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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Erika's Lighthouse: A Beacon of Hope for Adolescent Depression

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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

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


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!


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