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Erika's Lighthouse: A Beacon of Hope for Adolescent Depression
November 4, 2012

When helping a friend who works with teenage clients I was amazed by the number of students who had signs of depression. After many discussions with Ginny Neuckranz, the founder of ELH, I realized that the major goal of this organization, to get depression out of the dark, was such a necessary force in our communities in the Chicago area. Fifteen to twenty percent of our youth suffer from depression. Many people are unfamiliar with the signs of depression and do not realize how prevalent it is and may miss the signs of depression in their own families. As a nurse I know that depression is a real and physical illness which can be successfully treated but it must first be recognized in order to be treated. That is our goal and over the last nine years we have educated a multitude of students, parents and faculty through a multi-pronged approach. We have developed study guides, parent handbooks, videos and other educational materials available at no cost. We have health care professionals who present to these groups on a consistent basis. We have fostered the development of teen clubs in our highschools to help us promote our message. As a board member I have been priviledged to work with a dedicated group of volunteers and staff who truly give so much time and effort to reducing the stigma surrounding depression. The personal rewards of working with ELH are too numerous to list. I know that we have made a difference. Linda Monico MS. RN

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