Trevor Urges Opposition to BCRA Without Protections for Substance Use Disorders & Mental Health

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
United States Senate
U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Charles Schumer
Minority Leader
United States Senate
S-221 U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Leader McConnell and Leader Schumer,
The undersigned organizations are writing to share our views on critical provisions we believe must be included in any legislation modifying the nation’s health care system. We also want to share serious concerns with several of the reforms included in the discussion draft of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA). We are very concerned that the BCRA’s proposed changes to our health care system will result in reductions in health care coverage, particularly for vulnerable populations including those suffering from substance use disorders and mental illness, and we cannot support the bill.

We collectively represent consumers, families, providers, health care and social service professionals, criminal justice professionals, advocates and allied organizations who are committed to meaningful and comprehensive policies to reduce the toll of substance use disorders and mental illness through prevention, treatment and recovery support services.

We appreciate the provision in the BCRA to require coverage of mental health and substance use disorder treatment consistent with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) as part of the new Medicaid Flexibility Program. However, we do not support many of the other changes to the health care system in the discussion draft that would result in reduced access to substance use disorder and mental health treatment, including changes that would cap federal funding for Medicaid, end the Medicaid expansion, and eliminate mental health and substance use disorder benefit protections for Americans insured through the small group and individual markets.

In the face of the opioid overdose and suicide epidemics, equitable access to a full continuum of mental health and substance use disorder treatment services, including medications to treat substance use disorders and mental illness, must be an essential component of health care coverage. It is also critical that substance use disorders and mental illness be covered on par with other medical conditions consistent with MHPAEA.

As the Senate considers the BCRA, we ask that the bill:

  • Maintain benefit protections for mental health and substance use disorder treatment and recovery support services through the exchanges and individual/small group markets, and maintain requirements that those benefits be offered at parity with medical benefits
  • Maintain Medicaid’s current financing structure, including the Medicaid expansion

More than 20 million Americans currently have health care coverage due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including millions of Americans with substance use disorders and mental illness. This coverage is a critical lifeline for these individuals, many of whom were unable to access effective treatment before the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility to low-income adults, and its requirement that Medicaid expansion plans and plans sold in the individual and small group markets cover substance use disorder and mental health treatment services at parity with medical and surgical services. As such, we have serious concerns with provisions in the discussion draft that would allow states to easily waive Essential Health Benefit requirements through Section 1332 waivers, end Essential Health Benefit requirements for the Medicaid expansion population, phase out Medicaid expansion and change Medicaid to a per-capita or block grant financing system.

Additionally, while we appreciate the inclusion of $2 billion in Fiscal Year 18 for opioid use disorder and mental health treatment and recovery support services, we are concerned that grant funding cannot replace sustainable Medicaid reimbursement. Given that grant funding is subject to the unpredictably of the annual appropriations process, health care providers cannot rely on it to run their practices. Grant funding also requires applications and reporting that fall outside the normal workstream of physician practices, making it impractical for many providers to incorporate it into their business model.

The Medicaid expansion in particular has led to significant increases in coverage and treatment access for persons with substance use disorders and mental illness. In states that expanded Medicaid, the share of people with substance use disorders or mental illness who were hospitalized but uninsured fell from about 20 percent in 2013 to 5 percent by mid-2015, and Medicaid expansion has been associated with an 18.3 percent reduction in the unmet need for substance use disorder treatment services among low-income adults. Rolling back the Medicaid expansion and/or fundamentally changing Medicaid’s financing structure to cap spending on health care services will certainly reduce access to evidence-based treatments and reverse much or all progress made on the opioid crisis last year. Moreover, the loss of Medicaid-covered mental health and substance use disorder services for adults would result in more family disruption and out-of-home placements for children, significant trauma which has its own long-term health effects and a further burden on a child welfare system that is struggling to meet the current demand for foster home capacity.

Medicaid funding for mental health and substance use disorder treatment services for low-income populations must be predictable, sustainable, and integrated with financing mechanisms for general medical care to ensure consistent access to treatment and support the long-term development and retention of a substance use disorder and mental health clinician workforce. Capping federal Medicaid funding through per-capita caps or block grants would strain state budgets and likely force states to cut benefits, lower provider reimbursement rates, and/or limit access to care. These changes would be devastating to states grappling with the current opioid overdose and suicide epidemics.

The ACA’s Medicaid expansion, Essential Health Benefit requirements for mental health and substance use disorder treatment coverage, and extension of parity protections to the individual and small group market have surely reduced the burden of the opioid misuse and overdose and suicide epidemics and saved lives. As you consider this legislation, we ask that you ensure substance use disorder and mental health treatment benefits continue to be available to Americans enrolled in the individual, small and large group markets as well as Medicaid plans and that these benefits are compliant with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.

Finally, throughout this process, we implore you to keep in mind how your decisions will affect the millions of Americans suffering from substance use disorders and mental illness who may lose their health care coverage entirely or see reductions in benefits that impede access to needed treatment.


1. 10,000 beds
2. Acadia Healthcare
3. Adcare Educational Institute
4. Addiction Education Society
5. Addiction Haven
6. Addiction Resource Council
7. Addiction Services Council
8. Addiction Policy Forum
9. Addiction Treatment Center of New England
10. Addictions Connections Resource
11. Advocates for Recovery Colorado
12. Advocates, Inc.
13. Alabama Society of Addiction Medicine
14. Alano Club of Portland
15. Alcohol & Addictions Resource Center
16. Alcohol/Drug Council of North Carolina
17. Alternatives Unlimited, Inc.
18. Amesbury Psychological Center, Inc.
19. American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
20. American Correctional Association
21. American Federation of State, County and Municipal, Employees (AFSCME)
22. American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
23. American Art Therapy Association
24. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
25. American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD)
26. American Association of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
27. American Association on Health and Disability
28. American Dance Therapy Association
29. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
30. American Group Psychotherapy Association
31. American Medical Student Association
32. American Mental Health Counselors Association
33. American Nurses Association
34. American Psychiatric Association
35. American Psychological Association
36. American Society of Addiction Medicine
37. Amida Care
38. A New PATH
39. Anthony’s Act
40. Anxiety and Depression Association of America
41. Arc of South Norfolk, The
42. Arise & Flourish
43. Arizona’s Children Association
44. Arizona Council of Human Service Providers
45. Arizona Society of Addiction Medicine
46. Arkansas Society of Addiction Medicine
47. Association for Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare
48. Association for Behavioral Healthcare of Massachusetts
49. Association for Community Human Service Agencies
50. Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO)
51. Association of Flight Attendants – CWA, AFL-CIO
52. Association of Persons Affected by Addiction (APAA)
53. Association of Recovery Schools
54. Association of Recovery Community Organizations
55. Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
56. A Stepping Stone to Success
57. Atlantic Prevention Resources, Inc.
58. Avanti Wellness
59. Awakening Recovery
61. Bangor Area Recovery Network, Inc.
62. Bay Cove Human Services
63. Bay State Community Services, Inc.
64. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
65. Behavioral Health Network, Inc.
66. Better Life in Recovery
67. Bill Wilson Center
68. Boston Alcohol and Substance Abuse Programs, Inc.
69. Boston Healthcare for the Homeless
70. Boston Public Health Commission
71. BreakingTheCycles
72. Bridge of Central Massachusetts, Inc., The
73. Bridgewell
74. Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, The
75. Brookline Community Mental Health Center
76. Bullhook Community Health Center, Inc.
77. Burke Recovery
78. CADA of Northwest Louisiana
79. California Consortium of Addiction Programs & Professionals
80. California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies
81. California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions
82. California Society of Addiction Medicine
83. Cambridge Health Alliance
84. Camelot Care Centers, Inc.
85. Cape Cod Healthcare Centers for Behavioral Health
86. Capital Area Project Vox
87. Casa Esperanza
88. Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families
89. Catholic Charities Family Counseling and Guidance Center
90. Catholic Family Center
91. Center for Human Development
92. Center for Open Recovery
93. Center for Recovery and Wellness Resources
94. Central City Concern
95. Chautauqua Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Council
96. Chicago Recovering Communities Coalition (CRCC)
97. Child & Family Services, Inc.
98. Child and Family Services of New Hampshire
99. Children’s Friend, Inc.
100. Children’s Home Society of Washington
101. Children’s Law Center
102. Children’s Services of Roxbury
103. CleanSlate Centers
104. Clergy for a New Drug Policy
105. Clinical and Support Options, Inc.
106. Clinical Social Work Association
107. Coalition of Addiction Students and Professionals Pursuing Advocacy (CASPPA)
108. Colorado Society of Addiction Medicine
109. Community Catalyst
110. Communities for Recovery
111. Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)
112. Community Counseling of Bristol County, Inc.
113. Community-Minded Enterprises
114. Community Oriented Correctional Health Services (COCHS)
115. Community Services Institute
116. Community Solutions
117. Community Substance Abuse Centers
118. Comrades of Hope
119. Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR)
120. Connecticut Society of Addiction Medicine
121. Counselors Obediently Preventing Substance Abuse (COPS)
122. Cutchins Programs for Children and Families
123. DarJune Recovery Support Services & Café
124. Dash for Recovery
125. Davis Direction Foundation – The Zone
126. DC Fights Back
127. DC Recovery Community Alliance
128. Delphi Behavioral Health Group/MHD
129. Desert Eagle Addiction Recovery
130. Detroit Recovery Project, Inc.
131. Dimock Community Health Center
132. Disability Rights Pennsylvania
133. Doctors for Recovery
134. Dorchester Recovery Initiative
135. Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization of Pennsylvania (DASPOP)
136. Drug Policy Alliance
137. Drug Prevention Resources
138. East Bay Agency for Children
139. Easy Does It, Inc.
140. Eating Disorders Coalition
141. Edinburg Center, The
142. Eliot Community Human Services
143. El Paso Alliance
144. Engaged Recovery Community Services
145. Faces and Voices of Recovery
146. Facing Addiction
147. Family Advocates of Georgia, Inc
148. Family Focused Treatment Association
149. Family Service Association
150. Family Service of Greater Boston
151. FAVOR Greenville
152. FAVOR Low Country
153. FAVOR Mississippi Recovery Advocacy Project
154. FAVOR Pee Dee
155. FAVOR Tri-County
156. FED UP! Coalition
157. Fellowship Foundation Recovery Community Organization
158. Fenway Health
159. FHR
160. Florida Society of Addiction Medicine
161. Floridians for Recovery
162. Foundation for Recovery
163. Friends of Recovery – New York
164. FSA – Family Service Agency
165. Futures of Palm Beach
166. G III Associates
168. Gandara Center
169. Georgia Council on Substance Abuse
170. Georgia Society of Addiction Medicine
171. Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice
172. Gosnold on Cape Cod
173. Gould Farm
174. Granite Pathways
175. Greater Macomb Project Vox
176. Greater Philadelphia Association for Recovery Education
177. Great South Bay Coalition
178. Greater Cincinnati Recovery Resource Collaborative (GCRRC)
179. Griffin Recovery Enterprises
180. Harm Reduction Coalition
181. Health Management Group, LTD
182. High Point Treatment Center
183. Hillview Mental Health Center, Inc.
184. HIV Medicine Association
185. Home for Little Wanderers, The
186. Hope2Gather Foundation
187. HOPE for New Hampshire Recovery
188. Hope House Addiction Services
189. Horizon Health Services
190. IC&RC
191. Indivisible St. Louis
192. Illinois Association for Behavioral Health
193. Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (IARF)
194. Indiana Society of Addiction Medicine
195. International Nurses Society on Addictions
196. Institute for Health and Recovery
197. Iowa Association of Community Providers
198. Iowa Behavioral Health Association
199. Italian Home for Children, Inc.
200. Jackson Area Recovery Community
201. Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JF&CS)
202. Joint Coalition on Health
203. Jordan’s Hope for Recovery
204. Judge Baker Children’s Center
205. Juneau Recovery Community
206. Justice Resource Institute (JRI)
207. Ka Hale Pomaika’i
208. Kentucky Society of Addiction Medicine
209. KEY Program, Inc., The
210. Kyes 2 a 2nd Chance
211. Lahey Health Behavioral Services
212. Lakeshore Foundation
213. Latah Recovery Center
214. Legal Action Center
215. Lifehouse Recovery Connection
216. Lifeline Connections
217. Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
218. Long Island Recovery Association (LIRA)
219. Lost Dreams Awaken Center, Inc.
220. Lotus Peer Recovery/SoberKerrville
221. Lowell Community Health Center, Inc.
222. Lowell House, Inc.
223. LUK, Inc.
224. Madison County Council on Alcoholism & Substance Abuse
225. Magnolia Addiction Support
226. Maine Alliance for Addiction Recovery
227. Mariah’s Mission Fund of the Mid-Shor Community Foundation
228. Mark Garwood SHARE Foundation
229. Martha’s Vineyard Community Services
230. Maryland-DC Society of Addiction Medicine
231. Maryland House Detox
232. Maryland Recovery Organization Connecting Communities (M-ROCC)
233. Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR)
234. Massachusetts Society of Addiction Medicine
235. Maxed Out Drug Prevention
236. McShin Foundation
237. Mental Health Association
238. Message Carriers of Pennsylvania, Inc.
239. Messengers of Recovery Awareness
240. MHA of Greater Lowell
241. Michigan’s Children
242. Michigan Recovery Voices
243. Michigan Society of Addiction Medicine
244. Middlesex Human Service Agency, Inc
245. Mid-Michigan Recovery Services, Inc.
246. Midwest Society of Addiction Medicine
247. Mi-HOPE – Michigan Heroin & Opiate Prevention and Education
248. Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Programs (MACMHP)
249. Minnesota Recovery Connection
250. Minnesota Society of Addiction Medicine
251. Missouri Recovery Network
252. MOBER
253. Mountain View Prevention Services, Inc.
254. NAADAC – the Association for Addiction Professionals
255. National Alliance for Medication-Assisted Recovery (NAMA)
256. National Alliance on Mental Illness
257. National Alliance on Mental Illness – San Mateo County
258. National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health
259. National Alliance to End Homelessness
260. National Association for Rural Mental Health
261. National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers
262. National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
263. National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
264. National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD)
265. National Association for Children’s Behavioral Health
266. National Association for Rural Mental Health
267. National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors
268. National Association of County & City Health Officials
269. National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
270. National Council for Behavioral Health
271. National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
272. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
273. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of E. San Gabriel & Pomona Valleys
274. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence–Greater Phoenix
275. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – Maryland
276. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – San Diego
277. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of the San Fernando Valley
278. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse-St. Louis Area
279. National Disability Rights Network
280. National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
281. National Health Care for the Homeless Council
282. National League for Nursing
283. National Safety Council
284. National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable
285. Navigate Recovery Gwinnett
286. Nevada Society of Addiction Medicine
287. New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, Inc.
288. New Jersey Society of Addiction Medicine
289. New Life Counseling & Wellness Center, Inc.
290. New Mexico Society of Addiction Medicine
291. New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services
292. New York Society of Addiction Medicine
293. New York State Council for Behavioral Health
294. NFI Massachusetts, Inc.
295. NMSAS Recovery Center
296. No Health without Mental Health
297. North Charles, Inc.
298. North Cottage Program, Inc.
299. Northeast Center for Youth and Families, The
300. Northern New England Society of Addiction Medicine
301. Northern Ohio Recovery Association (NORA)
302. Northwest Indian Treatment Center
303. North Suffolk Mental Health Association, Inc.
304. Northern Rivers Family Services
305. North Carolina Society of Addiction Medicine (NCSAM)
306. O’Brien House
307. Ohio Society of Addiction Medicine (OHSAM)
308. Oklahoma Citizen Advocates for Recovery & Treatment Association (OCARTA)
309. Old Colony YMCA
310. Open Doorway of Cape Cod
311. Oregon Recovery High School
312. Oregon Society of Addiction Medicine
313. Overcoming Addiction Radio
314. Parity Implementation Coalition
315. Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
316. Partners in Prevention/National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of Hudson County, Inc.
317. P.E.E.R Wellness Center, Inc.
318. PEER360 Recovery Alliance
319. Pennsylvania Recovery Organization – Achieving Community Together – (PRO-ACT)
320. Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations Alliance (PRO-A)
321. Pennsylvania Society of Addiction Medicine
322. People Advocating Recovery – PAR
323. Phoenix Houses of New England
324. Phoenix Multisport Boston
325. Pine Street Inn
326. Pivot, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Council of Jefferson County, Inc.
327. PLR Athens
328. Pretrial Justice Institute
329. Prevention Network OCAA
330. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association
331. Putnam Family & Community Services, Inc.
332. RASE Project
333. REAL- Michigan (Recovery, Education, Advocacy & Leadership)
334. Recover Project/Western MA Training
335. Recovery Allies Of West Michigan
336. RecoveryATX
337. Recovery Café Seattle
338. Recovery Community Foundation of Forsyth
339. Recovery Communities of North Carolina
340. Recovery Community Of Durham
341. Recovery Consultants of Atlanta
342. Recovery Data Solutions
343. Recovery – Friendly Taos County
344. Recovery Idaho, Inc.
345. Recovery is Happening
346. RecoveryNC (Governors Institute on Substance Abuse)
347. Recovery Point at HER Place
348. Recovery Point of Bluefield
349. Recovery Point of Charleston
350. Recovery Point of Huntington
351. Recovery Point of Parkersburg
352. Recovery Point of West Virginia
353. Recover Wyoming
354. reGROUP
355. Rhode Island Communities for Addiction Recovery Efforts (RICAREs)
356. Riverside Community Care
357. Robby’s Voice
358. ROCovery Fitness
359. Rockland Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependence, Inc.
360. Sandusky Artisans Recovery Community Center
361. Sandy Hook Promise
362. Serenity Sistas
363. ServiceNet
364. Shatterproof
365. SMART Recovery
366. S.O.A.R™ Yoga (Success Over Addiction and Relapse)
367. Solano Recovery Project
368. Solutions Recovery, Inc.
369. Sonoran Prevention Works
370. South Arkansas Regional Health Center, Inc
371. Sound Community Services, Inc.
372. South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Inc. (SMOC)
373. South Bay Community Services
374. South Carolina Society of Addiction Medicine
375. South Central Human Relations Center
376. South End Community Health Center
377. South Shore Mental Health
378. Southwest Washington Recovery Coalition
379. Spectrum Health Systems, Inc.
380. SpiritWorks Foundation
381. Springfield Recovery Community Center
382. Springs Recovery Connection
383. SSTAR
384. STEP Industries
385. Steppingstone, Incorporated
386. Steve Rummler Hope Network
387. Student Assistance Services Corp
388. Substance Use and Mental Health Leadership Council of Rhode Island
389. Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc.
390. Tennessee Society of Addiction Medicine
391. Texas Society of Addiction Medicine
392. The Addict’s Parents United (TAP United)
393. The Alliance
394. The Ammon Foundation
395. The Bridge Foundation
396. The Bridge Way School
397. The Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice
398. The Chris Atwood Foundation
399. The Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse
400. The Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse for Greater New Orleans
401. The DOOR – DeKalb Open Opportunity for Recovery
402. The Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice
403. The Kennedy Forum
404. The Ohana Center
405. The Peggie & Paul Shevlin Family Foundation
406. The Recovery Channel
407. The Rest of Your Life
408. The Trevor Project
409. The Village Family Services
410. The Village Project, Inc.
411. There Is No Hero In Heroin Foundation
412. Tia Hart Recovery Community Program
413. T.O.R.C.H Inc.
414. Toward Independent Living and Learning, TILL, Inc.
415. Treatment Communities of America
416. Trilogy Recovery Community
417. True Recovery, LLC
418. Turning Point Center of Central Vermont
419. Two Guys and a Girl
420. UMass Memorial Community Healthlink, Inc.
421. United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
422. Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness (USARA)
423. Valley Hope
424. Veterans Inc.
425. Vermont Council of Developmental and Mental Health Services
426. Vermont Recovery Network
427. Victory Programs, Inc.
428. Vinfen
429. Virginia Association of Recovery Residences
430. Voice for Adoption
431. Voices of Hope for Cecil County
432. Voices of Recovery San Mateo County
433. Volunteers of America of Massachusetts, Inc.
434. WAI-IAM, Inc. and RISE Recovery Community
435. Walker, Inc.
436. Washtenaw Recovery Advocacy Project (WRAP)
437. Washington Federation of State Employees
438. Washington Recovery Alliance
439. Washington Society of Addiction Medicine
440. Watershed Treatment Programs
441. Wayside Youth & Family Support Network
442. WEConnect
443. Wellspring Recovery Services
444. West Virginia Society of Addiction Medicine
445. WholeLife Recovery Community/ Arizona Recovery Coalition
446. Wisconsin Recovery Community Organization (WIRCO)
447. Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine
448. Wisconsin Voices for Recovery
449. Wyoming County CARES
450. Yoga of Recovery
451. Young Invincibles
452. Young People in Recovery
453. Young People in Recovery – Los Angeles
454. Youth Opportunities Upheld, Inc.
455. Youth Villages

Trevor Celebrates NYC’s Unity Project

First Lady Chirlane McCray Launches NYC Unity Project, First Ever Citywide Commitment to Support LGBTQ Youth
September 19, 2017

City will initially invest $4.8 million in a multi-agency effort to expand holistic services for LGBTQ youth, including a new drop in shelter, inclusive education, employment training and transgender healthcare

NEW YORK—In the face of dangerous, divisive rhetoric and policies coming from the Trump administration targeting the LGBTQ community, First Lady Chirlane McCray today launched the NYC Unity Project – the City’s first-ever, multi-agency strategy to deliver unique services to LGBTQ youth, including a new 24-hour drop-in center in Jamaica, Queens that will open in October 2017.

This bold commitment unites 16 city agencies to offer new and enhanced programs and supports, including trainings and certification for more than 500 Health + Hospitals physicians, as well as a public awareness campaign centered on LGBTQ youth and their families. It also includes funding for seven new Community Coalitions aimed at reducing alcohol and substance misuse. These programs will not just benefit LGBTQ youth, but will be available to all youth. This first phase of the NYC Unity Project will provide the foundation upon which future investments and programming can be built by bringing together stakeholders to address the root causes of persistent inequities.

“For so many young people, including myself, New York City was the first place they could unapologetically be themselves and feel truly at home,” said First Lady of NYC Chirlane McCray, who leads the City’s mental health and substance misuse efforts. “As our communities are under attack from leadership in Washington, DC, there is no question we need to come together to do more and do better to make sure no LGBTQ young person falls through the cracks. As we make NYC an affirming place for our most vulnerable youth, we make it an affirming place for all youth. Together, we’ll make sure all New Yorkers know that New York City is a city for everyone.”

“NYC has long been a leader in the fight for LGBTQ equality. This plan will advance the progress we have made even further to ensure total support for our youngest, LGBTQ New Yorkers. I applaud the First Lady for spearheading this necessary conversation on how we as a City can do better to serve our most vulnerable kids,” said NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“We are committed to ensuring that every New York City child can fully enjoy their youth and have a healthy transition into adulthood. But we know that some children are hindered along this journey.  LGBTQ youth can face unique challenges of isolation, rejection and lack of access to essential services and resources,” said Richard Buery, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives and Co-Chair of the NYC Children’s Cabinet. “By tackling some of the root causes of inequity together as a City, we can give LGBTQ youth the opportunities they deserve to excel in their home lives, at school, in their neighborhoods, and ultimately in their future.”

“The NYC Unity Project is another powerful example of how New York City is leading the charge in creating affirming, safe spaces for all,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio. “This comprehensive, collaborative plan will benefit our most vulnerable LGBTQ youth across the spectrum of health, health care and social services to ensure they receive needed resources in a consistently welcome environment.”

“The NYC Unity Project takes another crucial step towards affirming and supporting our LGBTQ community, and builds on the Council’s commitment to protecting the rights and lives of LGBTQ New Yorkers,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I thank the First Lady for taking the lead on this very important initiative to help the LGBTQ community and ensure that New York City remains inclusive of all.”

“The First Lady’s NYC Unity Project is a comprehensive approach that will help support our LGBTQ youth with care and services specially tailored to them,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “Data details the mental health challenges faced by LGBTQ youth, including stress, bullying and depression, and attempted suicide. Working together with LGBTQ youth, parents, faith leaders, community-based organizations and others, we can address the root causes of inequity by ending homophobia, transphobia, racism and other structural barriers.”

“We applaud First Lady McCray for launching the NYC Unity Project to provide much-needed resources to better serve LGBTQ New Yorkers and create spaces, city-wide, where our community can access quality care and support,” said Glennda Testone, Executive Director of The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. “As the long-time home for NYC’s LGBTQ community, The Center knows just how crucial affirming, supportive spaces are to helping LGBTQ New Yorkers lead the happy, healthy lives we deserve.”

“Safety, access to resources for success, and inclusiveness – the hallmarks of the First Lady McCray’s new policy – are the rights of every young person and the tenets which HMI advocates for throughout our work. We are thrilled to see such brave steps being taken by this administration to proactively support our city’s most vulnerable and underserved, LGBTQ youth,” said Thomas Krever, CEO of the Hetrick-Martin Institute.

“The Trevor Project thanks the City of New York and First Lady Chirlane McCray for standing up for LGBTQ young people,” said Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project, the nation’s leading suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth. “We celebrate the NYC Unity Project’s commitment to improving mental health care and suicide prevention services for our community. Trevor Project research shows that providing crisis support for LGBTQ youth save lives. We applaud the City for ensuring New York is safe for all young people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

While New York City is home to a vibrant LGBTQ community, too many vulnerable young people are still falling through the cracks. Evidence demonstrates that while NYC’s LGBTQ youth fare better than others in the nation, they are still far more likely to experience an array of social, physical and mental health challenges. NYC’s LGBTQ youth are 20 percent more likely to experience dating violence and attempt suicide.

Among the many commitments outlined in the report across the participating city agencies, the NYC Unity Project is:

Expanding mental health and suicide prevention resources across city agencies to address the specific needs of LGBTQ young people through enhanced training for Mental Health School Consultants, counselors at NYC Well, and the city’s Mental Health Service Corps.
Ensuring every city school has single occupancy restrooms available by January 2018.
Improving workshops that promote healthy relationships and making sex education more inclusive.
Providing more support for Gender Sexuality Alliances in schools. This includes hosting a GSA summit in spring 2018 and ensuring every guidance counselor in NYC has the resources to help students create their own GSA.
Engaging with faith leaders to convene a summit of more than 100 faith leaders this winter.
Unlocking employment opportunities with tailored career services and job training, including the Human Resource Administration’s Youth Pathways, which reaches up to 14,500 youth each year.
NYC Unity Project includes participation from the Administration for Children’s Services, NYC Children’s Cabinet, Commission on Gender Equity, Commission on Human Rights, Department of Education, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Department of Homeless Services, Department of Youth and Community Development, Human Resources Administration, Mayor’s Center for Faith and Community Partnerships, Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, Mayor’s Office of Operations, Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, New York Police Department, and NYC Health + Hospitals.

New York City is already at work developing the next phase of this effort, creating additional opportunities for partnerships in public schools, health clinics, shelters, and hospitals. The City intends to work closely with community-based organizations and LGBTQ youth to identify additional challenges and design ways to address them.

The City continues to lead the nation in protecting LGBTQ rights. In June, the de Blasio administration published New York City’s first-ever LGBTQ Healthcare Bill of Rights. In June 2016, New York City became the first municipality to launch a citywide campaign specifically affirming the right of transgender individuals to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity or expression. In March 2016, Mayor de Blasio issued an executive order requiring City agencies to ensure that employees and members of the public are given equal access to City single-sex facilities without being required to show identification, medical documentation or any other form of proof or verification of gender. In December 2015, the NYC Commission on Human Rights issued legal enforcement guidance defining specific gender identity protections under the City Human Rights Law, including equal bathroom access.

The administration has also enhanced services to address LGBTQ homelessness, including opening a 24-hour drop-in center in Harlem specializing in the LGBTQ community, and the first-ever City-funded transitional independent living homes with specialized services for transgender youth. Earlier this year, the de Blasio Administration opened Marsha’s House—named after famed LGBTQ activist Marsha P. Johnson—in the Bronx, the first-ever shelter for LGBTQ young persons in the New York City adult shelter system, offering nearly 90 homeless individuals, 30 years and under, the opportunity to be sheltered in a welcoming and supportive space providing targeted resources. The administration has also funded 500 additional beds for runaway and homeless youth, all of which are available to LGBTQ youth. During FY18, the total number of beds brought online will expand to 653, with a total of 753 by end of FY19.

“NYC Health + Hospitals has a long history of being our city’s health care provider of choice for vulnerable populations, and we are once again at the ready, caring about and caring for LGBTQ youth,” said Stanley Brezenoff, Interim President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “New York’s LGBTQ youth should stand proud, and we are proud to stand with them in providing the health care services they deserve.”

“I commend First Lady Chirlane McCray on creating and leading the implementation of the NYC Unity Project to ensure the city continues to address the challenges many LGBTQ youth experience,” said ACS Commissioner David A. Hansell. “Within the child welfare system, we have gone farther than ever before to align our policies and practices to the best modern standards of care, including requiring our provider agencies to respect and affirm gender identity, and ensure young people in our care get the gender affirming health care they need. We look forward to working with our partners in government to build on this vital work.”

“As a member of the NYC Children’s Cabinet, the Department of Youth and Community Development works collaboratively with other agencies to develop and implement effective programs and policies to address the needs of our young people and their families,” said DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong. “The NYC Unity Project is an exciting initiative that focuses on the LGBTQ community and which further demonstrates the administration’s commitment to generating innovative solutions and moving beyond a one-size-fits-all approach. I thank First Lady Chirlane McCray for her leadership and for standing up on behalf of our vulnerable youth.”

“Providing every student – regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression – with a safe, supportive and inclusive learning environment remains our highest priority, and we look forward to working with the First Lady to implement the important initiatives outlined in the NYC Unity Project,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “As part of our ongoing work to increase support for LGBT students, we updated our transgender and gender nonconforming guidelines and are adding single-stall bathrooms to all schools, and this plan will provide additional resources for students, families and school communities.”

“Giving all young people an opportunity to succeed is our top priority in New York City—and for LGBTQ youth facing homelessness, that means providing access to dedicated shelter spaces, policies, and programming that will help these young people stabilize their lives,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “That’s why earlier this year, we opened Marsha’s House in the Bronx, the first-ever shelter for LGBTQ young people in the New York City adult shelter system. Named after famed LGBTQ activist Marsha P. Johnson, this facility gives nearly 90 homeless individuals up to and including age 30 the opportunity to be sheltered in a welcoming and supportive space providing targeted resources—and demonstrates this Administration’s dedication to ensuring LGBTQ homeless youth have the tools, resources and opportunities to lead healthy, inclusive and successful lives. As we transform a shelter system that has built up in a haphazard way over many decades, we continue to improve and increase collaboration with partner agencies across the City to ensure we effectively address the unique needs of young LGBTQ New Yorkers with the dignity and the services they deserve.”

“I am pleased to support and promote the strategies and investments articulated by the NYC Unity Project,” said Benita Miller, Executive Director of the NYC Children’s Cabinet. “These enhanced efforts help to reduce stigma, promote safety and inclusion of our young LGBTQ New Yorkers. The NYC Children’s Cabinet places great emphasis on early education, highlighting how important it is for parents to allow children to grow into their own – free from their family’s expectations, and societal pressures to conform to a specific gender identity.”

“It is critical for LGBTQ youth to feel loved, accepted, and supported in their own communities in order to lead happy, healthy, and productive lives, including in their homes and places of worship,” said Carmelyn P. Malalis, Chair and Commissioner of the NYC Human Rights Commission, “Which is why the Commission will be partnering with community organizations and city agencies to educate parents about how to have supportive conversations around sexual orientation and gender identity and expression with their children. The Commission will also continue to engage faith leaders across the city to ensure houses of worship serve as safe and affirming spaces for LGBTQ youth and their families. I commend First Lady Chirlane McCray and her team for bringing us together to reaffirm New York City’s commitment to effectively creating and preserving supportive communities for young New Yorkers.”

“New York City would not be the dynamic and vibrant city we know without the contributions of our LGBTQ youth, yet they continue to face enormous obstacles,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships. “With the NYC Unity Project, First Lady McCray is making it clear that we recognize how important this community is to our City. I’m honored to use my post to build partnerships with the private sector to ensure these young people have all the support and tools they need to thrive in all aspects of their lives.”

“The Mayor’s Fund is thrilled to support the LGBTQ community through the First Lady’s NYC Unity Project. Over the past year the Center for Youth Employment (CYE), an initiative of the Mayor’s Fund, has advanced this work through the planning of a best practices manual that will guide NYC’s youth workforce community and employers across the city in creating LGBTQ-friendly and affirming practices,” said Darren Bloch, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC. In the coming months CYE will continue to work with our City agency partners to advance this work. We applaud the First Lady’s leadership in making New York City a welcoming place of opportunity for all New York residents.”

“Although tremendous progress has been made in recent years for LGBTQ equality, young people making the courageous journeys of discovering and expressing their sexual and gender identities continue to encounter significant challenges such as family and peer rejection,” said Matthew McMorrow, Senior Advisor for LGBTQ Community Affairs, Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit.  “By launching NYC Unity Project, First Lady Chirlane McCray is boldly confronting these challenges head on and sending the message to our LGBTQ youth that they are supported, valued and celebrated in our nation’s largest and most diverse city.  It is a humble honor to work with the First Lady, City agencies, and community partners to help develop and launch this comprehensive strategy that will save lives, enrich our city, and allow young people to unlock their full potentials.”

“Our youth represent the future of our City and we have a responsibility to provide them with the tools, resources and services they need to thrive, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “This initiative takes us one step closer towards addressing the challenges faced by our LGBTQ youth. I commend Mayor de Blasio and his administration for implementing a comprehensive plan of services to ensure our LGBTQ youth receive the support they need whether they are at school, at the doctor, or at home.”

“Making sure LGBTQ youth have every resource available to them, regardless of where they live or what community they come from, must be an absolute priority for New York,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman. “Getting to the root of the many issues these young people can face will help set them up for a brighter, fuller future. I’m grateful to Mayor de Blasio for this initiative and for his commitment to LGBTQ people of all ages.”

“New York City has made great strides in making young LGBTQ New Yorkers feel safe, supported, and healthy,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried.  “But more needs to be done to eliminate barriers to services that can help LGBTQ youth in crisis, and to ensure that LGBT youth know about the resources available to them.  I applaud the work of the de Blasio administration for conducting more outreach to LGBTQ youth and coordinating City agencies’ efforts to address the unique challenges confronting LGBTQ youth.”

“I am very pleased that the City is bringing together so many agencies to initiate an intersectional approach to assessing needs, identifying service gaps, and strengthening the safety net for LGBTQ youth. From making sex education more inclusive, to creating more safe spaces in schools, to training health care providers on clinical care, this much-needed initiative shows that New York City firmly supports our LGBTQ youth,” said Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon.

Council Member Rosie Mendez, Chair of the LGBT Caucus said, “I applaud the efforts in working towards a more inclusive system for our LGBTQ Youth, one of the most vulnerable communities within our City. The NYC Unity Project is a multi-agency initiative that is needed to ensure that all residents are treated equally and can access any and all services provided by NYC while respecting the identity and rights of the LGBTQ community. The LGBT Caucus is actively working to pass legislation that would complement this initiative. Together, we can establish a model for other cities to replicate that will protect and serve every member of our society equally. New York City is prepared to provide the appropriate services and funding needed that will demonstrate that we respect everyone’s individuality.”

“All New Yorkers should feel that the city government works for them. But for LGBTQ youth, navigating through city agencies to find help is often difficult and confusing,” said Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “The NYC Unity Project launched by First Lady McCray will make a real difference in the lives of LGBTQ youth in every neighborhood by coordinating the efforts of city agencies to make essential services more accessible. I thank First Lady McCray and the de Blasio administration for protecting the rights of LGBTQ New Yorkers and for their steadfast commitment to making our city a place where all feel welcome.”

“Protecting and serving our most vulnerable populations is one of the most important parts of public service,” said Council Member Corey Johnson, Chair of the Health Committee. “I know firsthand the struggles that LGBT youth face and the need for specific strategies and services to address them. Thanks to First Lady Chirlane McCray for using her platform to highlight the causes of those in greatest need.”

“Protecting LGBTQ students in our public schools has been a lifelong goal of mine and I stand proudly with First Lady Chirlane McCray to ensure the success of the NYC Unity Project,” said NYC Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm, who prior to being elected to the Council was an out gay NYC public school teacher for 25 years. “Ensuring students have access to Gay Straight Alliances or Gender Sexuality Alliances and other safe spaces is extremely important. A coordinated effort between 16 agencies sends a clear message that NYC values its LGBTQ youth just as they are. Most importantly, service providers, especially teachers, now know that the de Blasio administration has their back and encourages their support and guidance. LGBTQ teachers serve as great role models for our LGBTQ youth and will welcome the NYC Unity Project with open arms.”

“The NYC Unity Project will strengthen New York City’s embrace of one of its most vulnerable populations,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres. It is heartening that a wide coalition of city agencies have signaled their commitment to expanding services for LGBTQ youth, who are more likely to feel alone in this massive city. I look forward to joining the First Lady in further institutionalizing LGBTQ services in every corner of the five boroughs.”

New York City has always been at the forefront in history of the gay rights movement and the way we are addressing mental health issues amongst the youth of the LGTBQ community is no exception. The NYC Unity Project is a much needed collaborative effort to address this at risk population – LGTBQ youth are twice as likely to attempt suicide than their non-LGTBQ counterparts. I commend the Administration for their work towards addressing this issue,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen, Chair of the Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Disability Services.

“LGBTQ youth have always been one of the most vulnerable populations and with today’s national political climate, that has never rung more true,” said Council Member James Vacca. “While New York City already offers a wealth of resources and services to all residents, the needs of LGBTQ youth are specific. We must go above and beyond in addressing these needs, and I’m incredibly happy to see First Lady Chirlane McCray spearhead the launch of the NYC Unity Project to accomplish just this goal.”

“The Caribbean Equality Project salutes the First Lady Chirlane McCray on paving the way to guarantee NYC’s diverse and multi-cultural LGBTQ youth population is protected and empowered with the tools and resources to thrive and succeed in safe educational, faith-based, and medical institutions city-wide. New York City represents the single largest population of Caribbean people outside of the Caribbean Islands and countries. As an immigrant-led, social justice and human rights organization, we pledge to work with city agencies to ensure Caribbean communities throughout NYC welcomes, affirms, and supports the identities and experiences of every LGBTQ individual,” said Mohamed Q. Amin, Founder and Executive Director of the Carribean Equality Project.

“Parental and societal acceptance for LGBTQ children plays a critical role in a child’s risk for mental and physical health and has been shown to dramatically decrease their risk for depression, HIV infection and substance abuse,” said Joanne M. Oplustil, President and CEO of CAMBA/CAMBA Housing Ventures. “CAMBA fully supports First Lady Chirlane McCray’s NYC Unity Project and we look forward to furthering this important work here in Brooklyn.”

“Chirlane McCray’s Unity Project is a much needed step in addressing the needs of LGBTQ youth in our city. We salute NYC’s First Lady and her team for recognizing this pressing need and assembling a coalition of agencies and leaders to prioritize the needs of an extremely vulnerable population. We look forward to working with McCray and the administration on the Unity Project,” said Jean Malpas, Director of the Gender & Family Project of the Ackerman Institute for the Family.

“Linking arms across generations is essential to the wellbeing of our diverse, LGBTQ community,” says Michael Adams, CEO of SAGE, the nation’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT elders. “We at SAGE celebrate our community’s young people and stand with them in opposing injustices that harm us all. Our elders have a lifetime of experience to harness, while young people energize the fight for a world where people of all ages are valued and can reach their full potential.”

“At a time when federal protections for marginalized people are being eroded, local support for the most vulnerable in our communities is particularly crucial. As we observe at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center every day, LGBTQ youth experience continued high levels of homelessness, preventable health problems, and suicide. We are grateful for the First Lady’s leadership in bringing these issues to the forefront, her determined commitment to a coordinated approach to serving LGBTQ youth and the initial investment of critical resources,” said Wendy Stark, Executive Director of the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center.

“We are excited that the animating idea behind the NYC Unity Project is that for LGBTQ youth to be affirmed as they grow and to thrive, they need to find safety, acceptance and support in every aspect of their lives. The holistic approach of working to make families, schools, and every other community organization that touches upon LGBTQ youth better equipped to embrace and support them is critical. We salute the City for bringing together programs and services across a range of agencies under one comprehensive strategy and look forward to working with our City partners to help reach families and youth throughout New York City,” said Drew Tagliabue, Executive Director of PFLAG NYC.

“As the entire LGBT community is coming under increasing attack by the Trump Administration, I’m proud that Mayor de Blasio and First Lady McCray are standing up for LGBT youth here in New York,” said Rose Christ, President of the Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC. “LGBT youth are some of the most vulnerable among us, and often the least able to navigate the web of city services. The NYC Unity Project will help ensure that LGBT youth across the city receive the resources they need, as well as cohesive services and support.”

“The NYC Unity Project demonstrates our city’s commitment to meeting the needs of LGBTQ youth,” said Michael Mallon, president of the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens. “This coordinated effort is a great step toward ensuring that LGBTQ young people are kept safe and receive quality city services across the board. As LGBTQ activists who have worked tirelessly over the years to make NYC more LGBTQ-inclusive, we applaud the First Lady for leading this important effort. We look forward to working with her on this and other projects that empower NYC’s traditionally marginalized communities.”

“This new interagency plan no longer allows our city to remain stubborn or ignorant to the issues that affect our LGBTQ youth. It is forcing all of us to deal with the inequality that has caused pain and some of our beliefs to so that we can begin to deal with pain,” said Yehoshua Talbert, Development and Finance Director of the Kiki Coalition.

“Around the world, LGBTQI youth look to New York City as a place of hope and possibility. With the NYC Unity Project, the city has affirmed its commitment to those youth and is setting an example for cities across the country. Our world is far better for LGBTQI youth than it once was but there is tremendous work to be done to ensure that these young people are cared for and given the opportunities to thrive that they deserve. The NYC Unity Project is a groundbreaking and much needed effort that we believe will have a relationship impact on the needs of our youth. We’re grateful to First Lady McCray for her commitment, creativity, and perseverance,” said Gabriel Blau, Co-Chair of Equality NY.

[email protected] (212) 788-2958

Sheri A. Lunn, Trevor Project Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Engagement

The Trevor Project Celebrates the Legacy of Icon Edie Windsor

The LGBTQ community lost a historic leader in the passing of Edie Windsor. Best known internationally for her marriage equality advocacy, Ms. Windsor filed a lawsuit against the federal government’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and in a landmark ruling in 2013, the Supreme Court struck down DOMA as unconstitutional, granting equal marriage benefits to same-sex couples in a limited number of states before ruling in 2015 that marriage between same-sex partners is a national constitutional right.

The following statement is from Trevor Project CEO & Executive Director Amit Paley:

“Present and future LGBTQ youth will always see Edie Windsor as an icon, who argued forcefully that they were worthy of acceptance, respect, and celebration.

“The Trevor Project is grateful for her commitment to LGBTQ causes generally, and to youth in particular. Though she was best known for her work on marriage equality, Edie also had a significant passion for helping LGBTQ youth.

“Just this past weekend, Edie convened a group of LGBTQ youth-facing organizations in New York City, including The Trevor Project. We spoke to her by phone on Saturday and she inspired us with her dedication and commitment to creating a brighter future for all LGBTQ young people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. She similarly moved us when she accepted The Trevor Project’s 2017 Icon Award this past June.

“Our thoughts are with her family and friends, her wife Judith Kasen, and all who had the pleasure of knowing her. A grateful LGBTQ community will never forget Edie Windsor and her contributions to building a more inclusive world.”

Watch Edie Windsor accept the Trevor Icon Award at TrevorLIVE New York from June 2017.

Media Contact: Sheri Lunn, Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Engagement, The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project calls on the Department of Education to protect Title IX

The Trevor Project, the nation’s leading crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization focused on LGBTQ youth, today called on the Trump Administration to protect the safety and civil rights of LGBTQ students after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced plans to weaken Obama-era Title IX guidance on how schools and universities handle allegations of sexual assault.

The following statement is from Trevor Project CEO & Executive Director Amit Paley:

“The Department of Education needs to protect all students in schools and ensure they are safe. Any proposed changes to weaken Title IX will harm LGBTQ students by putting them at increased risk of sexual harassment, assault and rape.

We know that transgender and gender non-conforming college student are more likely to be sexually assaulted than their peers. And we know that sexual assault survivors are at greater risk of attempting suicide. So we call on the Department of Education to do everything it can to defend Title IX and protect LGBTQ students from sexual harassment and violence.”

The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. The Trevor Project offers a suite of 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, TrevorSpace. Trevor also operates an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, an advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and a research team to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 via chat, or by texting START to 678678.

Media Contact: Sheri Lunn, Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Engagement, The Trevor Project

Repealing DACA is Dangerous, Harmful, and Cruel

The Trevor Project, the nation’s leading suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization focused on LGBTQ young people, today issued this statement from CEO and Executive Director Amit Paley in response to the Trump Administration’s plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

“The Trump Administration’s plan to repeal DACA is dangerous, harmful, and cruel. Of the 800,000 young people being put at risk, more than 75,000 identify as LGBTQ. Administrative decisions like this increase racism, hate and fear, and do nothing to promote our core American value of equal opportunity. The Trevor Project calls on all fair-minded members of Congress to defend DACA, and create legislation that protects DREAMers while instituting a fair and humane immigration process. The Trevor Project stands in solidarity with all DREAMers and their families, and reminds our LGBTQ young people who are feeling distressed and in need of someone to talk to that The Trevor Project is here for you 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, in addition to chat and text services available at”


The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. The Trevor Project offers a suite of 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, TrevorSpace. Trevor also operates an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, an advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and a research team to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 via chat, or by texting START to 678678.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sheri A. Lunn, Trevor Project Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Engagement

Victory in California! AB89 is Now Law!

The Trevor Project commends California Governor Jerry Brown for signing AB89, a bill that requires suicide prevention training for psychologists when they get or renew their clinical license.

Introduced at the beginning of the year by Marc Levine (D – District 10) and Marc Berman (D – District 24), the bill was signed into law on September 1. The Trevor Project submitted testimony for the hearings and also sent a letter to Governor Brown urging his signature on the bill.

“This bill, effective January 1, 2020, would require an applicant for licensure as a psychologist to complete a minimum of 6 hours of coursework or applied experience under supervision in suicide risk assessment and intervention. The bill would also require, effective January 1, 2020, as a one-time requirement, a licensed psychologist to have completed this suicide risk assessment and intervention training requirement prior to the time of his or her first renewal. The bill would also require, effective January 1, 2020, a person applying for reactivation or for reinstatement to have completed this suicide risk assessment and intervention training requirement.” (

Research shows that one supportive person reduces the risk of suicide by 30%. The Trevor Project calls on all state legislatures to pass similar legislation in order to help save more lives.

If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or alone, there is help:

The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. The Trevor Project offers a suite of 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, TrevorSpace. Trevor also operates an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, an advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and a research team to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 via chat, or by texting START to 678678.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sheri A. Lunn, Trevor Project Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Engagement