“I am extremely satisfied with Erika’s Lighthouse Program. As a new school social worker, I find their provision of numerous free resources to be invaluable, enhancing accessibility significantly. The program offers step-by-step instructions and training for successful implementation. Evidently, their genuine support for mental health and suicide awareness/prevention shines through their mission and the program itself. It’s crucial for students to hear diverse experiences, especially from different backgrounds and perspectives, making this program truly impactful.” – School Social Worker, Illinois
Authentic voices play a pivotal role in fostering meaningful conversations about mental health. Sharing personal stories, experiences, successes, or failures, especially from individuals one knows, trusts, respects, or relates to, holds immense power.
Professional Community Ambassadors (PCAs)
Recognizing this power, Erika’s Lighthouse initiated the establishment of Professional Community Ambassadors nationwide two years ago. The concept is simple: school professionals listen to other school professionals. Our aim was to form multidisciplinary teams in each state comprising a health educator, a school social worker, and a school counselor.
More than 20 school-based professionals have joined Erika’s Lighthouse as volunteer ambassadors. These peer experts present Erika’s Lighthouse programs at their state specialty conferences for school counseling, school social work, and health education. They share their experiences with our free programs and contribute to the expansion of school-based mental health initiatives in their states.
Shine Light on Depression Expansion
Starting in 2024, Erika’s Lighthouse is thrilled to broaden our volunteer Professional Community Ambassador initiative in collaboration with Shine Light on Depression (shinelightondepression.org) in five states: California, Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina, and Texas. State-based ambassadors will serve as peer champions, participating in state conferences, acting as one-on-one peer leaders, and facilitating connections between schools, community-based organizations, and our initiatives.
Join Our Model for the Future
Building on this model, Erika’s Lighthouse aims to expand nationwide through new partnerships. If you are interested in becoming part of this exciting initiative, whether as a funder or ambassador, please contact us today! Erika’s Lighthouse is a nonprofit organization committed to providing free mental health programs for any school, anywhere. Every student deserves good mental health, and our evidence-informed programs can reach your area today.