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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: Erika's Lighthouse is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating and raising awareness about adolescent depression, encouraging good mental health, and breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Results: With a modest start just over ten years ago, Erika’s Lighthouse has gone from educating roughly 1,500 students, parents and school professionals in 2004 to touching the lives of 42,425 individuals in 37 communities and 60 schools across the country in 2014. In the last two years alone, Erika’s Lighthouse has extended its impact over 300% through the expansion of turn-key programming, online resources and social media efforts.

Target demographics: Adolescents & Middle/High School Communities

Direct beneficiaries per year: 42,425

Geographic areas served: Depression Awareness, Stigma Reduction, Mental Health Empowerment & Suicide Prevention

Programs: Erika’s Lighthouse addresses the challenges surrounding teen depression using the most impactful, innovative and accessible methods available today. Interactive web-based resources, multi-media classroom teaching tools and teen-to-teen interventions make Erika’s Lighthouse a trail blazer for mental health education in the Chicago area and beyond. Programs and services are always free and resources are easy and accessible on the website.

Community Stories

23 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Erika's Lighthouse is an incredible organization that empowers young people to achieve good mental health. At the core of their mission is the belief that everyone deserves good mental health and that depression education is necessary in order to recognize mental illness and know how to ask for help. Through easy-to-use curricula and best-practice-based messages, Erika's Lighthouse is at the forefront of depression education and provides a necessary service to local and national middle and high schools.

Advisor

Rating: 5

As an intern at Erika's Lighthouse, I have been able to see firsthand what a difference this organization makes in the lives of adolescents. It is very rewarding to be apart of an organization that gets to educate adolescents on the signs of depression and reduce the stigma that comes along with it. I think that Erika's Lighthouse message is unbelievably important, you are not alone and depression is not something that should be kept in the dark. There are so many ways to get help and it's very fulfilling to know that I get to be one of the people that helps students understand the resources that are out there for them. Erika's Lighthouse has had such a positive impact on not only the community of Winnetka but many other communities, both near and far. I could not have asked for a more meaningful internship and I am very honored to have been apart of helping getting depression out of the dark!

Advisor

Rating: 5

I am proud to have been associated with Erika's Lighthouse since its inception in 2004. This unique grassroots organization has contributed GREATLY to the field of mental health education, particulary raising awareness of childhood and adolesent depression. I cannot recommend highly enough their Parent Handbook whch can be downloaded from their website www.erikaslighthouse.org.
Sharon Weingarten, MSW

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Erika's Lighthouse is a very unique and powerful organization because it provides the community with a remarkable message that is positive, hopeful, and encouraging. It is an organization that promotes good mental health in a serious yet positive way. I have seen teens that are members of Erika’s Lighthouse club become so educated around such a stigmatized topic of adolescent depression that they become amazing leaders and ambassadors on this topic. I have also seen just how many hundreds and thousands of other students, staff, and educators the organization has truly touched. The organization has grown immensely and I believe it goes to show that the need is there and that teen are ready and eager to talk about and bust down the stigma surrounding depression and mental health.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Working as an Outreach Worker for Erika's Lighthouse, I have seen first hand the impact that this organization has on adolescents. One of my primary roles is co-facilitating the Red Flags program, which teaches 7th grade students about the signs and symptoms of depression. This program gives them the language they need to understand depression and how to go about finding a supportive adult. Erika's Lighthouse is usually their first introduction into the importance of learning about and maintaining good mental health. This is knowledge that these students will continue to use for years to come. This program teaches teens how to effectively educate, advocate, and bust the stigma about adolescent depression.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Erika's Lighthouse received myself and a group of colleagues to share about their vision for educating teens/parents/the public on depression. The information was relevant, presented effectively by two social workers in enlightening and empowering methods. Our visit/presentation also had the participation of an area high school senior who is exploring the field of social work - great organization!!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I am a parish nurse at First Presbyterian Church in Evanston. I have held two programs, here at the church, and was so impressed with the information provided and the manner in which it was presented. The topic can be intimidating, but the message you receive is how to help in a way that works for teens. The presenters are great! One a mom who has raised children and has practical advice and one who was a teen not that long ago so she is on the pulse of current teen trends.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ELH is a wonderful program that promotes a strong message in a way that the kids understand. Its great to have their help in and out of our schools- keep up the great work!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a social worker at Highland Park Hospital. I work with families in crisis on a DAILY basis on our Adolescent and Young Adult Behavioral Health Unit. Parents, caregivers, siblings, etc are all looking for answers....and Erika's Lighthouse has been so incredibly generous to our unit in sharing countless Parent Handbooks on Adolescent Depression. This is an indescribable resource to families looking for answers on medications, what to ask the doctors/therapists, what to tell school....it is VERY easy to read, incredibly well-organized, and hugely valuable in guiding the therapeutic process. Erika's Lighthouse remains at the top of our mental health resource list in providing tremendous support to parents, patients, and even peers! We LOVE the innovative video clips, community outreach and accessibility of this incredible organization. Thank you thank you....we hope to continue our collaborative efforts for many years to come!

Ilona A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Erika's Lighthouse promotes a great message that all teens should be aware of.