Annual Report FY2015

The Trevor Project has been instrumental in drafting the Model School Policy in collaboration with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the American School Counselor Association, and the National Association of School Psychologists. This model provides policy language to help schools holistically address suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention, specifically geared towards LGBTQ youth. We have also made steps to push for the reauthorization of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, which will ensure that vital funding for suicide prevention and intervention services remains available across the nation for schools, states, colleges, and universities. And, as we push to ban the harmful practice of conversion therapy across the United States, we played a key role in providing technical assistance to Representative Jackie Speier when she introduced the first resolution in the 114th Congress. Here are a few advocacy volunteers who are helping us lead the charge towards change for LGBTQ youth on local, state, and federal levels.

Founding Leader of Trevor NextGen and Public Policy & Advocacy Committee Co-Chair: Peter

“I’m thrilled to be working with Trevor staff and Board members to advance our Model School Policy Agenda, which will bring suicide prevention training to other districts across the country.”

Under New York Governor David Paterson, Peter was working on campaigns for marriage equality and the reversal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” when he began looking for a strategic way to make a difference for LGBTQ youth. “After getting to know Trevor’s staff and being convinced of the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness, I knew I wanted to help raise its profile,” he says. Peter encouraged Governor Paterson to declare The Trevor Project Day in New York and endorse the organization in an It Gets Better video he wrote, directing youth to Trevor’s Lifeline and website. Now, Peter is helping Trevor’s Public Policy & Advocacy Committee pursue a comprehensive federal legislative agenda and secure public funding. “The Trevor Project is the best equipped organization in the world when it comes to working with LGBTQ youth in crisis,” he says.

Public Policy & Advocacy Committee Co-Chair and Atlanta Ambassador: Jamie

“I am grateful that Trevor allowed me to use my skills as a lawyer to draft and pass HB-198, the gatekeeper suicide awareness and prevention legislation that provides annual training for all certificated public school personnel in Georgia.”

In high school, Atlanta lawyer Jamie’s closest friend attempted suicide. “In the deep South where we grew up, and especially in the late nineties, the idea of being gay was anathema to what we both knew our families wanted and expected for us,” he says. As Jamie raises three children with his partner, he has come to care very deeply about youth mental health and the preventable risks of suicide and self-harm, especially among LGBTQ and allied youth. “In Georgia and other parts of the South, it is vitally important that our young people are not left behind in the rising tide of national acceptance. Making sure that Trevor not only continues, but also expands its lifesaving work is even more vitally important today than ever before,” Jamie says.