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Train the Trainer: New Educational Program for LGBTQ+ Allies

BY: Trevor News

When inclusive spaces come under attack by lawmakers across the country, the need for education grows greater. When adults are given the proper tools and training, they transform into supportive allies, which can make all the difference in defending against those attacks. 

At The Trevor Project, our Education team helps adults (educators, coaches, community leaders and more) understand the needs of LGBTQ+ young people. We equip them with the knowledge they need to affirm, uplift, and advocate for those young people. We empower people to become the best allies they can be — especially important considering the impact supportive adults can have on LGBTQ+ young people. From our own research, we know the presence of trusted adults is protective against depression, anxiety, and suicide attempts. So training people to become allies can be truly life-saving.

To continue this work, we’re debuting a new educational program, “Train the Trainer,” wherein educators will learn how to support the mental health of LGBTQ+ young people, respond to signs of suicidal ideation, and foster safer environments for all students. This project is deeply informed by the insights Trevor’s Research team is able to surface, especially the annual National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ+ Young People. Our research found that only 54% of LGBTQ+ young people reported that they had access to an affirming space at school — and those who did were 25% less likely to have attempted suicide in the past year.

“Train the Trainer” combines tried-and-true training programs from The Trevor Project (CARE and Ally Training), but refined for educators, who are critical to promoting positive mental health outcomes and preventing crisis among their students. The training will take educators through subjects like mental health, suicide, LGBTQ+ identities and the unique challenges young people face, preparing them to become allies in their communities. The training also equips those educators with the ability to replicate the training in their own communities, exponentially expanding the numbers of supportive allies in schools across the nation.

This program would not be possible without the generous gift from David Henry Jacobs and his family foundation. David Henry Jacobs shared that he is proud to support The Trevor Project because of the organization’s commitment to fostering safe educational environments for LGBTQ+ young people. “Education is empowering, so school should be a safe place for everyone. LGBTQ+ young people deserve to enjoy their adolescence unhindered by phobia and toxicity. I am proud to support The Trevor Project’s efforts toward giving teachers the tools to make this happen.”

Because of this inaugural investment, The Trevor Project will be able to leverage our national reach to hone and expand professional development programming for educators to foster affirming school environments. We are so grateful for this generous investment, as it will undoubtedly make schools safer for the young people we serve. With additional funding, we envision even greater potential for LGBTQ+ allyship at a time when it is desperately needed.

The Trevor Project is the leading suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning, and more (LGBTQ+) young people. 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 678-678.

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