In The Press

Take a look at Erika’s Lighthouse coverage in the news.

Educators Speak Out for Erika’s Lighthouse

New Professional Community Ambassadors program is up and running! Our newly launched Professional Community Ambassadors (PCA) program brings together volunteers nationwide to help Erika’s Lighthouse...

SADD and Erika’s Lighthouse Partnership

SADD and Erika’s Lighthouse Partnership


How One School is Coping with Mental Health

How One School is Coping with Mental Health

Several times a week, Ericka Santiago-Diaz can be found driving around her low-income, underserved school community in New Jersey’s Asbury Park with bags of school supplies, replacement technology,...

Erika’s Lighthouse Shines A Light On Depression

Erika’s Lighthouse Shines A Light On Depression

The pages of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School junior Sylvana Prieto’s leather journal are covered with messy doodles, notes and illustrations. Journaling is one of the many coping skills that...

Kiwanis International Youth Programs to Benefit From Partnership with Erika’s Lighthouse

July 19, 2021

Kiwanis International is pleased to announce a new partnership with Erika’s Lighthouse, which will give students involved in Kiwanis Youth Programs — and the adults who lead them — the tools to empower them to learn about mental health.

Erika’s Lighthouse to Discuss the Importance of Mental Health Education in Schools at the 2021 SHAPE America National Convention and Expo

April 12, 2021

Erika’s Lighthouse announced today that it will be making two presentations on the importance of mental health education in schools at the SHAPE America National Convention & Expo, which will be held virtually between Tuesday, April 13 and Saturday, April 17. Erika’s Lighthouse will also be virtually exhibiting at the event.

Depression Education From Erika’s Lighthouse Can Fill The Pressing Need For Mental Health Education Across The Country

March 3 2021

A recent poll from John Zogby Strategies found that teens overwhelmingly reported anxiety and depression as key factors for keeping them up at night. Read about how Erika’s Lighthouse programs can be incorporated into schools working to help teens in their school communities.

Parents Unsure About Mental Health Counseling For Kids, But Resources Available

February 16, 2021

Watch Executive Director Brandon Combs speak about how Erika’s Lighthouse resources can help break stigma. Also, our school partner from Alan B. Shepard High School is featured talking about how school counseling services are available for students.

Mental health eduation needed now more than ever as pandemic rages 

January 29, 2021

Brandon Combs, Executive Director of Erika’s Lighthouse, talks about the desperate need for mental health education in wake of COVID-19.

Depression education programming from Erika’s Lighthouse available for remote learning in the 2020-21 school year 

January 5, 2021

Erika’s Lighthouse announced today that throughout the 2020 – 2021 school year, its free depression education programming has been made available for remote learning, hybrid environments, and the traditional classroom setting.

Erika’s Lighthouse Updates Its Depression Education Programming To Meet National Health Education Standards

August 25, 2020

Erika’s Lighthouse announced today, together with Cairn Guidance, the release of the newly-developed National Health Education Standards version of depression education programs for middle and high schools. This new program is now available on the Resource Portal and joins the library of existing classroom programs.

Erika’s Lighthouse Wins the 2020 Community Builder Award From the Child Mind Institute

July 16, 2020

Erika’s Lighthouse announced today that it is the winner of the 2020 Community Builder Award from the Child Mind Institute as part of its annual Change Maker Awards.

The Positivity Pledge from Erika’s Lighthouse Brings Out the Fun in Mental Health Empowerment

April 29, 2020

Erika’s Lighthouse, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to educating and raising awareness about adolescent depression, promoting good mental health, and breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health issues, announced today that it is encouraging everyone to take the Positivity Pledge in May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month.

Erika’s Lighthouse on WBBM Radio

March 27, 2020

Erika’s Lighthouse Executive Director Brandon Combs was interviewed on Chicago’s WBBM Radio to address the need to support teens during this unprecedented time of school cancellations. Listen to the clip here

Erika’s Lighthouse Launches “We’re in this Together” Campaign

March 24, 2020

Erika’s Lighthouse is launching the “We’re In This Together” campaign to empower teens who feel isolated and alone during this unprecedented health crisis. It provides practical, meaningful tools to support teens through these uncertain times when many people around the world are self-isolating. These resources are available at

Webinar: Shine Light On Depression

Shine Light on Depression is a unique collaboration of organizations committed to raising awareness of depression and preventing suicide among young people. Our Director of Education, Ilana Sherman, teamed up with the American School Health Association (ASHA) and the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) to promote this collaboration. 

View the webinar here.  The presentation slides may be viewed here

Erika’s Lighthouse Featured on Hubbard Helps

Every Sunday morning, 101.9fm The MIX presents special public affairs programming to address the issues and concerns facing the people of Chicago and its surrounding communities. Rather than focus on the problems we like to emphasize the solutions, so our locally-produced Hubbard Helps features conversations with Chicago-area officials, experts, and every day citizens who are working to make a difference in our communities. 

Listen to this podcast. Our Executive Director, Brandon Combs is interviewed by Susan Wiencek of Hubbard Helps.

Erika’s Lighthouse Partners with the Chicago Wolves To End The Stigma Of Teenage Depression 

Event planned at Downers Grove North High School on Wednesday, March 4 featuring Tyrell Goulbourne from the Chicago Wolves March 2, 2020 – Winnetka, Ill. – Erika’s Lighthouse, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to educating and raising awareness about adolescent depression, encouraging good mental health, and breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health issues, announced today that it is partnering with the Chicago Wolves to bring awareness and support to ending the stigma of teenage depression.  On Wednesday, March 4, Erika’s Lighthouse, Chicago Wolves player Tyrell Goulbourne, Skates, the mascot of the Chicago Wolves, and the Downers Grove North High School Teen Club will be raising awareness, breaking the stigma, and spreading empathy about teenage depression.  More events with Erika’s Lighthouse, the Chicago Wolves, and other schools in the Chicago metropolitan area may be planned in the coming months.

Erika’s Lighthouse is a finalist for the 2020 Community Builder Award from the Child Mind Institute

Winner determined by online voting from February 25 through March 15

 February 25, 2020 – Winnetka, Ill. – Erika’s Lighthouse, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to educating and raising awareness about adolescent depression, encouraging good mental health, and breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health issues, announced today that it is one of six finalists for the 2020 Community Builder Award from the Child Mind Institute as part of its annual Change Maker Awards.  The winner will be decided as a result of online voting which is open to the public from February 25 through March 15 at  The winner will be announced in late March and will receive the award at a ceremony hosted by NBC News veteran journalist Cynthia McFadden at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Tuesday, April 28.

Erika’s Lighthouse to Partner with the Los Angeles Unified School District at the CAHPERD Conference 

February 17, 2020

The California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance will hold the conference between Thursday, February 20 and Saturday, February 22 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County in Garden Grove, CA. Staff from Erika’s Lighthouse will be at booth 305 and can discuss its free depression education programs.

Erika’s Lighthouse Celebrates Its 15th Anniversary Gala

March 4, 2019

Erika’s Lighthouse, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to announced today that it will be holding a celebratory event to celebrate its 15th Anniversary on Saturday, May 18 at 7 p.m.

Midday Fix: Depression education – expert advice on how to help teens and kids recognize the signs

WGN Midday News, August 15, 2018

Ginny and Tom Neuckranz, Co-founders and Board Members of Erika’s Lighthouse and Heather Freed, the executive director of Erika’s Lighthouse, visited WGN’s studios to talk about the importance of depression education in schools.

Erika’s Lighthouse Helps Hope Grow

By Libby Elliott, The North Shore Weekend, April 28, 2018

Heather Freed always knows what to expect at the office in the days following a local or national tragedy involving teenagers.

“We see an uptick in people reaching out to us,” said Freed, executive director of Erika’s Lighthouse, the Winnetka-based non-profit founded nearly 15 years ago to educate school communities about teen depression. “It’s typically teachers, education administrators or kids wanting to start a discussion about the issue of depression in their school. Unfortunately, tragedy is sometimes the trigger that motivates them.”

Everyday Athlete: Kathleen Hooper

By Mark Buciak, Chicago Athlete Magazine, May/June 2018

Erika’s Lighthouse is celebrating its 5th year as an official charity team of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Chicago Athlete features team member Kathleen Hooper’s experience running with the team. Go Team Erika’s Lighthouse!

Getting Depression Out of the Dark

By Alice York, Sheridan Road Magazine, April 1, 2018

What began as a parent’s response to a daughter’s tragic battle with depression has blossomed into Erika’s Lighthouse, a Winnetka-based organization armed with a passion to empower young people and those around them with the knowledge and skills needed to understand and cope with depression. Its annual gala, on Saturday, May 12, is what helps make it all possible.

Discussing “The Mental Health Issue” After Parkland

By Julia Delacroix, Teaching Tolerance, February 26, 2018

“When talking with students about mass shootings, you can’t avoid addressing mental health. This TT staffer offers recommendations for ways you can talk about mental health with your students—without adding to the stigma already in place.”  Erika’s Lighthouse is mentioned as a resource for schools to use to support students who might be struggling.

Bremen High School Teams up with Erika’s Lighthouse to Discuss Teen Depression

By Bremen District 228, Patch Contributor, Oak Forest Patch, September 26, 2017 

Bremen High School Social Workers, in conjunction with P.E. teachers, have teamed up for a two-day presentation in all BHS freshmen Heath classes entitled, “Teen Depression: Stories of Hope & Health.” This marks the third year of District 228’s collaboration with Erika’s Lighthouse, a non-profit organization focused on depression awareness and suicide prevention.

Kyle Anderson to host third annual ‘Celebrate Life Day’

By Cody McCrary,, August 10, 2017

On Aug. 12, Kyle Anderson of the San Antonio Spurs will host the third annual Celebrate Life Day in his home state of New Jersey.

Anderson started Celebrate Life Day in 2015 after a close friend of Anderson’s, Paul Kim, died by suicide in 2014 during Anderson’s rookie season in San Antonio.

Proceeds from Celebrate Life Day will benefit Erika’s Lighthouse, an Illinois-based group that educates communities about teen depression, and a scholarship in Paul Kim’s name at his alma mater, Cliffside Park High School.

Some Schools Warn Families about Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why”

By Vince Gerasole, CBS News, April 24, 2017

Read and watch the news story in which Executive Director Heather Freed addresses the many questions on how to talk about “13 Reasons Why.”

Lighting The Way

By Kemmie Orquiz, Sheridan Road, April 11, 2017

“What began as a parent’s response to a tragic outcome of teenage depression has grown into a nationwide campaign to “Get Depression Out of the Dark.” Erika’s Lighthouse (ELH) continues to open up conversation and destigmatize depression, while providing knowledge and skills that families and teens can use to cope during trying times.”

GBN Holds Fundraiser to Raise Awareness of Youth Depression, Suicide Prevention 

By Karie Angell Luc, The Northbrook Star, June 29, 2016

“The annual GBN Fundraiser Tournament at Techny Prairie Park & Fields in Northbrook drew an estimated 250 people on June 26 to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention among youth. In its fourth year, the event raised $1,600 to benefit Erika’s Lighthouse of Winnetka and TotalLink2 Community of Northbrook.”

For Teens in Crisis, Texting Provides an Outlet for Assistance

By Lauren Zumbach, Chicago Tribune reporter, October 23, 2013

“Picking up the phone can be tough for teens in crisis. A new hotline aims to make it easier by letting them seek help through their preferred mode of communication: texting.”

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