The country’s leading non-profit dedicated to advanced depression research, Hope for Depression Research Foundation (HDRF), has announced the honorees for the 14th Annual HOPE luncheon ceremony taking place virtually on Wednesday, November 11, at 12 p.m.

They are CBS Sunday Morning host, Jane Pauley, and actress Taraji P. Henson, both high-profile mental health advocates. Veteran journalist Chuck Scarborough of NBC News will be Master of Ceremonies.

The seminar will focus on “The Value of Talk Therapy, Especially Now,” featuring keynote medical speaker Dr. Robert DeRubeis, Professor of Psychology at University of Pennsylvania. The event will share news about the most innovative and promising depression treatments emerging from HDRF-funded research programs.

“The COVID pandemic has underscored the urgency of our mission to better understand and treat depression,” said HDRF Founder and Chair Audrey Gruss. “Over 100 million Americans now report symptoms of depression and anxiety, according to the latest study.”

Veteran journalist and host of CBS Sunday Morning, Jane Pauley will accept the Hope Award for Depression Advocacy, Pauley has been open about her battle with bipolar disorder since her diagnosis two decades ago and has used her celebrity platform to remind those with their own battles that they are not alone. On her diagnosis, Pauley says, “I can’t say that having bipolar disorder has been a blessing, but having an advocacy role has been.” Previous honorees of the award include LeAnn Rimes, Ashley Judd, Anderson Cooper, Brooke Shields, Lorraine Bracco, and Terry Bradshaw.

Actress, author and entrepreneur, Taraji P.Henson will be awarded the Community Ambassador of Hope Award. In the wake of the pandemic, the Empire and Hidden Figures star launched a campaign to offer free “virtual therapy” services for African Americans unable to afford it during the COVID-19 outbreak. Henson has spoken openly about her personal journey with PTSD and depression and uses her celebrity platform to provide support for her fans and community alike.

This will be the first time the highly anticipated HOPE Luncheon will take place virtually, due to COVID-19 restrictions. Each year, the luncheon is held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City and is attended by over 300 top New York philanthropists, asset managers, business and media professionals, socialites and celebrities who gather to raise awareness about depression and its related mood disorders as well as funds for continued research. This year, the virtual luncheon will feature Zoom chat rooms that will function like virtual “tables,” so friends and colleagues can sit together during the program. Founder Audrey Gruss will be able to “fly in” to visit the virtual tables throughout the event to mingle and chat with guests.

To purchase tables and tickets for the HOPE luncheon, click here.

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