Ninth Annual Luncheon Seminar Raised Over $750,000

Photos By: Patrick McMullan

Ellen Scarborough And Chuck Scarborough

Grace Meigher With Sharon Bush And Nancy Silverman

Mariel Hemingway And Audrey Gruss

Hope for Depression Research Foundation (HDRF), the leading non-profit dedicated solely to advanced depression research, held its Ninth Annual Luncheon Seminar where they raised over $750,000 for advanced depression research.

Focusing on the topic "Alcoholism and Depression: Dual Diagnosis, Dual Treatment," the sold-out event honored Academy-Award nominated actress, writer and mental health advocate Mariel Hemingway, as well as Caron Treatment Centers, who are leaders in the field of addiction treatment. Multi-platinum artist and actress Demi Lovato was also honored as a HOPE Ambassador for the younger generation for her commitment to mental health advocacy.

Yaz Hernandez And Lisa Klein

Margo Langenberg & Peter S. Paine III
Chuck Scarborough was Master of Ceremonies and he began the program by introducing Dr. Charles O'Brien, Professor of Psychiatry and Founding Director of the prestigious Center for Studies in Addiction at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. O’Brien shared the latest studies showing that treating co-occurring depression and alcoholism with naltrexone and an anti-depressant is the most effective way to achieve lasting recovery. Scarborough then introduced the Chair of HDRF’s acclaimed Depression Task Force, Dr. Huda Akil, who gave an update on research progress. She spoke of the significance of the HDRF’s unique, collaborative research, whereby a team of top brain scientists are pooling expertise and data to accelerate discovery. They have identified new genes and proteins that can point the way to potential new medications. Scarborough commented that the Depression Task Force is such a shining example of collaboration that he hoped to see an “’HCRF’ Task Force – Hope for Congress Research Foundation,” resulting in a ripple of laughter and applause.

Louisa Benton, Executive Director, then took the stage to stress HDRF’s mission to also increase depression awareness. She unveiled a brand new public awareness ad created with leading advertising agency McCann Humancare.

Demi Lovato appeared at the event via a video to accept HDRF’s recognition as an “Ambassador of HOPE for a New Generation” for her commitment to mental health awareness, speaking out about her own experience with depression and addiction, and being a role model for young people everywhere.

Audrey Gruss then introduced the HOPE Award for Depression Advocacy to Caron Treatment Centers, the oldest and largest not-for-profit addiction and behavior healthcare facility in the US. The Center's CEO Doug Tieman said, "79% of people were sober one year after treatment at Caron and 15% report improved quality of life."

Audrey Gruss then presented the HOPE Award to Mariel Hemingway, who accepted with a heartfelt speech that called for greater compassion around mental health issues. Many in the room were moved to tears by her personal story of overcoming the legacy of depression and alcoholism in her own famous family.

"I tell my story because it's not a unique story,” she said. “Although I come from one of the most famous American families, I grew up in a world of depression, addiction, and alcoholism. What people don’t understand is that depression is a brain problem and a life problem and it needs to be talked about.” The event ended with the audience lining up to receive personalized, signed copies of Mariel Hemingway’s new book released this year, Out Came the Sun.

The event co-chairs were: Jackie Drake, Peter Gregory, Kim Heirston, Eleanora Kennedy, Kristen Krusen, Margo Langenberg, Sylvia Martins-Niarchos, Peter S. Paine III and Coralie Charriol Paul. Additional guests included: Barbara Bancroft, Geoffrey Bradfield, Janna Bullock, Sharon Bush, Caroline Dean, Susan Gutfreund, Martin Gruss, William Flaherty, Mai Hallingby Harrison, Kim Heirston, Yaz Hernandez, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Petra Levin, Kamie Lightburn, Sharon Loeb, Jamee Gregory, Eleanora Kennedy, Karen LeFrak, Chris Mack, Grace Meigher, Ellen Scarborough, Scott Snyder and Veronica Webb.


HDRF's mission is to fund the most innovative neuroscience research into the origins, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of depression and other mood disorders – bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, anxiety disorder and suicide. In 2010, HDRF launched its Depression Task Force (DTF) – an outstanding collaboration of eight leading scientists, at the frontiers of brain science, from different research institutions across the U.S. and Canada. These scientists have developed an unprecedented research strategy that integrates the most advanced knowledge in genetics, epigenetics, molecular biology, electrophysiology, and brain imaging. To accelerate breakthrough research, they share ongoing results, in real time, at the new HDRF Data Center. For more information, visit: www.hopefordepression.org