(Los Angeles, Ca.) – Today, The Trevor Project announces its awareness campaign for National Suicide Prevention Month called “Ask for Help.” Ask for Help hinges on empowering, first-person public service announcements that feature youth reaching out to friends, teachers, parents or counselors, with the goal of encouraging people nationwide to ask for help when they need it. Ask for Help’s central hub can be found at www.OkToAsk.org.
The Ask for Help awareness campaign engages audiences to share Supportive Selfies through social media, utilize The Trevor Project’s diverse array of educational resources for youth and adults, and advocate for their school districts to adopt the Model School District Policy for Suicide Prevention authored by leading organizations including The Trevor Project.
“No one should feel like they don’t matter or that their problems are too small or too big to deserve support. Still, far too many young people believe saying ‘I need help’ is an impossible or pointless task. Whether it is fear, isolation, or pride holding them back, it’s up to us to remind them, ‘It’s ok to ask for help; and when you do, you might realize that you aren’t so alone after all,’” said Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project. “This September, The Trevor Project needs your help to support the young people in your life. Visit OktoAsk.org and spread the message: Whatever it is, ask for help.”
In our society, asking for help often attracts a stigma that it doesn’t deserve. Fear of rejection, cultural norms, reduced access to supportive care, and many other factors can strongly inhibit help-seeking behavior. When a young person is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning, the stigma of asking for help can be even bigger, especially if they face family or community rejection, discrimination, or barriers to accessing support.
“Ask for Help isn’t just about reducing the stigma – it’s about saving lives. We know that when a young person can identify at least one supportive adult in their life, they are more likely to reach out for help when they need it,” said David Bond, LCSW, Vice President of Programs for The Trevor Project. “Reach out to the young people in your life and open that potentially life-saving door. Let them know that they matter, and that you’re here to talk if they ever need help. Our youth deserve more than adults who turn their backs on their future. Join Ask for Help this September, learn about the warning signs of suicide, and become that one person who connects a young person to life-affirming resources and care.”
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among all youth, but LGB youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, and nearly half of all transgender youth seriously consider taking their own life. To learn more and to get involved with the “Ask for Help” campaign, visit www.OkToAsk.org, and use #AskForHelp on social media.
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth. To learn more, visit www.TheTrevorProject.org. If you or a young person you know is in crisis and thinking about suicide, please call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386. It’s free, confidential, and there is always someone to help.