Turning Art into Self-Care
Hannah and artist Steve Musgrave.
As a part of being on the Trevor Youth Advisory Council (YAC), each member is tasked to plan and produce a quarterly project. These projects, as well as dozens of others planned by the YAC, helped Trevor reach LGBTQ young people where they need us most.
“The YAC acts as a way for youth my age to get involved with LGBTQ issues and increase awareness in our own communities,” says Hannah Kopach, a straight ally who has been a YAC member for one year. “I love that all the members are from around the country and that we all have our own ways of advocating for suicide prevention and crisis intervention among LGBTQ youth.”
In July 2013, Hannah organized “Art with Trevor,” a two-night workshop event for youth that focused on the importance of self-care, with an emphasis on art. At the event, participants learned about Trevor, connected with each other, and heard from local Chicago artist Steve Musgrave, who came to talk about how art is his personal form of self-care. After the presentation, youth were able to express themselves through creating artwork of their own.
The Trevor Project is proud to support these young people as they advocate for suicide prevention, and build stronger communities for the LGBTQ youth in their regions. Trevor also gives special thanks to Toyota Financial Services for sponsoring the Trevor Youth Advisory Council’s annual Leadership Conference in March 2013, and helping to strengthen this influential group of leaders.
Policy on Capitol Hill
From left: Alison Gill (Gov't Affairs Director),
Abbe Land (Exec. Director and CEO) and
Steve Mendelsohn (Dep. Exec. Director)
at the Capitol.
On April 25, 2013 The Trevor Project held its first policy briefing on Capitol Hill, focused on LGBTQ youth suicide prevention. The event, which was hosted by Congressman Paul Tonko (NY), featured a four-person panel of experts and a representative from the Trevor Youth Advisory Council (YAC).
Our talented panel of speakers included Abbe Land, our Executive Director & CEO; Amy Smith, President of the National Association of School Psychologists; Michelle Carnes, a public health analyst with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; and Josh Deese, a YAC member who spoke about his personal experiences.
The event was attended by roughly 50 Hill staff, organizational partners, and Trevor supporters, many of whom joined us for a very successful Welcome to DC Trevor reception on the rooftop of our office. The reception, which offered stunning views of the capitol building, was a perfect opportunity for supporters, partners, and policymakers to come together and talk about the importance of LGBTQ suicide prevention. These two events were the first of many future evenings hosted by the Trevor Government Affairs team in Washington, DC.
In March 2013, we continued to innovate in the digital world by updating TrevorSpace, our online community for LGBTQ young people and their allies.
“TrevorSpace is the only program we know of on this scale that gives LGBTQ young people and their allies a chance to directly support each other,” said Athena Brewer, Crisis Services Director at The Trevor Project. “TrevorSpace friendships can provide connections that we know can make a difference in the well-being of a young person, and can often prevent the kind of isolation that increases a young person’s risk of suicide. TrevorSpace is a very powerful intervention resource for LGBTQ young people worldwide.”
Main page for TrevorSpace.
Features on the new site include an instant messaging service for certified members, a Facebook-style newsfeed, the ability to “like” and comment on posts, and a multitude of new sexual orientation and gender identity options on members’ profiles.
The Trevor Project envisions a powerful future for TrevorSpace. Athena says, “Our dream is that the site becomes a place where LGBTQ youth can go when feeling scared, singled out, or just lonely; TrevorSpace can become a place where LGBTQ youth can say, ‘Hey, I’m not alone. There are so many people on here who understand me better than anyone else ever has.’ With TrevorSpace, you might feel alone, but you are not really alone. You have thousands of other LGBTQ youth who have your back.”