Positive Policy Supports LGBTQ Youth

February is a month of love, and we at Trevor are emphasizing the positive, loving things we can do to help prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth. For young LGBTQ people in school, their environment can make them especially vulnerable. However, by creating safer spaces, promoting inclusive school policies, and building connections between youth and educators, we can help improve the lives of LGBTQ youth nationwide.

To do this, The Trevor Project is sharing a new Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention that focuses on preventing suicide through making positive changes. This comprehensive tool is based in the latest research, and offers accessible tools for improving existing suicide prevention policies and gives guidance to school districts that need help taking their first step.

Created in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the American School Counselor Association and the National Association of School Psychologists, this new resource plays an incredibly important role in supporting LGBTQ youth. We are also pleased to share that Trevor’s Government Affairs Director, Alison Gill, and The Trevor Project will be awarded the Allies for Action Partner Award from AFSP for our work in leading Model Policy’s creation. Congratulations to Alison for all her work on behalf of Trevor!

In addition to promoting this new Model Policy in your district, making schools safer for vulnerable youth is something that anyone can do. Whether it’s hosting a bake sale to fund a Gay-Straight Alliance or dedicating a concert to raising awareness, showing you care about the LGBTQ youth in your area is always a step in the right direction; positive changes like these can help improve a school’s climate, and ultimately, help save a life.

To show your love for the LGBTQ youth in your area and help bring the Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention to your community, visit: TheTrevorProject.org/pages/modelschoolpolicy.


Loving Our Volunteers

Trevor volunteer, Gena, at a NOH8 photo shoot.

This month we’re highlighting Gena, a multi-service volunteer who joined The Trevor Project’s administrative offices in West Hollywood this past October.  She quickly found a passion working with the Trevor team – and we quickly fell in love with her generous, eager, and kind personality.

“Gena brings a bright and positive energy to Trevor’s office, and always brings treats for the Trevor staff to show how much she appreciates our work,” said Brent Webster, Development Coordinator, who works closely with Gena. “She’s always looking for more ways to help and spread the word about Trevor.”

Gena, who is CEO of the company she co-founded in 2007, commented on her experience at Trevor, saying, “When I truly believe in something, the most loving thing I can do is to serve its cause. It has been a deeply rewarding experience working alongside Trevor’s passionate staff.  My favorite days of the week are the days I spend here!”

In December Gena also became a donor, purchasing a table at TrevorLIVE to introduce more of her friends to The Trevor Project’s mission. This year, we are also excited to welcome Gena into our training program for crisis services volunteers.

“I can relate in many ways to these troubled youth, having struggled myself as a questioning teen with feelings of loneliness, isolation, desperation, and suicide,” said Gena.  “Trevor would have made a difference in my life back then.  My hope is that I can make a difference in others’ lives, even simply by letting them know they are not alone.”

Interested in getting involved with The Trevor Project? Visit TheTrevorProject.org/section/get-involved.


Trevor Helps Create Change

Trevor Table

The Trevor Project is proud to have been invited to present at two premier conferences for the LGBTQ community – Creating Change (National Gay and Lesbian Task Force), and Time to Thrive (HRC). As the leading voice in suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project offers a unique perspective at these national gatherings.

On January 30th, members of Trevor’s staff flew to Houston, TX to participate in Creating Change, an annual conference of more than 4,000 LGBTQ activists and leaders from around the country. There, Trevor presented a day-long institute focused on organizing and problem-solving around LGBTQ youth mental health.

Create Change

Trevor staff also presented several workshops, with topics including support and empowerment for rural youth and encouraging inclusive LGBTQ advocacy. In addition, Trevor proudly sponsored the Youth Hospitality Suite, providing lunch, snacks, and a safe space for young conference attendees.

This weekend at Time to Thrive, a conference focused on promoting safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ youth, Executive Director and CEO, Abbe Land, will be a special guest speaker. The Trevor Project has also been invited to discuss how we can enhance resiliency among our young people.

At both conferences, we presented our Trevor CARE Training and Lifeguard Workshop, and our team continued to lead the charge on the mission to end conversion therapy through legislative action. We are grateful for the opportunity to share Trevor’s unique perspective about LGBTQ youth at each of these conferences.


Trevor Supporters Share Grammy Award Love Story

On January 26th, longtime supporters and Friends of Trevor, Yawar Charlie and Jason Miller made history as one of the 33 couples to wed at the Grammy Awards!

Yawar told us about the unexpected Grammy opportunity, “At first, we weren’t allowed to tell anyone anything – including friends and families! The week before the event, we could finally tell everybody. We’re so blessed and honored to have been involved.”

The couple was ecstatic to be part of Macklemore’s iconic song, but the excitement really didn’t sink in until they realized that Madonna sang at their wedding.

“It felt like every single person was there to support us. They didn’t care what gender our partners were. They embraced us, and celebrated the love we all had found. Queen Latifah even signed our wedding licenses!”

Jason, from rural Pennsylvania, wore a tuxedo, and Yawar, from a strict Muslim family in the Middle East, wore a traditional Pakistani outfit. The couple soon began receiving congratulatory emails, tweets, and messages from people around the world who were touched by their cross-cultural wedding.

“I think Jason and I both feel that what our public wedding showed was, there is hope,” shared Yawar. The newlyweds continued with a message for Trevor’s youth, “No matter who you are, no matter what background you come from, no matter what your culture is – you deserve love. It can happen to you.”

The couple will celebrate their marriage with their family and friends, later this summer.

Are you having a wedding or celebration? Consider asking your guests to give to a cause that’s close to your heart. You can show your support for LGBTQ youth and Celebrate Trevor by visiting TheTrevorProject.org/pages/fundraise/.


New Evidence-Based Tools to Create Safe Schools and Prevent Suicide

“Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention” released by The Trevor Project, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American School Counselor Association and National Association of School Psychologists

(Februay 5, 2014, Los Angeles, CA) – In time for National School Counseling Week, four leading organizations supporting the mental health of youth are releasing a “Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention.” This modular, adaptable document will help educators and school administrators implement comprehensive suicide prevention policies in communities nationwide. When suicide is the third leading cause of death among youth as young as 10 through age-19, it is crucial that our school districts have proactive suicide prevention policies in place.

“It’s hard to talk about suicide, but we know that a young person’s environment plays an incredibly important role in preventing it – especially for students who are most vulnerable to attempting suicide, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender students,” said Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of the Trevor Project. “Improving a school’s environment is something that school leaders can control, and this ‘Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention’ provides accessible steps to making life-saving changes for youth in crisis.”

The model policy, a collaboration created by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and The Trevor Project, is research-based, comprehensive and easily adaptable for middle and high schools without policies or those that need help amending existing policies. Inside, readers will find specific, actionable steps to support school personnel; sample language for student handbooks; suggestions for involving parents and guardians in suicide prevention; and guidance for addressing in-school suicide attempts.

“Our organizations came together to provide different perspectives on crisis intervention, youth mental health and suicide prevention. We were able to define the best practices that create a strong, positive school environment,” said Robert Gebbia, Chief Executive Officer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

In addition to educators and school leaders, school-based mental health professionals such as counselors and psychologists are essential in putting a policy into practice to enhance the whole school environment. “School counselors are often the first to identify a student who may be at risk,” said Dr. Richard Wong, Executive Director, American School Counselor Association. “With protocols in place we can help that individual student as well as support school personnel in creating safe schools.”

School psychologists can further provide, “insights into family systems and mental health issues to help ensure that our learning environments are respectful of all students,” said Susan Gorin, Executive Director, National Association of School Psychologists.

Only four states in the U.S. currently require that educators receive annual training to prevent suicide, (Alaska, Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee). To reduce the prevalence of suicide attempts among youth throughout the nation, the movement for mandated suicide prevention training must grow, and school districts everywhere must take steps to have strong prevention policies in place. With recommendations rooted in best practices, the “Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention” can complement state law requirements and help schools achieve an inclusive, comprehensive suicide prevention plan. To access this resource, visit TheTrevorProject.org/pages/modelschoolpolicy.

###

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide. To fully achieve its mission, AFSP engages in the following Five Core Strategies: 1) fund scientific research, 2) offer educational programs for professionals, 3) educate the public about mood disorders and suicide prevention, 4) promote policies and legislation that impact suicide and prevention, and 5) provide programs and resources for survivors of suicide loss and people at risk, and involve them in the work of the Foundation. Learn more at www.afsp.org.

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) promotes student success by expanding the image and influence of professional school counseling through leadership, advocacy, collaboration and systemic change. ASCA helps school counselors guide their students toward academic achievement, personal and social development, and career planning to help today’s students become tomorrow’s productive, contributing members of society. Founded in 1952, ASCA currently has a network of 50 state associations and a membership of more than 33,000 school counseling professionals. Learn more at www.schoolcounselor.org.

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) represents more than 25,000 school psychologists who work with students, educators, and families to support the academic achievement, positive behavior, and mental wellness of all students. NASP promotes best practices and policies that allow school psychologists to work with parents and educators to help shape individual and system wide supports that provide the necessary prevention and intervention services to ensure that students have access to the mental health, social-emotional, behavioral, and academic supports they need to be successful at home, at school, and throughout life. Learn more at www.nasponline.org.

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) young people ages 13-24. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential phone, instant message and text messaging crisis intervention services. A leader and innovator in suicide prevention, The Trevor Project offers the largest safe social networking community for LGBTQ youth, best practice suicide prevention trainings and resources for youth and adults, and advocacy initiatives. Learn more at TheTrevorProject.org.

CONTACTS:
Laura McGinnis ([email protected]; 323-423-7405); Susan Denelsbeck ([email protected]; 212-363-3500 * 2025); Kathleen Rakestraw ([email protected]; 703-864-8734); Kathy Cowan ([email protected]; 301-657-0270 *226)


Appreciating Our Volunteers

In December, The Trevor Project hosted two volunteer appreciation holiday parties for our incredible, irreplaceable volunteers. Often behind–the-scenes, these people are the backbone of our organization, and support over 100,000 LGBTQ young people every year.

Los Angeles volunteers and their welcomed guests came together at The Surly Goat to enjoy drinks and refreshments, and spent time taking spontaneous pictures in our photo booth.

“I had a ton of fun, as did so many of my co-volunteers and friends. It was really fantastic to have some bonding moments outside of the crisis centers, meet new faces, mingle with staff, and feel supported and appreciated by the organization we all care so much about,” said volunteer John Palmer.

The New York volunteers and their loved ones celebrated at Trevor’s headquarters, where attendees couldn’t help but stay past the party’s official end time. Prizes were also raffled off, including a frozen yogurt maker and self-care package from Bath and Body Works.

“We don’t get enough opportunities to shower our volunteers with love and appreciation, so the staff loves being able to show our gratitude at these parties,” said Wes Nemenz, Trevor’s Education Manager for the east coast. “As a staff member, it’s always a treat for us to have all our volunteers from different programs in the same room feeling like one big, silly family.”


TrevorLIVE Success!

This December 8th, TrevorLIVE Los Angeles captivated more than 1,200 Trevor supporters at the Hollywood Palladium. We are thrilled to announce that this night of awareness raised over one million dollars for our life-saving mission, thanks to the generosity of our guests.

Special Guest Director Adam Shankman created a magical evening with amazing performers who shared their talent to support The Trevor Project, hosted by long-time Trevor supporter and award-winning comedian Kathy Griffin. The event proudly honored Golden Globe® Award and Emmy Award-winning actress Jane Lynch (Trevor Hero), Toyota (Trevor 20/20 Visionary Award), and young Mormon LGBTQ advocate, Adam White (Trevor Youth Innovator).

During the official TrevorLIVE red carpet pre-show, presented by Toyota Financial Services, Shira Lazar of WhatsTrending.com and Tyler Oakley interviewed celebrity guests and performers for their second consecutive year. You can watch clips online of Jane Lynch, Kathy Griffin, Darren CrissSarah Michelle Gellar, and Chris Colfer talking about how special The Trevor Project is to them. The impact of this evening was clear – because of how important Trevor is to you and our celebrity supporters, #TrevorLIVE became a trending topic on Twitter.

Special thanks to our presenting sponsors, Audi of America and Wells Fargo, and our invaluable event sponsors for supporting this powerful evening of awareness. We can hardly wait to bring the excitement of TrevorLIVE to New York on June 16th!


Trevor on the Road

By: Abbe Land, Executive Director & CEO

As we move into the first few months of 2014, Trevor is already traveling the states to speak at pivotal LGBTQ conferences around the country. Now, more than ever, it is time to make sure that every LGBTQ young person knows about The Trevor Project.

In January, Trevor was at the Gay Christian Network’s conference in Chicago where we presented Trevor CARE and shared our resources with over 700 LGBTQ Christians, allies, and parents of LGBTQ youth. Next, Trevor is on its way to Texas, where we’ll be at Creating Change – one of the largest LGBTQ conferences in the country – to host the Youth Hospitality Suite, lead our first ever pre-conference session, and participate in seven workshops.

On February 14, The Trevor Project will be attending HRC’s Time to Thrive conference, of which we are a sponsor. I am excited to speak during the conference about Trevor and the life-saving work we do for LGBTQ youth, and our Education Team is also conducting three workshops – two for adults, and one for youth.

Both on and off the road, Trevor is dedicated to furthering our efforts to prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth. Through attending conferences, connecting with new groups of youth and advocates, expanding our ever-growing programs, and gaining momentum on our advocacy initiatives, we know that 2014 will be full of life-changing opportunities. To learn more about the goals we accomplished last year, please stay tuned for our new fully digital annual report, which will be going live later this month.

Airplane photo by: Vox Efx


A Life Saving Gift

September 24, 2013

Every so often, The Trevor Project receives donations from supporters who have a story to tell. This past August, one letter stood out among the generous notes we received. It began with a fifteen-year-old’s birthday celebration; but the wish list of this young girl didn’t include new gadgets, clothes or toys – in lieu of gifts, Nicole asked her guests to donate money to The Trevor Project.

Nicole chose to give to The Trevor Project after a local gay teenager tragically died by suicide. She was deeply affected. “My daughter did not know [him] well,” Alison’s mother wrote to us. “She mainly knew him as the best friend of one of her friends. However, she wanted to donate this money in the hopes that maybe by doing this, she could make a difference in saving someone else’s life.”

Thank you for your generous birthday donation Nicole! All of us at The Trevor Project are grateful for your dedication to helping your friends and peers stay safe, and for helping to prevent suicide. You have truly made a difference.

If you or someone you know needs someone to talk to, call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386. We’re here for you 24/7.


Thank You AT&T

August 22, 2013

In celebration of Pride season, AT&T created the “Live Proud” campaign and invited the LGBTQ community to spread awareness, empowerment and most importantly, pride. In return, AT&T agreed to contribute up to $50,000 to The Trevor Project, based on reaching key social media benchmarks – and with our supporters’ help, we did.

From April 1 through June 30, $1 would be donated each time a supporter “liked” the campaign Facebook page and $0.50 would be added for each retweet on Twitter. By the campaign’s close, a total of 68,087 Facebook “likes” and 26,228 retweets were counted. Of those who submitted their own proud moments online, ten people and their guests also won an AT&T Live Proud VIP experience with Adam Lambert in Los Angeles.

The Trevor Project thanks AT&T for donating $50,000 while spreading a message of encouragement through their life-affirming campaign and looks forward to partnering with them in the future. We also thank the thousands of supporters on social media who helped make this donation a reality.

If you are interested in corporate partnership opportunities with The Trevor Project.