When I asked Audrey Gruss what she considers to be her greatest luxury, her answer was, “having time.” This dynamic woman uses her own time to make a beneficial difference for all of us. “Giving back feels good,” she enthusiastically shares. In fact, Audrey Gruss is already helping to destigmatize depression in new and unprecedented ways.
As founder and CEO of Hope for Depression Research Foundation, Gruss has assembled “the best minds to heal minds,” and the work focuses on getting to the root cause of depression and mood disorders. Gruss is quick to point out that depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
Gruss’ mother suffered from depression for decades, during which time, there were limited resources and treatment options available, as well as a rampant and pervasive stigma, preventing many from seeking treatment. With the creation of the fragrance, HOPE (1.7 fl. oz. for $115), not only are 100 percent of the profits from sales directed toward funding research, but the gorgeous scent pays homage to Gruss’ mother, whose name was Hope. It was her mother’s love of white flowers that influenced Gruss to create HOPE, the fragrance characterized by the fusion of the aromatic and lighter notes of lily of the valley, jasmine, gardenia and tuberose.
Gruss founded the Hope for Depression Research Foundation to accelerate research and influence the future of how we understand, treat and talk about depression. The causes for depression remain unknown, and there hasn’t been a new category of medication since Prozac was introduced 30 years ago. In 2010, Hope for Depression launched its depression task force—a collaboration of seven leading scientists at the frontiers of brain science from different research institutions across the U.S. and Canada. This extraordinary collaboration allows for the sharing of ongoing results in real time at the Hope for Depression Data Center. “We are very close to developing new categories of medication for the first time... which is major progress.” New research into the causes and more effective treatment of depression will help lower suicide rates, alcoholism, substance abuse and other crippling symptoms of depression. The result of Gruss’ unmatched and determined efforts will lead to early diagnosis, screening and effective-tailored treatments.
HOPE is the first fragrance to give all of its profits to fund a humanitarian cause, bringing the conversation about depression out into the open and increasing awareness. And this is only the beginning to the modern movement that started through the unparalleled vision of the philanthropist, humanitarian and dynamo that is Audrey Gruss.
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