Erika’s Lighthouse was founded following the loss of a 14-year-old girl who lost her life to her depression. When Erika died, her family and friends felt that the community did not have the knowledge or vocabulary to talk about depression and suicide. They came together and created the program that they felt would have benefited Erika and her classmates. Erika’s Lighthouse programs were born from the belief that everyone deserves good mental health and that EVERY child in EVERY school should have access to high-quality mental health education so that they will know how to get help for themselves or a friend. 

When you make a memorial gift to Erika’s Lighthouse, you are making a profound difference in the lives of young people all across the country. You will bring mental health education and suicide prevention programs to schools nationwide. Erika’s Lighthouse programs are an upstream approach to suicide prevention and help schools shore up the protective factors – school connectedness, mental health literacy, and family support – that help students before there is a crisis. 

When you Light a Beacon with Erika’s Lighthouse, you are remembering those we have lost to depression through hope and action. It is an opportunity to turn loss into action and give students access to programs that help them lead mentally healthy lives. 

We offer a number of ways to remember a loved one while making a difference:

  • Create a Light a Beacon Fund – Memorialize the life of a loved one through a custom memory page of someone lost to depression. This page can feature images, videos, a biography or obituary and other fond memories.
  • Give a memorial donation – Memorialize the life of a loved one by supporting youth mental health in schools around the world.
  • Host an event in memory of a loved one – we have had friends host yoga retreats, or get-togethers to celebrate the lives of loved ones lost to depression, and donate the proceeds to Erika’s Lighthouse.

Almost 20 years ago, Erika’s family and friends gathered around a kitchen table with the goal of finding a way to ensure that no child ever feels alone in their depression. Their aim was to Get Depression Out of the Dark. From that one community, their mission has spread to thousands of schools around the country. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to discuss how best to join our community dedicated to supporting youth mental health, and turn loss into action.