National Suicide Prevention Month


The Trevor Project’s electronic billboard on 43rd Street and Broadway in the heart of Times Square

You too can save young lives, which is the message of The Trevor Project’s Suicide Prevention Month campaign this September. Using various forms of digital media throughout the campaign, we launched a billboard in Times Square as well as a Public Service Ad campaign featuring actor Kira Kosarin, daughter of Trevor volunteer Lauren Kosarin, directed by Danny Kosarin (Kira’s father).

Sharing her family’s story in The Advocate, Lauren Kosarin explained the importance of this campaign: “We are still living during a time when many LGBTQ people cannot always live their authentic lives safely. LGBTQ youth know this, which can lead to devastating consequences. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 24. The rate of suicide attempts is four times greater for LGB youth and two times greater for that of questioning youth than that of straight youth. Nearly half of transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives and one quarter have reported making a suicide attempt…We all play a part in the fight to save young lives. You too can save a life, no matter how involved you get with The Trevor Project.”

To inspire people to connect, communicate, and care about suicide prevention, we joined the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Take 5 to Save Lives, and SAMHSA for their #BeThe1To campaign and worked with transgender rapper Kaycee Ortiz of Futurehood to reach out to LGBTQ people of color. To engage people on social media, Trevor created guides on how to practice self-care, talk about suicide prevention, and educate schools about our suicide prevention training program, Lifeguard.

Trevor’s Executive Director & CEO, Abbe Land shared how to take action in Gay Star News: “Many times, people who are feeling suicidal feel powerless. They may want to reach out for help, but shame may prevent them from doing so. Sometimes, the ones they love may not know how to offer help. Trevor’s campaign empowers both those in crisis and those wanting to help to start connecting and forming more supportive environments for all.”

Trevor’s shareable guides and posters will allow everyone to take part in raising awareness about suicide prevention, either digitally or in the classroom. With Trevor’s Self-Care Guide, people in crisis can see how to take care of themselves at home, school, or in public. With Trevor’s Suicide Prevention Guide, people who are unsure about how to offer help or people who don’t know how to ask for help can find ways to connect, communicate, and get care. And, with Trevor’s Back to School Guide, Trevor offers ways for schools, classmates, teachers, and youth-serving professionals to offer support and a more welcoming environment to LGBTQ youth in crisis.

To show LGBTQ youth that their lives matter, share Trevor’s PSA or any of their suicide prevention guides at: thetrevorproject.org/SaveLGBTQLives. Communicating and connecting about suicide can be the first step towards empowering LGBTQ youth to get the care they need.

 


AB 2246 Passes: CA Becomes First State in The Nation With Suicide Prevention Education

Governor Jerry Brown has established a national precedent by signing AB 2246, a bill that requires the adoption of suicide prevention, intervention, and follow-up plans by local California school districts with students in grades 7-12. Co-authored with The Trevor Project, Equality California, and Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, AB 2246 is the first state bill of its kind in the nation, as it mandates that all schools in California implement suicide prevention policies that specifically address the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.  The bill requires local education agencies to develop  their policies in conjunction with suicide prevention experts, school and community stakeholders, and school mental health professionals.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second-leading cause of death among young people ages 10-24. Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, and nearly half of transgender people have thought about suicide.

Assemblymember O’Donnell believes that suicide prevention training for teachers and schools is crucial for saving young lives. “As classroom teacher, I know from experience that educators often serve as the first line of defense when a student is suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts,” said Assemblymember O’Donnell, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee. “AB 2246 will provide parents, teachers and schools with the tools they need to help save the lives of at-risk youth.”

“Nearly 20 percent of young people who reach out to The Trevor Project’s suicide prevention programs are from California. AB 2246 will provide parents, teachers and schools the tools they need to recognize students at risk for suicide and understand how to help, which will surely decrease the risk among youth in the state” says Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project.

“Aside from students’ own families, teachers often spend more time with at-risk kids than anyone else,” said Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California. “But it is difficult help if they don’t recognize the warning signs or have access to resources at their schools. With the first state law in the nation to require middle and high school suicide prevention education that specifically requires attention to the needs of LGBTQ youth, California can now serve as a model for schools nationally.”

The Trevor Project is proud to have participated in the hearings that took place in Sacramento and thanks Boardmember Lindsay Chambers for testifying along with Trevor’s ED and CEO, Abbe Land.  We also thank Governor Jerry Brown for this groundbreaking step in LGBTQ advocacy and education efforts.


Young People Find Community on a Fundraising Page for Trevor

A few months ago, The Trevor Project learned that many viewers of the CW’s TV show “The 100” were upset about a storyline that presented a lesbian character in an unfavorable way.  After two seasons of a storyline that built up to a possible relationship with bisexual character Clarke, the lesbian character Lexa was killed, as part of the plotline, which left several viewers with feelings of loss and disappointment.

One person, Gina Tass, a behavioral therapist, saw that these young people needed a place to process their feelings in a healthy way, so she created the Leskru fundraising page for The Trevor Project that could serve as a safe space where they could voice their opinions, make an impact together, and not feel alone. On March 6, 2016, The Trevor Project was pleasantly surprised to see donations flood in in an effort to turn this negative television moment into something truly positive.

With over 4100 donations, ranging from one dollar to several thousand, including a matched contribution from Zimbio, the LGBT Fans Deserve Better™ movement has raised over $155,000, showing that there is power in bringing our collective voices together. Actress Alycia Debnam-Carey (Lexa) reported to the Daily Beast that she is proud her character’s storyline has inspired activism: “Just to think that it had such an impact on people…It’s kind of an honor…It became a positive thing, which is really the most important thing about it all.”

The Trevor Project is here 24/7 for all youth who are hurting at 1-866-488-7386 and thetrevorproject.org. The safe supportive online community TrevorSpace.org has over 140,000 members who are looking for connection—connection similar to the type that the Leskru donors have found on just one fundraising page for Trevor. “We thank all Leskru donors who have given a voice to not only the lifesaving work of The Trevor Project, but also the LGBTQIA community as a whole,” says Abbe Land, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project.

For Suicide Prevention Month, consider joining the Leskru community at https://give.thetrevorproject.org/fundraise?fcid=625415.

[LGBT Fans statement] We want to thank all of the amazing individuals who have responded to the LGBT Fans initiatives. With our latest project, we’ve managed to promote the Pledge for better representation on television, as well as push our total amassed funds for Trevor, past the $155,000 mark. We feel that the Trevor Project is in a unique position to understand the impact of how LGBTQ people are represented in the media, due to their daily interaction with LGBTQ youth, many of whom are struggling with loss and who are looking for connections and role models, and as such believe that this is a good match. We hope new and old supporters alike will continue to join us in the fight for better LGBTQIA characters and storylines in the media, as well as our projects to raise funds for Trevor and suicide prevention.

To learn more about LGBT Fans Deserve Better™ and our initiatives please visit:
http://lgbtfansdeservebetter.com
and
http://wedeservedbetter.com/


Sponsor Spotlight: Johnson and Johnson

As we raise awareness about the importance of self-care during National Suicide Prevention Month this September, The Trevor Project would like to extend our gratitude to Johnson & Johnson! As a proud supporter of Trevor for several years during Pride season and throughout the year, Johnson & Johnson knows the significance of self-care and is donating to help us continue our lifesaving work.

Created by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, the Care With Pride™ campaign connects The Trevor Project, PFLAG, and the Family Equality Council in a unique partnership that focuses on raising awareness about the health and wellbeing of all youth, and inspires people to “pay it forward” by donating to make a difference.

All through October and for the rest of this year, you can be a part of this campaign by downloading Donate a Photo, a free app (available in Google Play for Android and in the App Store for iOS devices) from Johnson & Johnson that takes your photos and turns them into a way to do good!  For every photo uploaded through Donate a Photo, Johnson & Johnson donates $1 to a non-profit partner of the supporter’s choosing.*

You can help make a difference every day through Donate a Photo in 3 simple steps:

  • Choose Trevor as an organization to support
  • Upload a picture (either from your camera roll or take one on the spot).
  • Share your photo on the Donate a Photo gallery.

You can also share to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help spread the word and get your friends and family to donate as well!

In just a few minutes, you can download the app and get started. You can upload one photo a day, every day! The app also lets you see and share the impact of your actions.

We are so proud to be a part of this national partnership, alongside two LGBTQ nonprofit leaders. Visit healthyessentials.com to learn more about Care with Pride™, redeem coupons that offer $55 in savings, and give your support!

*Johnson & Johnson has curated a list of trusted causes, and you can donate a photo to one cause, once a day. Each cause will appear in the app until it reaches its goal, or the donation period ends. If the goal isn’t reached, the cause will still get a minimum donation.


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 678-678 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 678-678 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.