Welcome to Trevor-Part 2

Learn about our crisis services

Now that you know how The Trevor Project got started, we’d like to give you more background about the programs and services your giving provides young people in crisis.

LGBTQ young people deserve dedicated care and when it comes to providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for today’s generation, that care needs to be highly specialized. Thanks to your support and building on the experience we’ve gained for nearly two decades; our team continues innovating to expand Trevor’s capacity to respond to the 4x greater suicide risk facing our youth.

As you may recall from Part #1 of this email series, Trevor’s free and confidential core crisis programs include: The Trevor Lifeline, TrevorChat, and Trevor Text, in addition to a suite of education, outreach and advocacy resources. Every day, your giving allows young people in crisis to reach out to us, like Charlie,* a 15-year-old TrevorChat user who identifies as a trans man and asexual:

“Charlie” bravely reached out on TrevorChat because the school year was starting and he found out that his school would not allow him to dress in the way he felt comfortable.

Charlie was panicked. He had never met anyone in his area who was LGBTQ. He felt that if he came out to his parents or even teachers at school, he would be rejected. Charlie had already come out to his best friend Devin, and although she was accepting of his gender identity, he could not think of any other students who might be an ally. Charlie’s anxiety was growing and he was thinking about using a weapon to kill himself that night.

Over the course of the online conversation, the TrevorChat counselor helped Charlie think about additional people in his life who could be resources. He began talking about his siblings—with whom he got along well. Charlie then shared that he loved to cook and invent new dishes with them too. By the end of the chat session, he was feeling better and worked with the counselor to make a plan for the start of school. Charlie said he would speak with his siblings and Devin about his concerns and to ask for support. The counselor ended the chat by role playing the potential conversations and letting Charlie know he could always call back if needed.

Last year, donors like you helped us take nearly 150 calls, chats, and text messages each day from young people like Charlie. Learn more about our crisis programs and services below:

The Trevor Lifeline
The Trevor Lifeline is at the center of Trevor’s crisis intervention and suicide prevention services—with call centers in Los Angeles and New York and almost 200 active volunteers answering calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

The Trevor Lifeline is accredited by the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), which certifies that the Lifeline is performing according to nationally recognized standards. Trevor provides the only crisis and suicide prevention service delivery program specifically serving the LGBTQ community to be accredited by AAS.

Lifeline counselors receive over 50 hours of training to answer calls from LGBTQ young people who are feeling suicidal or need a safe, non-judgmental place to talk. If you live in NY or LA, you may be eligible to volunteer.

Find out how to apply to volunteer here.

TrevorChat
TrevorChat is an instant messaging program for youth who are in crisis and want to talk online with someone who understands their challenges. TrevorChat operates in the afternoon and evening, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

TrevorChat connects LGBTQ youth with trained counselors and provides access and anonymity to a population of young people who may feel more comfortable asking for help online, or who may not be able to access a safe phone line. This service meets a growing digital need. In its first year, 2011, TrevorChat received just over 2,500 messages, and last year it received over 10,000 messages. Meeting increased demand, TrevorChat continues to provide its service 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

TrevorText
In 2014, we piloted TrevorText, our proprietary text-messaging crisis program—with only one day of TrevorText service available each week. Since then, we’ve experienced growth at more than twice the growth rate on our other crisis programs.

In January 2017, donors like you helped raise funds to expand TrevorText to a third day of service each week. Our continued aim is to reach LGBTQ youth whenever they need support, wherever they may be, and in whatever ways they find most comfortable. TrevorText is available Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. ET / 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. PT.

The youth story in this email is representative of a TrevorChat crisis conversation. Names and identifiable details have been changed to protect confidentiality.


Tom Price Is Harmful to the Mental Health of LGBTQ Youth

January 30, 2017 For Immediate Release

It’s time we talk about the serious danger posed to the mental health of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community if Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) is confirmed as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Price’s beliefs and actions are being appropriately scrutinized by the media and through congressional hearings, but little attention has been paid to the impact his confirmation will have on the mental health of the general population, let alone of vulnerable populations like LGBTQ youth.  Price’s record as a seven term congressman provides a wealth of insight into his personal views and policy positions. Unfortunately, it’s a record of discrimination and hate which can have very real impacts on a young person’s mental health.

LGBTQ youth face significant challenges today, whether they’re struggling with coming out, facing family rejection, or dealing with bullying. If Tom Price becomes head of HHS and is allowed to put his beliefs into practice, dire consequences will follow. Price is a supporter of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which, despite its lofty sounding name, actually allows businesses and individuals to discriminate against sexual orientation and gender identity minorities. It’s no secret that he is also a vitriolic critic of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But repealing the ACA, which contains nondiscrimination protections, could decimate the LGBTQ community’s access to psychological services that play a critical role in achieving and maintaining positive mental health.

Picture a bisexual young person going to counseling for an issue unrelated to her sexual orientation only to be told that the counselor doesn’t treat LGBTQ people. Picture a transgender female teenager that needs to be admitted to a psychiatric facility for a suicide attempt but the facility says they will only allow her to be admitted to the male program.

In reviewing past legislation Price proposed as an alternative to the ACA, many concerns were revealed. Under Price’s ACA replacement plan, young adults who were previously covered under their parent’s health insurance may lose access to covered healthcare and part-time workers would lose the ability to purchase affordable healthcare for themselves. Perhaps worst of all, however, is that bans on “pre-existing conditions” could become legal again, except in limited circumstances, and youth with illnesses like depression or anxiety would not be able to get insurance coverage for those conditions. People who are HIV-positive might not have access to covered care and life-saving prescription medications, which can not only have a devastatingly negative impact on their physical health, but their mental health as well.

As if that isn’t enough to send mental health spiraling downward, Price’s record on LGBTQ issues indicates that conditions will rapidly deteriorate under his direction. He voted against the Violence Against Women Act because it contained nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. He voted against ending employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. He’s also publicly balked at the idea that schools should be required to allow students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. These are the ideals that will pervade HHS under his leadership.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the HHS agency that administers grants to states and educational institutions to provide mental health services to youth. Under the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, SAMHSA gives colleges money to provide services to prevent suicide.  Many grantees use that money to provide LGBTQ specific suicide prevention programming because of the community’s disproportionate risk of suicide. Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth attempt suicide at more than four times the rate of their heterosexual peers, while 40% of transgender individuals report having attempted suicide at some point in their lifetime.  With Price as HHS director, it’s not hard to imagine that specialized services for LGBTQ youth experiencing suicidal ideation could be taken away.

Finally, Price also voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which added sexual orientation and gender identity to our federal hate crimes statute. This “no” vote flies in the face of facts which reveal that LGBTQ people are more likely than any other group to be the victims of hate crimes. Add that to the knowledge that every act of victimization increases an LGBTQ youth’s risk of suicide and the insight into the threat to their mental health under Price becomes too painful to contemplate.

The Trevor Project is the nation’s leading crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization focused on LGBTQ youth. Immediately after the election, the organization experienced the highest call volume it’s ever received in a single day in the history of the organization. LGBTQ youth were overwhelmed and frightened of the possible increase in discrimination, violence, and hate they might face under this new administration. Those issues alone are difficult enough to navigate without adding the risks that Price’s confirmation will have on their mental health. This cost to a young person’s mental health is simply a price we cannot afford.  Contact your senators today and tell them to oppose Price’s nomination as secretary of HHS.

The Trevor Project Vice President of Programs, David W. Bond, LCSW, B.C.E.T.S., is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress.

Contact: The Trevor Project Marketing & Communications Department: 310.271.8845 x402

ABOUT THE TREVOR PROJECT:
The Trevor Project is the only national organization focused on crisis intervention and suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQ youth. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential crisis intervention lifeline, text, and chat services.  We work to help alleviate the causes of the need of crisis services via our educational materials, online resources, research, and advocacy programs. We also offer a peer-to-peer support network for LGBTQ youth under the age of 25 via our TrevorSpace site. For more information, visit www.TheTrevorProject.org.


A Letter to LGBTQ Youth on Inauguration Day

Hi, I’m Raymond Braun and I wanted to share a message with any LGBTQ+ youth who are feeling upset today. Today is a challenging and difficult day for so many of us. You may be confronting a mixture of emotions and feelings you’re not quite sure how to process. That’s normal.

First, please take care of yourself, today and every day. Learn what “self care” means to you. Identity activities and people who make you happy, and try to spend as much time as possible doing things that bring you fulfillment and joy. Remember that it’s OK to turn off the TV, log off social media, and disengage from the news when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

As we enter a new era in politics, I want to make sure you know that you belong, your identity is valid, and your feelings, thoughts, and ideas are worthwhile. You might see scary headlines about anti-LGBTQ politicians or policy proposals, you might encounter nasty comments on social media, and you might experience bullying and discrimination that you certainly don’t deserve. Please don’t let these awful things diminish your shine and spirit. As MLK said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” In the wake of the election, there’s been such an outpouring of love, support, passion, and action from our community. There is so much good out there, and we will continue advocating for your right to be exactly who you are. You deserve that, and so much more, and we have your back.

You are part of one of the most diverse, creative, compassionate, resilient communities in the world. Think about the history of the LGBTQ community. We have overcome many obstacles and setbacks throughout history, and we’ve always emerged stronger and more unified than ever before.

I might not know you personally, but I am rooting for you. Our community needs you to nurture your talent, develop your skills, and identify your passions. Please find the hope inside yourself to continue growing into the amazing human being that you are. As you’re encountering all of life’s challenges, know that you’re not alone, and that there are resources for you and people who care deeply about you. Of course, the Trevor Project is available to talk 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, and you can reach out through their digital services like TrevorChat and TrevorSpace as well. Reach out if you’re ever feeling distressed or need a listening ear – whether it’s a phone call or text to Trevor, a coffee chat with a trusted loved one, or a visit to one of your local community resource centers.

You are valuable, powerful, and deserving of every opportunity in the world. I’m sending you a big hug, and when I march in the #WomensMarch tomorrow, I’m doing it for you.


A Message from Abbe Land: Looking Back Over the Past Five Years

Dear Friends,

As we approach the 2016 holidays, and we get ready for the new year and a change in our political landscape, I want to let you know that I too am getting ready for a big change.  After nearly 5 years as the Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project, I will be leaving this amazing organization at the end of the year.

And, as difficult as it is for me to move on, I am proud of the many accomplishments at The Trevor Project in the years that I have been here.  For example:

  • We have expanded the budget over 100% and significantly expanded the staff and volunteer pool
  • We launched the organization’s first research and evaluation project, which has quantitatively proven that Trevor is effective at saving young lives
  • We added an Advisory Board of experts to help inform the our programs
  • We added Trevor’s digital programs, Chat and Text, to meet youth where they are
  • We built a new platform for TrevorSpace to help prevent suicide among youth around the world
  • We expanded Trevor’s public policy work and successfully sponsored legislation in CA and Washington, DC
  • We helped make Trevor the go-to place for anyone discussing LGBTQ youth and suicide

Being part of the Trevor family has been one of the most important parts of my life.  I am constantly in awe of the amazing, dedicated staff, volunteers and supporters who keep the organization strong every single day.

This year has been extraordinary, there have been some real highs, and some awful lows, that will impact us for a long time.  But through it all, Trevor has been there saving young LGBTQ lives.  And Trevor will continue to be there – thanks to all of you.

But most importantly, I know first-hand that the organization will continue to thrive.  And that’s because of its current leadership which includes a strong board of directors, led by co-chairs Stacy Smithers and Michael Norton, Steve Mendelsohn, our deputy executive director who will become the Interim Executive Director, and the incredibly talented leadership team of Jeremy Ancalade, David Bond, Jack McCurley and our newest addition, Sheri Lunn.

Though I will no longer be running the organization day in and day out, this is not really a good-bye.  That’s because I intend to remain part of the Trevor family – as a volunteer, as a supporter, and as a friend.  No matter what, I will always be here for Trevor and for all of you!

Truly,

Abbe Land
Executive Director and CEO
The Trevor Project


Survey of Trans Adults Shows High Need for Suicide Prevention Services

We congratulate our friends at the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) who today released the largest survey of transgender people ever conducted. Their findings reveal significant disparities between transgender people and the rest of the U.S. population across a range of categories. The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS) examined the experiences of transgender people across the United States, with 27,715 respondents from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. military bases overseas. The USTS serves as a follow-up to the groundbreaking 2008-2009 National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS), which has been integral in shifting how the public and policymakers view transgender people and the challenges they face.

Among the starkest findings is that 40% of respondents have attempted suicide in their lifetime—nearly nine times the attempted suicide rate in the U.S. population (4.6%).  As David Crary reports in the Washington Post, “There have been some important gains for transgender rights in the years between the two surveys, but the new survey showed little or no improvement in terms of transgender people’s day-to-day experiences with bias,” and that the survey “paints a grim picture of pervasive discrimination and harassment” against the transgender community. The full survey report is available at www.ustranssurvey.org.

While we still have a long way to go, the improved visibility and acceptance highlighted by the report may be an indicator that we are moving in the right direction in some aspects.  60% of respondents reported that their family was accepting of them as a transgender individual and 68% of those out to their coworkers report acceptance in the workplace.

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.  We encourage transgender youth to reach out to us via the Trevor Lifeline 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386.


Happy Thanksgiving! A Message of Gratitude in Uncertain Times

Dear Friends,

In these uncertain times, let me take a moment to express my sincere thanks for all of your support.   Every moment of every day, The Trevor Project hears from young people who question their futures.  And because of you – our supporters – we are here.   We know despite the messages they may be hearing in the news, or on social media – or at school, or home – that at Trevor there are people who care about them and that they are beautiful – just the way they are.

As the Executive Director and CEO of this unique organization, I have seen first-hand the power of our work.  In our soon-to-be released study with USC and the Children’s Hospital of L.A., feedback from LGBTQ youth reassures me that indeed we are making a difference and saving lives.  One anonymous youth told us, “The counselor helped me realize that my life still meant something to people and that I do matter.” Another noted how important it was to have a safer space, saying, “I was able to be fully open with the counselor without worrying about being judged or punished, the way I might be if I shared those things with my parents, friends, or peers at school.”

So, no matter what happens in the world, or what you hear in your communities — you can rest assured that as a friend and supporter of The Trevor Project, you are doing your part to make a difference in the lives of the LGBTQ youth of this country.

Thank you for everything you do for us – you make it possible for Trevor to be there for the youth who need us.  Now, more than ever before!

With sincere gratitude,

Abbe Land
Executive Director and CEO
The Trevor Project


Preliminary Report Indicates that The Trevor Project’s Suicide Prevention Services are Effective

A preliminary release of data from a new report conducted by The University of Southern California (USC) and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) reveals the crucial need for The Trevor Project’s services.   In a survey conducted among youth who contacted The Trevor Project, over half of youth with medium or high-level suicide risk de-escalate their risk level during their interaction with Trevor counselors.  However, during the time between The Trevor Project contact and survey completion (average duration: 12 days), practically all (96%) of youth with medium or high-level suicide risk reported a de-escalation.

Strikingly, 26% of youth report they would not have contacted another helpline if Trevor did not exist, meaning that thousands of youth who need support might receive no help at all if Trevor were not available. Nearly all said they would contact The Trevor Project again if they experienced another crisis.

When participants were asked to explain what was helpful about their contact with Trevor, some of the most common themes youth described were the importance of having a non-judgmental space and the validation and acceptance they received from their counselors.  On de-escalation, one youth explained, “I was able to calm down and think through my problems individually, and feel safer in my own skin for a while. I stopped and looked at my choices and was able to cross suicide off my list of answers.”  Another noted the importance of access to a safe space, saying, “I was able to be fully open with the counselor without worrying about being judged or punished, the way I might be if I shared those things with my parents, friends, or peers at school.”

This report has also given insights into the diversity of the LGBTQ youth served by The Trevor Project.  Thirty-six percent of our youth identify as trans*, gender non-conforming, or are unsure of their gender identity.  Thirty-nine percent of individuals in the preliminary study who used Trevor’s services are youth of color.  A significant proportion of our youth have also experienced homelessness, and are dealing with a variety of stressors in school and at home. The majority of respondents reported feeling like an outcast because they are LGBTQ, and most believe they will have a worse life because they are LGBTQ.

In the exit surveys, having access to a validating and accepting space appears to be vital in creating hope for the future.  One youth noted that while speaking with a counselor, “I felt heard and important. I realized not everyone in the world is hateful and narrow minded.”  Another said, “It helped me be able to know that other people are understanding of my issues, and that I am not alone even when I feel like I am.”  Even in the face of diverse identities and challenges, with the support and care of The Trevor Project, LGBTQ are finding hope, strength, and pride.

While these are preliminary findings, we are pleased to see that the young people spoken to so far have confirmed that The Trevor Project’s life-saving work is effective.  The study will be concluded in the Spring of 2017 and The Trevor Project will share our findings as we work to ensure the best LGBTQ suicide prevention program in the country.


Share a Photo to Support LGBTQ+ Youth!

Until December 20th, there is an easy, FREE way to help save LGBTQ+ lives.  Support The Trevor Project by sharing your photos daily in Johnson & Johnson’s Donate A Photo app.

Follow these simple steps:
1. Download the app for Android or iOS.
2. Select The Trevor Project as your cause, and share your photos with the hashtag #PictureABrighterFuture.
3. Repeat daily, and for each photo shared, Johnson & Johnson will donate to The Trevor Project!

During November, the selfies shared were eligible to be featured on our billboard in Times Square!  We received thousands of photos, giving us hope in the incredible community of supporters that LGBTQ+ youth have all around the United States.  Our winner was Illyana from New York City, who took a photo with us under the billboard in Times Square!

 


Trace Lysette Has a Message for Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming Youth: You Matter

The Trevor Project celebrates Transgender Awareness Month for the entirety of November.  November 20th marked Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day in which we remembered those who have lost their lives.  To honor the resilience of our community, we released two special PSAs from Trace Lysette of Transparent.

Remember that no matter what your gender identity, The Trevor Project is here to support you. If you are curious about your own gender identity, or want to understand how to better support transgender and gender non-conforming folks in your community, take a look in our Support Center for information on gender identity. 

If you’re looking to take action, you can make a difference by donating, holding  a fundraiser for #GivingTuesday, volunteering, or becoming an Ambassador.

If you or someone you know needs help, know that we are here for you 24/7, every day of the year, at 1-866-488-7386, with more digital services available as well.  We are here to champion and support all LGBTQ youth, no matter what your identity.  Know that you are valid, and you matter.


The Trevor Project Celebrates Transgender Awareness Month

In a climate of fear, one of the most empowering things we can do is to educate.  Change and the unknown are scary, and fearful reactions can be negative, such as controlling or abusive behavior on a small scale, or hatred and bigotry on a mass scale.  Yet with awareness and education, change and the unknown can become opportunities for growth.  It is in this spirit that The Trevor Project celebrates Transgender Awareness Week, from November 14th to the 20th, and Transgender Awareness Month for the entirety of November.

During difficult times, we recognize our power and the power of our supporters to be an agents of change, transforming fear and bigotry into understanding and acceptance.  Our trailblazing Youth Advisory Council has included Eli Erlick who currently is the Director of Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER), the only national organization entirely led by trans youth. This Transgender Awareness Week they launched a Comprehensive Model Policy on Transgender Students for Four-Year Colleges and Universities. This policy addresses the best practices for four-year colleges and universities regarding enrollment, policy implementation, admissions, programs, facilities, safety, and more.

It is a critical time to take action at the local level, and this model policy helps to provide effective guidelines to creating a safer, healthier environment for transgender college and university students everywhere.  Use TSER’s model policy to educate and change policies within your own schools and communities.  Download and share these free posters and graphics to help raise understanding and compassion during Transgender Awareness Month.

November 20th marks Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day in which we honor those who have lost their lives. On Transgender Day of Remembrance, help build resilience with the community by joining our staff at the events below or visit this link of events compiled by TDOR.info. This is not a full list, so please check your area to find an event near you. To submit your own event, visit this link.  By coming together during this time, we can remind each other of the beauty and power within our community.

Remember that no matter what your gender identity, The Trevor Project is here to support you. If you are curious about your own gender identity, or want to understand how to better support transgender and gender non-conforming folks in your community, take a look in our Support Center for information on gender identity. 

If you’re looking to take action, you can make a difference by donating, running a fundraiser for #GivingTuesday, volunteering, or becoming an Ambassador. If you or someone you know needs help, know that we are here for you 24/7, every day of the year, at 1-866-488-7386, with more digital services available as well.  We are here to champion and support all LGBTQ youth, no matter what your identity.  Know that you are valid, and you matter.