EVENT DATE: Oct 08, 2017
Friends and Family, as you now know, I have decided to run the 2017 Chicago Marathon for Erika's Lighthouse, an organization that educates communities about depression through programs to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness and to empower teens to take change of their mental health. Many of you know that this organization really hits home for me. I attempted to take my own life when I was 15 years old, however, my attempt was not fatal. I was not expecting to still be here. I was not expecting to see another day. They call it “waking up alive”. I woke up alive to find Rachel, my little sister standing over me, shaking me conscious. I never thought I would see her face, or anyone’s for that matter, again. I had never been familiar with people with mental illnesses until I was diagnosed and went into the hospital and realized that this is an incredibly vulnerable community that is so silent. Many people I encountered at the hospital shared that they didn’t even know they had a mental illness. "They say time heals all wounds... I still have those thoughts every day. Every once in a while, I’ll think about it and go, 'why am I here? What’s keeping me bound to this, right here?' The people with the most intimate information about suicidal thoughts, feelings, and actions are those who have lived through such experiences. That is why I am here, to share my story. Talking about mental illness and suicide is not taboo, I want to raise awareness and help eliminate the stigma. An incredible way to support Erika's Lighthouse is to donate whatever you can, as well as, passing this fundraising page on to more friends and family. If you are unable to donate at this time, please consider cheering me on for the 26.2 miles in October. Somewhere between 15%-20% of young people will develop depression before they reach adulthood (80% will go unrecognized and untreated) and 90-98% of those who take their life have a diagnosable mental disorder, the most common being depression. Failure to recognize the symptoms of depression and the stigma associated with mental illness prevents youth and families from getting the help they deserve - sometimes, even taking lives. Each dollar helps to support Erika's Lighthouse and free community educational programs that raise awareness of childhood and adolescent depression, eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness and promote early identification and treatment of depression. Depression education is our best hope to prevent suicide and spread good mental health. Join me and together let’s “GET DEPRESSION OUT OF THE DARK”
ERIKAS LIGHTHOUSE A BEACON OF HOPE FOR ADOLESCENT DEPRESSION wrote -
We believe that every young person deserves mental health and the right to a life full of purpose. We work to spread the message that although depression is common, and can be serious, you can get better. You are not alone.
Committed to educating and raising awareness about adolescent depression, encouraging good mental health and breaking down the stigma that surrounds mental health issues, Erika’s Lighthouse: A Beacon of Hope for Adolescent Depression is rapidly becoming one of the Midwest’s premier providers of middle school and high school depression awareness curricula, teen-to-teen outreach and online resources.
Join us in this movement and be a part of something bigger. Together we can Get Depression Out of the Dark!