The world of education today is laser-focused on meeting students where they are at – promoting equity, using sensitive and trauma-informed approaches and recognizing the unique needs and challenges of each student. We applaud these efforts and support educators in ensuring every student is supported and set up for success.

Yet, this focus does not include the same consideration for our educators. We must ensure they have access to the materials, training and support to set them up for success – so they have both the physical and mental capacity to support and develop our youth. Just as they work to meet students where they are at – we can do the same.

Erika’s Lighthouse is striving to prepare educators as they support their students’ mental health and educational needs. Through a suite of initiatives and actions, we are demonstrating our commitment to impactful, meaningful discussions around depression and mental health in school communities throughout the country.

Here are just a few ways we are meeting educators and being available, all of which are accessible on the Erika’s Lighthouse Resource Portal:

Discussion Board
Erika’s Lighthouse recently launched a Discussion Board as an extension of our Resource Portal. Like our other programs and initiatives, this free service is designed to promote educator dialogue around best practices, potential barriers to implementation and how other ancillary programs, resources or discussions may be integrated. We also offer an opportunity for our Teen Empowerment Club Sponsors & Leadership to discuss successes and challenges.

On-Demand Professional Development
Our new 45-minute to 2-hour staff training is designed to be flexible and accessible for school staff. It is broken into three digestible sections: About Depression & Suicide, Implementing Effective Programs, and How to Support Students. This training is designed to be delivered remotely for individuals or in groups with two tracks that work best for educators needs.

Customizable Resources
The Erika’s Lighthouse Team has been hard at work updating over 70% of our resources to be available via Canva, the free online graphic design software. This allows educators to customize the resources with local contact information for support, school logos, and other important, local information. 

Virtual Resources
Recognizing the new format of schools, particularly in regards to teen mental health, has been a leading driver of many of the changes we have made. From a new Remote Learning program to virtual tools for Teen Empowerment Clubs, to quick-use graphics to supplement lessons and virtual classrooms – Erika’s Lighthouse is ensuring students feel heard, feel supported and know they are not alone. Educators are the key – and we want them to know the same.

One-on-One Support
We continue to support educators with one-on-one calls, video conferencing and email. Consultations can be set up via email to one of our education team members or by using a link on the Resource Portal or their emails to schedule a time that is convenient for educators.

As educators continue to identify new ways to educate and support teens – Erika’s Lighthouse is determined to be a partner of choice. The always-free curriculum, resources and educator supports only enhance the unique and hopeful tone of our programs. Join us today by creating a free Resource Portal account at ErikasLighthouse.org.

From the Desk of Executive Director, Brandon Combs.

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