Rory Training Advocacy

You can take part in improving the lives of 1.3 million high school students who report being LGBTQ by showing them that you care about their mental health:

  • Connect youth to Trevor’s crisis services. We save young lives 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386. TrevorChat.org is available 3-9 pm ET and 12-6 pm PT daily, and youth can text “START” to 678678 Thurs-Friday 4-8 pm ET and 1-5 pm PT. Young people can also find friends on our online safe supportive community TrevorSpace.org as well as resources at our Support Center.
  • Create classrooms of peers who are better equipped to help through Lifeguard, Trevor’s free online suicide prevention and crisis intervention education program for middle and high school students.
  • Advocate for the adoption of comprehensive, inclusive suicide prevention policies in school districts around the country with our Model School Policy, which can help school districts draft suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention policies based on their specific needs.

Help create a brighter future for LGBTQ youth by showing them that despite discrimination, violence, and victimization, LGBTQ youth can thrive, they matter, and they deserve support. The Trevor Project is actively working with the Federal Government through our Government Affairs team to find ways to include the wide spectrum of sexualities and gender identities in future surveys. Please sign up for our Advocacy Network so we can alert you when you need to take action and to support, donate here. For more information and resources, visit thetrevorproject.org.


Donor Appreciation Month

Whether you’re a one-time, monthly, or yearly donor of The Trevor Project, we want to thank you during Donor Appreciation Month for making it possible for our staff and volunteers to be there 24/7 for LGBTQ youth in crisis.

Throughout the year, we’ve seen donors from across the nation come together through holding their own fundraisers, giving on Give OUT Day, Giving Tuesday, TrevorLIVE, and our Impact Hours, raising over $2 million dollars towards our suicide prevention and crisis intervention services. In the wake of Orlando, your donations allowed us to answer the 70% increase in calls, chats, and texts that we received.  Thanks to you, we’ve also been able to add one more day of TrevorText services, and we’ll be launching an improved version of TrevorSpace.org in November.

Recently, a donor who had used our services just a year ago left a comment on one of our donation pages: “The Trevor Project has saved my life…Today, I’m giving back to save as many lives as possible.” They closed their message by including their pronoun, “they.” It’s moments like these when we directly see our impact. Much like many of our major donors, they are now living their life authentically, and can now give back so that others can do the same.

Dane is an example of a Trevor donor who did not grow up with parental support, much like many of the callers we hear from. It was the disparaging disapproval from his mother that inspired him to become an advocate for LGBTQ youth through The Ed Cauduro Fund, which Dane advises at The Oregon Community Foundation. Now, Dane helps ensure that The Trevor Project receives an annual gift that provides crisis support for up to 1,000 LGBTQ youth.

As parents of an LGBTQ young person, donors Raul and Luis see the direct impact digital services can have on youth, which is why they’ve helped secure a generous grant through the Baxter International Foundation with goals of expanding TrevorChat and TrevorText.

Having seen friends in the military still too scared to live their lives authentically, donor, attorney, and former U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel, Sue, is devoted to bringing Trevor’s crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to schools across the U.S. so that youth know that they can be accepted for who they are.

Like Dane, Raul, Luis, Sue, and the donor who let us know we helped save their life, all of our donors have personal stories that have helped us pave the way for a brighter future for LGBTQ youth. You too can join in on our fight to save young lives, whether it’s through our crisis services programs, education, or advocacy departments. Share your story with us by increasing your gift today.


Advocacy Updates: Our Continued Fight For Mental Health Reform

With so much going on in the world, from the 2016 election to tragic violence, now is the time to show LGBTQ youth that we are fighting for their well-being and a brighter future for all. We have to become a part of the solution, whether that means taking action in the LGBTQ community, calling local politicians, or having discussions about the issues that matter. Here are some examples of how The Trevor Project has been taking action for LGBTQ youth through our Advocacy department.

Fighting Against Conversion Therapy
Support of “conversion therapy” is being included in a major political party platform, yet it has been denounced by every major medical association in the United States as a dangerous and discredited practice that can put more young lives at risk of suicide. The Trevor Project took action in July by speaking against it in an op-ed for The Advocate. We also wrote a letter to Councilmember M. Lorena González, urging her to pass CB 118746, which has since passed and will now ban conversion therapy in Seattle. The Trevor Project has helped pass similar laws in California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, and the District of Columbia, and we will continue the fight to ban this harmful practice across the nation.

Helping Reauthorize the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act
In July, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646), introduced and spearheaded by Representative Tim Murphy as a comprehensive mental health reform bill that among other things, reauthorizes many important and effective mental health programs, including the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act. GLSMA provides grants to states, tribes and tribal organizations, and colleges to prevent youth suicide, and also funds a national suicide prevention technical assistance center.

“The reauthorization of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act is one of Trevor’s key legislative priorities. Every 95 minutes a young person takes their life by suicide. We now urge the Senate to take this bill up so needed resources can continue to save young lives,” says Abbe Land, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project.

New CDC Study Inspires Trevor’s Model School Policy Advocacy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just released their 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (YRBS) study, which displays the first body of knowledge that depicts a nationally representative sample of lesbian, gay, and bisexual high school students. It is disheartening to note in CDC’s study that in the last year, 43% of LGB students in grades 9-12 seriously considered suicide, 38.2% made a suicide plan, and roughly 30% attempted suicide.

With the rate of LGB suicide attempts severe enough to require medical attention being almost five times higher than that of straight students, you can take part in improving the lives of 1.3 million high school students who report being LGB:

  • Connect youth to Trevor’s crisis services. We save young lives 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386. TrevorChat.org is available 3-9 pm Eastern Time and 12-6 pm Pacific Time daily, and youth can text “START” to 678678 Thurs-Friday 4-8 pm Eastern Time and 1-5 pm Pacific Time. Young people can also find friends on our online safe supportive community TrevorSpace.org as well as resources at our Support Center.
  • Create classrooms of peers who are better equipped to help through Lifeguard, Trevor’s free online suicide prevention and crisis intervention education program for middle and high school students.
  • Advocate for the adoption of comprehensive, inclusive suicide prevention policies in school districts around the country with our Model School Policy, which can help school districts draft suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention policies based on their specific needs.

You can learn more in Abbe Land’s op-ed in The Advocate.

To help continue our fight to make change across the nation, please visit our Advocacy page and become a part of taking action for LGBTQ youth on state and federal levels.


Trevor Board Updates

As the new fiscal year begins this August 2016, we welcome two new board members to The Trevor Project.

Based in San Francisco, Mike Dillon is a partner with the global professional services firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers, serving as their Chief Diversity and Inclusion officer.  Now sitting on the San Francisco AIDS Foundation Board, Mike will continue to work with the Audit Committee of The Trevor Project as a Board member.

Raised in rural Missouri, Thomas Sanchez is now based in Washington DC.  Thomas is the founder and CEO of Social Driver, which was recently awarded by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce for being the “supplier of the year,” helping businesses succeed using digital strategy, research & analytics, creative design, campaign execution, and technology. Thomas now serves on the Washington DC’s Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board, and is seen as a leader on national tech policy issues and trends.

Michael Norton and Stacy Smithers have been voted in as co-chairs and the other officers will continue their positions for another year.

Along with selecting new officers and board members, the Board also adopted the budget for Fiscal Year 2017, which includes increased resources for crisis services, the continuation of data collection for our research/evaluation project with USC, and additional funding dedicated to expanding the awareness of Trevor’s services.

We thank our Board members for their leadership in helping us develop our staff and programs so that we can continue our fight to save young lives.


Workplace Giving Spotlight: Kettle

Originally from France, Olivier Peyre always felt lucky to be a part of the LGBTQ community, but media in the country wasn’t as open about discussing LGBTQ issues. As the Co-Founder and Creative Director of American digital media agency Kettle, Olivier is passionate about bringing together people from very diverse backgrounds and creating an open, collaborative and supportive workplace that hires many minorities to fill top positions. Now, he is making a difference in the lives of LGBTQ youth in crisis by enrolling his Kettle teammates in a workplace giving program through Trevor. “Our team’s donations actually translate directly into saving lives,” he says.

Being involved with Trevor has directly enhanced employee engagement and has built rapport amongst Olivier’s team. “We use an app called Slack to communicate across teams and offices. When we shared our decision to partner with The Trevor Project and to match their donations, we were overwhelmed by the amount of positive feedback we received right away, and donations started coming minutes after the announcement. Even news about our summer outing, or holiday party announcement doesn’t get that much love. I believe this gave us a chance to discuss topics that we may not have opened up about before in our workplace,” Olivier says.

Workplace giving not only inspires the culture of companies like Kettle, but also has a direct impact on The Trevor Project and the young people we’re able to serve. If your company has a matching gifts program, it’s an easy way to double your donation and impact. This year, the matching gifts we’ve received have helped us raise almost $420,000. Our corporate partners have matched over 2,200 gifts this fiscal year alone.

Trevor’s goal is to raise $750,000 from workplace giving programs. If we meet our goal, we’ll be able to serve many more young people in our community who are thinking about suicide. Assess your eligibility and get detailed corporate giving information about your employer by talking to your Human Resources department. If your company may be interested in making your gift go even further, please contact [email protected]

 


Trevor Outreach Across The Nation

Lost-n-Found Youth executive director Rick Westbrook (l) and actor and activist Josh Hutcherson (r). (Photo by Patrick Saunders)

The Trevor Project has been connecting with champions of LGBTQ youth across the nation as we raise awareness about our suicide prevention and crisis intervention work. In July, through our PowerON initiative, we co-hosted an event with Lost-N-Found Youth, an organization that works to end homelessness for LGBTQ youth in Atlanta. With nearly 40 percent of homeless youth who identify as LGBTQ and an estimated 650,000 homeless LGBT youth nationally, it is crucial that we show we are there for them, especially when they may struggle getting connected to resources.

Trevor’s Youth Advisory Councilmember Tom Woermer, LGBT Tech, human IT, and Straight But Not Narrow came together to help raise $3,000 dollars for PowerON so that we could provide refurbished computers and cell phones to youth and connect them to Trevor’s lifesaving services. 10 laptops and 28 solar chargers were donated at our event, with Josh Hutcherson in attendance, along with 200 folks, including Rep. Park Cannon – 58th District GA, four Atlanta City Council Members, and two Atlanta City School Board Members. According to ThinkProgress.org, “Having a phone can be the difference between sleeping in a public space, risking physical harm, and calling a trusted friend, family member, or case worker who can give you a place to stay…and 62 percent of homeless youth own a cellphone but only 40 percent have a working phone..” Learn more about why being connected to tech is crucial for the mental health and well-being of homeless LGBTQ youth in the video below.

The Trevor Project has also been lucky to connect with Miss Missouri, Erin O’ Flaherty, the first openly gay Miss America contestant, as she raises awareness about our suicide prevention efforts among the LGBTQ community in the South and beyond. Miss Missouri marched with us and YouTube star Brendan Jordan for our San Diego Pride event. It was so meaningful to the LGBTQ community there, and we thank Trevor Ambassador Joshua Coyne for organizing such an empowering event. We look forward to working with them in the future. You can check out some of our Tweets here and our first Facebook LIVE video, which got over 10K views.

You can join our fight to save young lives at our upcoming events in Miami August 28, Chicago September 16, and San Diego September 24 with Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants. Thank you for being a warrior for LGBTQ youth. Showing them that they matter can help us save lives.


CDC’s 2015 YRBS Displays Significant Data on LGB Youth Suicide

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just released the results of the Youth Risk Behavior Study (YRBS) that measures results among lesbian, gay, and bisexual high school students. This survey measures a variety of risks ranging from substance use to seat belt utilization. Most importantly for The Trevor Project, the YRBS also identifies the prevalence of suicidal thoughts, plans, behaviors and attempts.

While the YRBS has previously taken some measurement of the risk behaviors of LGB youth in a few states and large cities, the 2015 data released today is unique because it is the first body of knowledge on this topic that depicts a nationally representative sample of LGB youth. Although it is progress that some sexualities have been included in this study, we recognize that the wide spectrum of sexualities and gender identities have yet to be studied. More data needs to be collected on transgender youth, as nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives, and one quarter report having made a suicide attempt.

It is devastating to note in CDC’s study that in the last year, 43% of LGB students in grades 9-12 seriously considered suicide, 38% made a suicide plan, and nearly 30% attempted suicide. The CDC has further identified that LGB students are more than four times more likely than their straight peers to have a suicide attempt severe enough to require medical attention. This 2015 study shows that lesbian, gay and bisexual students are as much as three times more likely to experience physical and sexual dating violence than their heterosexual peers. As the only national accredited suicide prevention and crisis intervention service for LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project knows that when combined with other risk factors and a lack of support, such violence can put young people at high risk for suicide. These rates are significantly higher than those of heterosexual students, demonstrating the increased attention that needs to focus on these vulnerable populations.

While incredibly informative about prevalence, the YRBS does not report on causes of these challenges. There are certainly many contributing factors to consider, but it is also very important to note what can be done to foster resilience and safety for LGB youth. Families, schools, and communities must come together to reduce the risk for LGBTQ youth suicide by creating safe environments, helping youth connect to family, peers, and other caring adults who can provide support and links to services.

You can take part in improving the lives of 1.3 million high school students who report being LGBTQ by showing them that you care about their mental health:

  • Connect youth to Trevor’s crisis services. We save young lives 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386. TrevorChat.org is available 3-9 pm Eastern Time and 12-6 pm Pacific Time daily, and youth can text “START” to 678678 Thurs-Friday 4-8 pm Eastern Time and 1-5 pm Pacific Time. Young people can also find friends on our online safe supportive community TrevorSpace.org as well as resources at our Support Center.
  • Create classrooms of peers who are better equipped to help through Lifeguard, Trevor’s free online suicide prevention and crisis intervention education program for middle and high school students.
  • Advocate for the adoption of comprehensive, inclusive suicide prevention policies in school districts around the country with our Model School Policy, which can help school districts draft suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention policies based on their specific needs.

Help create a brighter future for LGBTQ youth by showing them that despite discrimination, violence, and victimization, LGBTQ youth can thrive, they matter, and they deserve support. The Trevor Project is actively working with the Federal Government through our Government Affairs team to find ways to include the wide spectrum of sexualities and gender identities in future surveys. You can take action through our Advocacy Page and share our resources at thetrevorproject.org.

Abbe Land

Executive Director and CEO, The Trevor Project


Conversion Therapy Support Should Be Excluded From All Party Platforms

July 11, 2016, Washington, DC – “Conversion therapy” is a dangerous and discredited practice denounced by every major medical association in the United States and support for it must not be included in any major political party platform.  More commonly known as “pray away the gay,” this approach attempts to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity often through activities that equate to physical and psychological abuse and torture. Research has unequivocally shown that conversion therapy does not work and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has issued calls for its end.

“A preponderance of evidence shows that conversion therapy poses real health risks to LGBTQ youth including depression, shame, decreased self-esteem, social withdrawal, substance abuse, risky behavior, and suicidal ideation. We urge all participants involved in deciding party platforms to use science to drive decision-making.  And to ensure no platform policy is designed to hurt, discriminate, or take away basic liberties and freedoms for LGBT people,” says Abbe Land, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth in the United States between the ages of 13 to 24, and LGB youth are more four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. Families that reject their child’s sexual orientation or gender identity often send their child to undergo conversion therapy.  Research has shown that youth from highly rejecting families are more than eight times as likely to attempt suicide.  It is incumbent upon our nation’s leaders and political parties to adopt platforms that are rooted in scientific research and do not put more young lives at risk of suicide.

ABOUT THE TREVOR PROJECT:
The Trevor Project is the leading 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 lifeline, educational materials, online resources, and advocacy. For more information, visit www.TheTrevorProject.org.

 

(Image via forcechange.com)


Bill to Prevent LGBTQ Youth Suicide Advances in the United States Congress

July 7, 2016, Washington, DC – Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth in the United States between the ages of 13 to 24. Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers, and nearly half of all transgender individuals report attempting suicide at some point in their lives.

The United States House of Representatives voted today to pass a bill that includes measures to halt and reverse these shocking statistics. The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646), introduced and spearheaded by Representative Tim Murphy is a comprehensive mental health reform bill that among other things, reauthorizes many important and effective mental health programs, including the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act.

“The reauthorization of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act is one of Trevor’s key legislative priorities this year.  Every 95 minutes a young person takes their life by suicide.  We now urge the Senate to take this bill up so needed resources can continue to save young lives,” says Abbe Land, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project.

Initially created and named after former Senator Gordon Smith’s son, Garrett, who died by suicide in 2003, the program provides grants to states, tribes and tribal organizations, and colleges to prevent youth suicide, and also funds a national suicide prevention technical assistance center.  To date all 50 states, 48 tribes and over 175 colleges have received funds to prevent youth suicide, including many grantees that have chosen interventions to specifically address LGBTQ youth suicide.

The Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) program has strong bipartisan support and has been shown to be effective. A recent evaluation showed decreases in suicide rates for states that had GLS funds, yet when programs were ended, suicide rates increased. This points to the vital need to sustain resources to ensure our nation’s LGBTQ youth have help and hope available.

We applaud the House of Representatives for passing this important mental health bill.  We now immediately call for the Senate leadership to schedule a vote on the Mental Health Reform Act (S.2680), a similar bill that also includes a provision to reauthorize the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act. Both chambers of Congress must pass these measures to ensure an uninterrupted system of support for youth to prevent this major public health problem.

ABOUT THE TREVOR PROJECT:
The Trevor Project is the leading 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 lifeline, educational materials, online resources, and advocacy. For more information, visit www.TheTrevorProject.org.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Amy Loudermilk, Assoc. Director of Government Affairs
[email protected]
202-974-5952


Celebrating Pride 2016 with Trevor

Throughout the month of June, from Los Angeles to New York, Trevor celebrated Pride Month across the nation, showing LGBTQ youth that their futures deserved to be supported and validated. We are so grateful to Pride Community and Outreach volunteers who have showed up to our Pride events across the United States to show LGBTQ youth that they matter. A day after the heinous mass shooting that killed 49 LGBTQ folks in Orlando, our Los Angeles staff and volunteers still bravely marched in West Hollywood’s Pride, with The Thunderman’s actress and Kid’s Choice Award Winner Kira Kosarin leading the charge. In the weeks following Orlando, our amazing staff and volunteers were also there to respond to some of our highest volume of calls, chats, and texts this year.

Even in this day and age, we are fighting to celebrate our existence as a strong, resilient LGBTQ community. Yet, we keep pushing to hold safe spaces for our young people.

As we move into July, September, and October, Trevor will continue raising awareness through tabling and proudly marching at events across San Diego, Dallas, Memphis, Castro, Atlanta, and others, working with partners like AT&T, Revlon, Twitter, Johnson & Johnson, and Macy’s.

Twitter, our Trevor 20/20 Visionary Honoree at TrevorLIVE, helped us share support of the LGBTQ community online with their emoji #LoveisLove, then opened their headquarters to our San Francisco community for our #ThisisMe fundraising event. Thanks to sponsor Revlon’s Sinful Colors #PRIDE nailpolish line, Trevor was also able to offer LGBTQ youth a chance to show their pride by expressing themselves through their own self-care, style, and beauty. AT&T’s Live Proud Activation gave LGBTQ youth an opportunity to share their moments of acceptance with the help of Trevor supporter Lisa Vanderpump, as well as explore their Pride Personalities through a live #ATTLiveProud personality quiz across Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Petersberg, San Francisco, and on social media. With Johnson & Johnson, we supported their #LoveHasNoLabels campaign, focusing on educating folks about hidden biases against the LGBTQ community.

We want to thank supporter Tyler Oakley for donating a portion of proceeds to Trevor from his LGBTQ album Pride Jams, as well as LA Weekly for featuring us as one of the best organizations to volunteer with. Our supporters, volunteers, donors, and sponsors are all champions for young LGBTQ people’s brighter futures. We hope you join us at Pride celebrations across the nation to celebrate the beautiful diversity of our community.