Erika’s Lighthouse: Family Engagement Conversations

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Are you looking for free, turn-key family engagement resources around mental health?

The resources we offer include two youth mental health workshops, a family handbook, practical language for having a conversation with their child, and more.

Let’s take a deeper look at the family engagement resources:

Erika’s Lighthouse offers many resources for families. These resources can be utilized directly by families or schools can use the resources to engage families in important conversations around youth mental health.

Family Workshops

There are two options for accessing the family workshops. First, families can watch the pre-recorded video by going to the family engagement page on our website. Secondly, a school can host a family night or psycho-educational workshop. Each workshop has a completed slideshow, script, and video link.

Family Workshop I: We All Have Mental Health

This workshop pairs with the classroom education Level I program. In the first section of the workshop, families will learn what mental health is and what can get in the way of mental health (hint…stress). In the second section of the workshop, families will watch the Level I: We All Have Mental Health video and learn about everyday feelings and overwhelming feelings. The third section will provide parents with practical tools for supporting their children and their mental health. This includes explaining what is developmentally appropriate for children ages 6-12 as well as language for having supportive conversations with their child.

Family Workshop Level II: Depression & Suicide

This workshop pairs with Level II or Level III classroom education programs. Families will take a deeper look at adolescent depression by understanding what is mental health, what can get in the way of mental health and learning the signs and symptoms of adolescent depression and suicide. There is information about stigma, coping strategies and equally important, how to help their child if they are concerned.

Family Handbook

The family handbook, offered at no cost, in English and Spanish, is an excellent resource to educate families about good mental health, signs and symptoms of adolescent depression and how to have a conversation with their child. This can be thought of as a beginner’s guide for mental wellness.

Theoretically, how does Family Engagement make an impact in schools?

Theoretically, by educating and engaging families around youth mental health we are impacting an important stakeholder in the school community. Caregivers and parents play an important role in supporting youth mental health and we want to ensure that caregivers understand the signs and symptoms of adolescent depression and are equipped to have supportive and meaningful conversations with their child. We know that many educators and schools report that parents and parent engagement can be a barrier to educating students about mental health. We strive to educate and inform caregivers about what their students are learning so that parents can feel empowered to have open and honest conversations at home. Having shared vocabulary will promote communication between home and school.

Pragmatically, how does Family Engagement make an impact in schools?

We often hear educators are looking for meaningful ways to educate and engage families around youth mental health. We have created resources and workshops that allow school communities to do just this. They can host a family night so caregivers can become more familiar with what their child is learning in the classroom while also learning about what their child is learning in school. Tying family engagement with classroom education ensures that we can educate and empower families to have meaningful conversations with their children.

How does Family Engagement fit into the Erika’s Lighthouse framework?

Erika’s Lighthouse wants to ensure that no young person is alone in their depression and we are dedicated to creating a community of empathy and education; families are a critical part of the community. By including families in the conversation we are ensuring that every stakeholder in a child’s life understands adolescent depression and is equipt, with a shared vocabulary, to have meaningful conversations to support each and every child.

How do schools 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 Family Engagement resources.

From there, you can decide which workshop best fits the needs of your school community and select a date to host the workshop. Alternatively, you can share the family engagement resources with a family who is interested in learning more about youth mental health and adolescent depression. We are always here to support you if you have questions, so feel free to reach out anytime!