A Community Built on Compassion

Teenage depression thrives in isolation. It feeds on silence. It lives in the darkness. That’s why we’re dedicated to light, to conversation, and to community.

Our mission is to make sure no young person feels alone in their depression. We are dedicated to creating a community of empathy and education. We create upper elementary, middle school and high school mental health, depression and suicide awareness programs so educators, families and teens can create safe spaces to learn about mental health, letting students know they are never alone, and there is somewhere to turn.

Our community is always growing. With every student, with every school, with every educator who joins us, we expand our circle of awareness. We’d love for you to be a part of our community. Together, we can Get Depression Out of the Dark.

Our Mission

We are a not-for-profit dedicated to educating and raising awareness about adolescent depression, encouraging good mental health and breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Our Vision

To make sure no young person feels alone in their depression. To become the leading provider of teen depression awareness programs and resources in school communities.

Our Values

We Believe In:

The Power of Programs with Impact
We are committed to de-stigmatizing depression and providing hope for young people who have it. Our innovative, evidence-informed classroom programs do more than raise awareness; they provide a structured model for youth to thrive and survive. Making a meaningful difference in the lives of teens with depression defines all we do and who we are.

The Power of Positivity
We believe in the power of positivity – it permeates our culture through our mission statement and how we engage with students, teachers, and administrators. Positivity, knowledge, and compassion create empowerment, and empowerment drives change and hope.

The Power to Change the World
We know that empowered teens can change cultures, even deeply rooted ones. Through education, modelling, and positivity, our programs provide proven foundations for teens to create a thriving culture of compassion, support, and hope.

The Power of Programs that Spread
We are determined to make every community a beacon of hope, which is why all of our activities – from programs to engagements – are designed to be easily replicated and customizable for schools across the country, and the world.

The Power of Trust and Integrity
We deeply believe in what we do, and we believe in others. In all we do, we operate with integrity, trust, respect, and authenticity. We are resourceful, we are good stewards of the gifts we are given, and we always hold ourselves accountable. What we do truly matters.

We want kids to know that you can get better, that tools to be the best version of yourself are available. It’s actually an experience to gain skills around good mental health, without shame or stigma.

Ginny Neuckranz

Founder, Erika's Lighthouse

Who is Erika?

Out of darkness, a beacon.

When Ginny and Tom Neuckranz lost their beautiful daughter Erika to teenage depression, they turned her suffering into hope for other families. Erika’s loss was a rallying point for a community in pain, and one that is dedicated to helping make sure every child, every school, and every community is aware of adolescent depression.

In her name, and in her spirit, we turn outwards, expanding our circle of hope. We extend a hand to everyone.

Our Dedicated Advocates

We come from all walks of life, but we’re all walking in the same direction.

Our team of educators, administrators, counselors, psychologists, marketers, and more are united around a single goal: create the best educational material to raise awareness of teenage depression and give hope and community to those who feel alone. We’re dedicated not just to teaching, but to learning. Every day, from everyone.

Meet our people 

Community Impact

With your help, we help those who need it.

Thanks to our community of donors, volunteers, and supporters, we’ve been able to expand our programs around the North Shore, throughout Illinois, and across the country. With your help, we’re shining a light in every community.

Erika’s Lighthouse In The Press 

Donate to Erika’s Lighthouse

Your donation helps let adolescent depression sufferers live happy, normal, and full lives.

Donate Today