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The Trevor Project Celebrates Another Year of Supporting LGBTQ Young People Through 988’s Inclusive Crisis Services

BY: Nicholas Turton
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The Trevor Project is extending its partnership with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, providing specialized services to LGBTQ contacts who dial 9-8-8, for another year.

November 16, 2023 — The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people, announced a new contract with The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline to continue its work providing LGBTQ-inclusive services for the three-digit lifeline for at least another year. The Trevor Project is one of seven centers helping to ensure that LGBTQ people who contact 988 receive LGBTQ-competent and inclusive care via phone, text, and chat.

“The Trevor Project’s research found that 41% of LGBTQ young people seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, but more than half of those who wanted mental health care were unable to get it. Our work with 988 has been revolutionary for responding to the public health crisis of suicide among LGBTQ young people and connecting them with the care they need,” said Kasey Suffredini (he/him), Interim Senior Vice President of Prevention at The Trevor Project. “Thanks to the partnership of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), we have been able to support more LGBTQ young people than ever before. In our first year of collaboration, an estimated 280,000 LGBTQ crisis contacts were served through our participation in 988, contributing to over 500,000 total contacts served by The Trevor Project. Even as we look ahead to what will likely be another record-breaking year for anti-LGBTQ legislation in the U.S., we remain hopeful knowing that LGBTQ young people across the country have increased access to the support, care, and community they deserve.”

These life-saving specialized services for LGBTQ young people were made possible by years of bipartisan advocacy, historic legislation, and cross-sector collaboration. When the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act was signed into law in October 2020, formally codifying 988, it was the first bill to pass unanimously through the U.S. Senate that included express protections for the LGBTQ community. With leadership of and support by The Trevor Project, the law specifically referenced specialized services for LGBTQ young people, a group that is more than four times as likely to attempt suicide than their peers.

“We’re thrilled to announce our continued partnership with The Trevor Project, an organization dedicated to the well-being of LGBTQI+ youth and young adults,” said Dr. Tia Dole (she/her), Chief 988 Lifeline Officer at Vibrant Emotional Health. “Vibrant is committed to providing a lifeline of support and care to those in need. Together with The Trevor Project, we will continue to be a beacon of hope and strength for the LGBTQI+ community.”

Since the historic implementation of 988, The Trevor Project has been working closely with partners and policymakers to advocate for additional resources to increase access to 988’s LGBTQ youth-inclusive crisis care services and expand the lifeline’s infrastructure to meet demand. In July 2022, The Trevor Project was selected to launch a pilot program supporting 988’s specialized services for LGBTQ young people. At the conclusion of the pilot, The Trevor Project was selected to join the country’s first LGBTQ-specific crisis services subnetwork, made up of seven centers, to expand reach and ensure best-practice service redundancy.

The Trevor Project estimates that more than 1.8 million LGBTQ young people (ages 13-24) seriously consider suicide each year in the U.S. — and at least one attempts suicide every 45 seconds. According to The Trevor Project’s 2023 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, 41% of LGBTQ young people seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year — and young people who are transgender, nonbinary, and/or people of color reported higher rates than their peers. Despite the prevalence of suicide risk among LGBTQ young people, 56% who wanted mental health care in the past year were not able to get it, including nearly 3 in 5 transgender and nonbinary young people.

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