Erika’s Lighthouse is dedicated to adolescent mental health and our mission of ensuring no young person ever feels alone in their depression. In February 2023, the CDC Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows alarming data on the mental health emergency our children are facing. In the past 12 months:
However, the CDC found school connectedness has a long-lasting protective impact. School connectedness is when students feel that adults and peers in the school care about their learning as well as about them as individuals. This includes a sense of being cared for, supported, and belonging at school.
“Schools play a critical role in promoting students’ health and development and can take action to help students feel connected.” – CDC, Adolescent and School Health
Erika’s Lighthouse’s unique four-pillar approach is designed to help schools create an inclusive school culture around mental health by empowering students, educators, and families. We believe that every child in every school deserves to:
- receive high-quality, evidence-informed education.
- have a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment.
- have the vocabulary, shared values, and comfort to seek help.
- have knowledgeable adults that are willing and available to help.
- know that they are worthy of good mental health.
- never feel alone in their depression or mental illness.
- have a trusted adult they can turn to when in need.
- have open conversations with supportive peers.
- receive help before ever experiencing suicidal ideation.
Our four-pillar approach encompasses classroom education, teen empowerment, family engagement, and school policy and staff development. Our programs are making an impact in school communities around the country. Learn more about how you can provide school communities with the resources they need to create a supportive community around mental health.