The mission of The Trevor Project is to end suicide among gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people. The organization works to fulfill this mission through four strategies:
1. Provide crisis counseling to LGBTQ young people thinking of suicide.
2. Offer resources, supportive counseling and a sense of community to LGBTQ young people to reduce the risk that they become suicidal.
3. Educate young people and adults who interact with young people on LGTBQ-competent suicide prevention, risk detection and response.
4. Advocate for laws and policies that will reduce suicide among LGBTQ young people.
When The Trevor Project began in 1998, we couldn’t imagine how fast we would grow, or how many young people would reach out to us for help. Sixteen years later, we are now the leading national nonprofit seeking to prevent LGBTQ youth suicide; but our growth isn’t over yet. After a comprehensive crisis services analysis in 2013, we began exploring exciting new opportunities for progress. Trevor donors, staff, board members, volunteers, partner organizations, and LGBTQ youth came together through surveys and focus groups to provide feedback, and help shape the future of the organization even further. Now, we are excited to share the result of this hard work: The Trevor Project’s 3-Year Strategic Plan.
STRATEGY 1: CRISIS SERVICES
As always, our top priority is to provide accredited support to LGBTQ young people in crisis, and ensure our programs are as effective as possible. As a part of this goal, we will continue to embrace new technology and offer expanded services in the channels where young people are most likely to ask for help.
• Ensure adequate staffing (including volunteers) for all crisis services programs.
• Pilot a triage system to identify high-risk youth who contact us.
• Hire a data analyst to ensure operational effectiveness and efficiency .
• Use outside researchers to evaluate program efficacy.
STRATEGY 2: LIFE-AFFIRMING RESOURCES
We recognize that not everyone who reaches out to The Trevor Project is suicidal, and we will continue to make an effort to help as many LGBTQ youth who need non-crisis support as possible. Trevor will also continue to offer life-affirming resources like TrevorSpace.org to reduce the risk of an LGBTQ young person becoming suicidal.
• Upgrade and enhance TrevorSpace.
• Transition Ask Trevor into an online FAQ hub for youth and their allies.
STRATEGY 3: EDUCATION
As a part of this new plan, we’re re-focusing our education work to specifically concentrate on areas with an elevated need for Trevor’s suicide prevention resources. This will include educating communities, including young people and those who interact with youth, about LGBTQ-competent suicide prevention, risk detection, and response.
• Expand gatekeeper education through the DVD Lifeguard Workshop.
• Scale adult education programs in a cost-effective way.
• Expand LGBTQ youth and suicide prevention resources online.
STRATEGY 4: ADVOCACY
Trevor Advocacy will steer its efforts toward increasing and supporting governmental funding opportunities for LGBTQ youth mental health services; advocating for the implementation of our Model School Policy in schools to reduce the risk of suicide; increasing data collection related to suicide and LGBTQ youth; and partnering with federal agencies and other organizations to help reduce risk factors.
• Support federal/state funding for LGBTQ-competent suicide prevention and research.
• Advocate for the implementation of the Model School District Policy for Suicide Prevention.
• Increase government data collection pertaining to LGBTQ youth and suicide.
• Advocate with federal agencies to further Trevor's mission.
• Partner with others to reduce risk factors for suicide among LGBTQ youth.
In addition to critical day-to-day tasks and ongoing initiatives that help enable our life-saving work, we will focus on four main priorities in fiscal year 2015:
REACH OUR YOUTH: Increase our response to suicidal LGBTQ young people through operational improvements that will make our programs best-in-class. We’ll also be expanding our capacity by recruiting and managing more staff and volunteers.
IMPROVE OUR ONLINE COMMUNITY: Ensure that TrevorSpace is an even stronger state-of-the-art platform for LGBTQ youth through technological and staffing enhancements.
CREATE INNOVATIVE DATA: Launch a research and evaluation program to further measure the effectiveness and impact of our crisis services, and track valuable data.
ENSURE GROWTH AND STABILITY: Develop a multi-year development strategy that helps ensure the long-term financial security of The Trevor Project.
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