Annual Report FY2014
Throughout the fiscal year, Trevor’s Government Affairs department was stomping the Hill, increasing support for crucial bills, submitting in-depth regulatory comments, conducting policy analysis at the federal and state level, working alongside coalitions, and tirelessly advocating for the rights of at-risk LGBTQ youth. Here are just a few of our team’s noteworthy moments from FY14.
Model School District Policy
Reducing the risk of youth suicide requires making positive changes. That’s why The Trevor Project worked to successfully launch the Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention in collaboration with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the American School Counselor Association, and the National Association of School Psychologists.
Inside, educators will find accessible tools to help implement comprehensive and inclusive suicide prevention policies in their own districts. In honor of our leadership on this innovative policy, The Trevor Project received an Allies in Action Award from the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. Since then, we’ve been working in specific regions and school districts to empower people to adopt the potentially life-saving policy. To learn more about this modular and adaptable policy, click the image below.
Trevor Action Center Launches
In the second half of 2013, The Trevor Project brought its supporters together through the new Trevor Advocacy Center, an online platform where any person can become an advocate for the wellbeing of LGBTQ youth in crisis. Here, people can find and write to their elected officials and ask for their sponsorship of crucial legislation. In Trevor’s second quarter alone, over 700 letters were sent from our supporters.
Capitol Hill Briefing
On May 29, The Trevor Project hosted a briefing focused on family acceptance on Capitol Hill. The briefing was filled beyond capacity, and highlighted the important role family can play in preventing the tragedy of suicide. During the event, policy makers were able to learn more about how to support LGBTQ youth suicide prevention and family acceptance, and learned why it is crucial to ban dangerous practices like conversion therapy.
From Left: Charlie Kerr, Abbe Land, Caitlin Ryan, Rep. Jackie Speier, Brian Altman, and Alison Gill.
Panelists included: Trevor’s Executive Director and CEO, Abbe Land, and Government Affairs Director, Alison Gill; Dr. Caitlin Ryan, Director of the Family Acceptance Project; Brian Altman, Legislative Director at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); and Charlie Kerr, Trevor Youth Advisory Council member.
The briefing was sponsored by Congresswomen Jackie Speier and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and in partnership with the Family Acceptance Project.
Working to End Conversion Therapy
One of The Trevor Project’s biggest topics of FY14 was banning conversion therapy in an effort to protect the wellbeing of LGBTQ youth nationwide. Conversion therapy is a discredited practice that promises to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Youth who are forced into these so-called therapies often face higher risks of depression, anxiety, drug use, and suicidality.
We played a key role in supporting a New Jersey bill that protected youth from this harmful practice, and we are proud to say that this bill was signed by Governor Chris Christie and is now law. Trevor led a coalition in the District of Columbia to successfully pass a similar bill, and also supported efforts to pass anti-conversion therapy bills in Massachusetts, New York, and Washington.
Homeless Youth Reform Passes
After taking a leadership role in the LGBTQ Homeless Youth Reform Act in the District of Columbia, the innovative bill was passed. This unique legislation expands and improves care of LGBTQ homeless youth, including requiring suicide prevention professional development for homeless youth service providers. This is vital to making sure that every young person has the support they need if they are ever in crisis.