proactive initiative designed to teach hope by addressing the emotional and psychological stressors that college students are facing today.

As Chan Hellman, PhD, Professor in the Anne & Henry Zarrow School of Social Work at the University of Oklahoma, and Founding Director of the Hope Research Center said, “hope is the belief that the future will be better than today and that you have the power to make it so.” Hopeful Mindsets on the College Campus sets out to teach students the power of belief, the science of hope, and the impact of hope on future success and wellbeing. 

Hopeful Mindsets introduces crucial hope skills known as the Five Keys of Hope using the SHINE acronym:

  • Stress Skills: how to proactively manage the stress response
  • Happiness Habits: taking action to foster positive feelings 
  • Inspired Actions: setting meaningful goals to nurture passion and purpose 
  • Nourishing Networks: building social connections that cultivate hope 
  • Eliminating Challenges: how to overcome worry, rumination, and limiting beliefs

According to research done by the American Psychiatric Association, in 2021 nearly half of our college students—over 47%—have record levels of clinical depression and anxiety. “We need to ensure students have support, resources, and tools to maintain mental wellbeing, not just now, but always,” said Dr. Mitchell, PhD, Professor of Journalism at UNR and Coordinator of Recruitment and Retention at the University of Nevada, Reno, who was instrumental in bringing Hopeful Mindsets to the university’s campus. “Teaching students hopefulness can help offset some of the struggles they are facing as a result of the pandemic, but also the pressures of college life they endure. Hopeful Mindsets is a great addition to core courses to help students learn to lead more positive lives.” 

“Hopelessness, that feeling of despair and sense of helplessness, is a normal part of life and something all of us experience. Yet we are never given a roadmap for how to get from hopelessness to hope,” says Kathryn Goetzke, Founder of iFred and Creator of Hopeful Mindsets. “It astounds me, as hopelessness is predictive of things like weapon carrying on school property, addiction, suicide, self-harm, violence, and early death, as well as a key symptom of anxiety and depression. How do we expect to solve any of these major challenges without teaching the ‘how-to’ of hope? That is what we initially set out to do with Hopeful Minds, a free global program for the K-6 population, and now with our new program Hopeful Mindsets for the College Campus.”

Hopeful Mindsets on the College Campus can be completed individually, with a friend, in a class, or as part of a campus-wide initiative. It is available for institutions to purchase for their entire campus, and is available to individuals for a $25 donation to iFred. Scholarships are also available for individuals. 

You can learn more about Hopeful Mindsets on the College Campus at www.hopefulmindsets.com

More information can be requested at hopefulmindsets@ifred.org.


For more resources on hope check out:

Hopeful Cities, iFred’s initiative to operationalize hope in cities around the world:https://hopefulcities.org.

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