What programs or resources are included in Erika’s Lighthouse School Policy pillar?

Erika’s Lighthouse offers school communities robust resources around school policy and staff development. Mental health and depression education are critical topics to be discussed in schools, but it can also be a topic that educators feel ill equipt to participate in. So, we provide a variety of resources that educate and empower school communities to increase their knowledge, skills, and comfort level around depression education. Let’s take a look at what is available:

Five-Part Staff Training:

Covering everything from signs and symptoms to how to teach Erika’s Lighthouse programs the staff training workshops can be watched independently or completed as a whole group professional development workshop. Like all Erika’s Lighthouse resources, each section of the training has a pre-recorded video option or a slideshow and script for someone to use.
Part 1-Signs & Symptoms
Part 2- Overview of Erika’s Lighthouse Programs
Part 3- Helping a Student
Part 4- Crisis Intervention
Part 5- Implementation in your school

School Policy & Interventions:

This section provides guidance on best practices and protocols that schools need to think about when implementing programming. The resources include a sample for a student assessment protocol, intervention language for educators, a mental health checklist, and more.

White Papers:
Our white papers showcase how Erika’s Lighthouse is using evidence-informed and best practices to create a comprehensive depression education program. We emphasize how mental health education fits into the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model as well the importance of school communities utilizing effective prevention measures for suicide prevention.

Theoretically, how does School Policy make an impact in schools?

We want educators and the young people they are with every day to know that depression is real, it’s common, it’s serious and it’s treatable. Just as important as the signs and symptoms of depression, we teach our young people that everyone deserves good mental health and we carry the message that you are not alone and that there is always hope. That’s key for our students and our educators to understand.

⇒ Comment from Participant: I know it can be difficult to have a “one size fits all” model for schools to follow in terms of best practice, but what have been some success stories you can share of schools or districts who have really dug into the details and created a system for student and staff learning about depression and mental health?

⇒ Comment from Erika’s Lighthouse: Great Question, and we agree that there’s not a “one size fits all” model. Our programs are intentionally flexible, allowing schools and districts to meet the needs of their students and staff. Erika’s Lighthouse educational is team is always to here to support the school and district. We can offer solutions and recommendations based on need. We have many success stories from this school year. To date, over 1700 schools across 48 states have implemented at least one Erika’s Lighthouse pillar!

Pragmatically, how does School Policy make an impact in schools?

School is a critical protective factor in supporting student mental health and educators play an important role in identifying a student who may be struggling. Educators are often the first to notice when a student is having a difficult time paying attention in class or displaying behavioral change, so by knowing some of the signs and risk factors, they can help identify a student in need and connect them to help.
Additionally, we never know who a student identifies as their trusted adult. It could be the math teacher, the librarian, or the coach, so it is imperative that educators are aware of school policy and shared language. If a student walks up to an educator and says, “You are my trusted adult,” we want every person in the building to understand what that means and how to support the student at that moment.

Can you tell us how School Policy fits into the Erika’s Lighthouse framework?

Erika’s Lighthouse programs work exclusively in schools. Therefore, we need to ensure that every adult who works in a school has the skills and language to support a student in need. Additionally, we want school administrators to feel capable to create effective and meaningful policies so that they can support the students, staff, and families in their buildings.

How can schools can get started?

It’s so easy! Create an account on our Resource Portal to gain access to our suite of programs. Once you log in, you will have access to all of Erika’s Lighthouse programs and resources, including the Staff Policy & Staff Development resources.
From there, you can decide which resources would benefit your school community: maybe it’s staff training or maybe it creating policies and procedures. Whatever you need, we are here to help! Feel free to reach out anytime!