AI to Aid in Suicide Prevention Efforts for LGBTQ Youth
New York City — Google announced today that The Trevor Project is one of 20 organizations that will share $25 million in grants from Google.org, credit and consulting from Google Cloud and coaching by Google’s AI experts as a grantee of the Google AI Impact Challenge. The Google AI Impact Challenge was an open call to nonprofits, social enterprises, and research institutions from around the world to submit their ideas to use AI to help address societal challenges. Over 2,600 organizations applied.
The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ youth, will receive a $1.5M USD grant to incorporate machine learning and natural language processing into its crisis services, which save young LGBTQ lives by supporting them via phone, chat, and text. With Google’s help, The Trevor Project will be able to assess suicide risk level of youth in crisis more quickly, allowing counselors to better tailor their support and to provide relevant resources and consistent quality of care.
Next week, The Trevor Project’s John Callery, Director of Technology, Sam Dorison, Chief of Staff, and Dr. Amy Green, Director of Research will travel to San Francisco to dive into execution. For five days, all 20 organizations will join Google AI experts, Project Managers and the startup specialists from Google’s Launchpad Accelerator for a program that will last six months, from May to November 2019. Through the Launchpad program, each of the 20 grantees will develop their own OKRs — Objectives and Key Results — and set timelines for project completion. Each organization will be paired a Google expert who will meet with them regularly for coaching sessions, and will also have access to other Google resources and expert mentorship.
“The Trevor Project estimates that each year more than 1.5 million LGBTQ youth in the U.S. experience suicidal ideation or some form of crisis – and many of their moments of crisis are unique and extremely personal,” said Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project. “Our crisis counselors work tirelessly every day to support these LGBTQ youth. This support from Google will allow our counselors to leverage AI and leading-edge technology to identify highest risk youth faster and serve them with even higher quality of care.”
“At Google, we have seen how AI can help us accomplish daily tasks and travels, and we believe in its potential to help address some of the world’s biggest humanitarian challenges. We are excited to support The Trevor Project’s work to use AI to achieve even greater social impact,” said Jacquelline Fuller, President of Google.org.
The Trevor Project is dedicated to using the latest technological advancements to end suicide among LGBTQ youth. The organization recently announced technology enhancements to its crisis services platform, which now provides 24/7 text and chat counseling for LGBTQ youth in crisis. In addition, the platform now enables staff to use an innovative, multi-channel dashboard to further increase Trevor’s quality of care. The streamlined platform is the first of its kind in the nonprofit crisis services space, and its new API can easily connect to future social media platforms, allowing the organization to adapt as quickly as the digital landscape for Generation Z evolves.
“Vulnerable communities including LGBTQ youth deserve to be supported with the latest innovations in health technology,” said Sam Dorison, who serves as Chief of Staff at The Trevor Project and will oversee the organization’s work in artificial intelligence. “In the next few months, AI technology will become a cornerstone in The Trevor Project’s suicide prevention work and as we continue to address mental health among LGBTQ young people.”