Hope is critical to all aspects of life. Hope science shows higher hope equates to better grades, economic success, improved health and well-being, longer life, less violence, more resilience, increased confidence, improved leadership, better employee engagement, and more. We created our Hopeful Minds program to test our hypothesis that hope is teachable, and our research confirms it to be true.
Hopelessness is the single consistent predictor of suicide, the primary symptom of depression, and a predictor of weapon carrying on school property, violence, self-harm, substance misuse, and more. It consists of both emotional despair and motivational helplessness, and what we consider the opposite of hope is prevalent among youth and can permeate into adulthood.
We know the rate of hopelessness is growing; 50% of girls report persistent hopelessness, and it is impossible to quantify the financial impact of hopelessness. Mental illness alone costs the United States $2.5 trillion, and the effects of hopelessness span beyond mental illness. We must work on prevention and intervention efforts to reduce hopelessness, and there is an easy solution – hope.
Hope-based interventions are easy to implement into school curriculums and are the perfect solution for preventing hopelessness and its associated consequences. By teaching youth how to hope, we can reduce the consequences of hopelessness within individuals and create an even larger impact on the economy. There is an economic benefit to promoting hope – every $1 invested into intervention and prevention efforts results in a $24 return to the economy.
If we want to end partner violence, sexual violence, weapon carrying at school, depression, suicide, anxiety, poverty, economic insecurity, homelessness, and more, we MUST teach the ‘how’ to hope and that’s exactly what we have set out to do.
Share this site, educate others that hope is a teachable skill and a fundamental need, and reach out if you want to learn more about adapting the curriculum for your specific population’s needs.
Our Hopeful Minds program is free and available to all, and we are continuously aiming to improve our hope programs through continued research. To study Hopeful Minds in your area, please contact us for guidance on measures and protocols.