Victory! “Bathroom bills” threatening trans youth defeated in Texas

A message from Amit Paley, Trevor Project CEO and Executive Director:

Friends,

Tonight we got some good news from Texas.

The state legislature for the past few weeks has been debating so-called “bathroom bills” that would prevent trans students and adults from using bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. This evening the legislature adjourned its special session without passing these dangerous and discriminatory laws.

All of us at The Trevor Project know how dangerous these bills are because we heard it directly from trans youth in Texas. After the introduction of this disgraceful legislation, our counselors saw a huge spike in contacts from LGBTQ youth to our crisis services. The number of transgender youth reaching out to us actually doubled. The stories we heard were heart-breaking.

So we joined with our partners in Texas and across the country to stand up for trans youth in Texas. We released the devastating statistics to our allies in Texas and across the country—which were cited by legislators, parents of trans kids and in national outlets like Rolling Stone as well as local media across the state. Our Trevor Advocacy Network generated calls and letters of opposition to elected officials in Texas.

Most importantly, we sent a clear message to trans youth in Texas: That they are beautiful. That they are worthy of respect. That they are never alone. And that The Trevor Project is always here to support them, 24/7.

Will you join us in standing up for trans youth in Texas and across the country? Your gift of $1 helps provide an additional minute of support for LGBTQ youth in crisis.

This fight is far from over. Anti-trans legislators may try again to hurt LGBTQ youth. But no matter what politicians in DC or Austin do, Trevor will always be here to provide support for LGBTQ young people.

Amit Paley
CEO & Executive Director
The Trevor Project


Trevor Responds To Trump Banning Trans Service Members

The Trevor Project, the nation’s largest and only accredited suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, responds to President Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military. The following statement is from Trevor Project CEO and Executive Director Amit Paley.

“President Trump’s actions to ban transgender people from serving in the military is wrong and unpatriotic. Transgender people, including many trans youth, are already heroically serving their country in our military with bravery and distinction. Policies that deny individuals basic equality, dignity, and the right to earn a living in their chosen career have no place in this country. This action harms the mental health of an entire community that is already disproportionately a target of discrimination and hate and at elevated risk of suicidal ideation. The Trevor Project stands proudly with our heroic transgender service members and urges the Trump Administration to ensure that all Americans—regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation—can serve their country openly and free of discrimination.

“The Trevor Project is here 24/7/365 for transgender service members, and anyone else in the community who needs someone to talk to. Call our 24/7 lifeline at 1-866-488-7386. Text and chat counseling is available from 3-10pm EST every day at www.thetrevorproject.org/help.”

The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25.  The Trevor Project offers a suite of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as a peer-to-peer social network support for LGBTQ young people under the age of 25, TrevorSpace. Trevor also offers an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, a legislative advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and conducts research to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our Trevor Lifeline crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 866.488.7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org


Trevor Opposes ACL’s Efforts to Remove Transgender Older Adults from the National Survey

RE: Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Revision of a Currently Approved Collection (ICR Rev); National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP)

Attn: OMB Desk Officer for ACL

The Trevor Project is writing to oppose the Administration for Community Living’s (ACL) continued efforts to remove transgender older adults from the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP). In the wake of overwhelming public opposition to ACL’s March 13, 2017 proposal to entirely erase lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults from the NSOAAP, we commend ACL on its decision to keep the sexual orientation question on the survey. With no rationale or justification, however, ACL continues to propose eliminating the question on gender identity from the survey. The needs and experiences of all transgender individuals, from young people to our elders must be counted. We write to strongly advocate for ACL to add back in the question on gender identity to this survey.

The more we know, the more we can do to make sure that transgender older adults receive the services they deserve. The NSOAAP survey provides critical data on whether federally funded aging programs like meals on wheels, family caregiver support, adult daycare, and senior centers reach all older adults, including transgender older adults. While ACL’s notice in the Federal Register provides no articulation of, information about, or explanation of ACL’s effort to erase transgender older adults from the NSOAAP, what we do know is that ACL will no longer have data on how the aging network is meeting the needs of this population.

The Trevor Project is the leading national nonprofit organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning/queer (LGBTQ) people. We work to save LGBTQ lives through our accredited free and confidential lifeline; our secure instant messaging services which provide live help and intervention; our social networking community for LGBTQ youth; and our in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources, and advocacy. A San Francisco study has shown that 15% of the LGBTQ elders surveyed had seriously considered suicide within the last year. The study also found that LGBTQ elders had poor physical and mental health.[1] Including gender identity would provide pivotal data that would help guide policies to best serve LGBTQ mental health. The Trevor Project is committed to providing the best crisis intervention services to all LGBTQ people who call us and to meet that goal data collection on the transgender population in federal surveys must continue.

Data, research, and the experience of our colleague organization SAGE (Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders), its affiliates, and its partners across the country confirm that transgender older adults face a number of barriers to successful aging. While data on transgender older adults is limited, which further makes the case for ACL to continue collecting this information, the data that does exist shows that transgender older adults face higher rates of social isolation and have thinner support networks than their non-transgender peers. The existing research also shows that transgender elders age without a network of welcoming or culturally competent aging, health, and social service providers.

According to Understanding Issues Facing LGBT Older Adults, 25% of transgender older adults report having faced discrimination based on their gender identity, transgender older adults face much higher rates of psychological distress than their non-transgender peers, and nearly 50% live at 200% of the federal poverty line or lower.[2] These challenges are compounded by concerns related to caregiving and by limited access to healthcare. Almost one third of transgender people don’t know who will care for them and approximately two thirds fear their access to healthcare will be limited as they get older.[3] As a result, more than half fear they might be denied medical care as they age.[4] Many transgender elders fear health professionals discovering their transgender status—particularly those whose presentation does not conform with their anatomy.[5] These concerns are often reflected in long-term care settings. In a survey on LGBT older adults living in long-term care facilities, more than 10% of respondents said that they, a client, or loved-one had witnessed staff refusing to call transgender residents by their preferred name or pronoun.[6]

A 2001 U.S. Administration on Aging study found that LGBT older adults are 20% less likely than other older adults to have access to government services such as housing assistance, meal programs, food stamps, and senior centers.[7] In other words, despite their greater need for service providers due to their truncated support networks, transgender older adults lack access to culturally competent care and services. Nonetheless, most State Units on Aging are making no systematic efforts to assess and address the needs of this population.[8] The very age of the 16 year-old ACL study we cite further demonstrates the necessity for ACL to collect updated data on whether the aging network is meeting the needs of this population.

Rather than abandoning the efforts that have been made during the last three years, ACL can increase the quality and utility of the data it collects about transgender older adults by learning from the experience of other federal and state agencies that have successfully implemented procedures to collect gender identity information. To that end, we believe the 2014-2016 NSOAAP’s gender identity question (found under DE1a1. “What do you mean by something else?”) can and should be made significantly shorter and, at the same time, more effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (“BRFSS”), which is the largest ongoing health survey system in the world, and its state partners, provide a number of examples of how ACL can successfully identify transgender individuals.[9] The Gender Identity in U.S. Surveillance (GenIUSS) Group provides another, particularly effective, and well-vetted two-step approach to collecting information about gender identity.[10] In short, we encourage ACL to update its approach, rather than abandoning this question, and adopt one of these more effective and efficient means of counting transgender elders.

ACL must continue collecting data on whether the aging network is reaching transgender older adults in order to ensure maximum inclusion of transgender older adults in programs funded under the Older Americans Act (OAA). From State Units on Aging to Area Agencies on Aging, the aging network has asked ACL for more and better data on transgender older adults in the communities it serves.[11] We need more of this data on the experiences and needs of transgender elders in our country—not less of it.

We therefore urge ACL to retain both sexual orientation and gender identity questions in the NSOAAP. Asking a demographic question about gender identity will increase the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected. We further believe that by continuing to collect this data, and learning more about this population, ACL and the aging network will help more members of our older transgender community to live independently, minimize the burden on the aging network, and ultimately save taxpayer resources by reaching those who are most vulnerable.

Sincerely,

Amit Paley

CEO & Executive Director


[1] Adelman, M., Alcedo, M et al. (2014).LGBT Aging at the Golden Gate: San Francisco Policy Issues & Recommendations(pp. 42-43) (United States, City and County of San Francisco, Human Rights Commission). San Francisco, CA: City and County of San Francisco.

[2] Understanding Issues Facing LGBT Older Adults. 2017. The Movement Advancement Project and SAGE. http://www.lgbtmap.org/file/understanding-issues-facing-lgbt-older-adults.pdf

[3] Understanding Issues Facing LGBT Older Adults. 2017. The Movement Advancement Project and SAGE. http://www.lgbtmap.org/file/understanding-issues-facing-lgbt-older-adults.pdf

[4] Understanding Issues Facing LGBT Older Adults. 2017. The Movement Advancement Project and SAGE. http://www.lgbtmap.org/file/understanding-issues-facing-lgbt-older-adults.pdf

[5] Improving the Lives of Transgender Older Adults, Recommendations for Policy and Practice. 2012. SAGE and NCTE. http://www.sageusa.org/resources/publications.cfm?ID=13

[6] Improving the Lives of Transgender Older Adults, Recommendations for Policy and Practice. 2012. SAGE and NCTE. Available at http://www.sageusa.org/resources/publications.cfm?ID=13

[7] Improving the Lives of LGBT Older Adults. 2010. LGBT Movement Advancement Project & Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders (MAP & SAGE). Available at http://www.lgbtmap.org/file/improving-the-lives-of-lgbt-older-adults.pdf

[8] A SAGE report found that: State Plans filed by 29 States make no reference whatsoever to LGBT older adults; an additional 12 State Plans have isolated references to LGBT older adults, but do not address specific actions being taken to reach and target this population; and only nine States, and the District of Columbia, specifically address efforts to reach out and target LGBT older adults.

[9] The 2013 Massachusetts SOGI module for the BRFSS includes the following question: Some people describe themselves as transgender when they experience a different gender identity from their sex at birth. For example, a person born into a male body, but who feels female or lives as a woman. Do you consider yourself to be transgender? Yes, transgender, male to female; Yes, transgender, female to male; Yes, transgender, gender non-conforming; or No. See Williams Inst., Best Practices for Asking Questions to Identify Transgender and Other Gender Minorities on Population-based Surveys. Available at http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/geniuss-report-sep-2014.pdf

[10] Survey administrators ask people their sex assigned at birth followed by their current gender identity. See Williams Inst., Best Practices for Asking Questions to Identify Transgender and Other Gender Minorities on Population-based Surveys. Available at http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/geniuss-report-sep-2014.pdf

[11] Choi SK, Meyer IH: LGBT Aging: A Review of Research Findings, Needs, and Policy Implications. 2016. Los Angeles, CA: The Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law. Available at http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/LGBT-Aging-A-Review.pdf


Trevor Submits Testimony Against SB91 in Texas

The Honorable Chairwoman Joan Huffman
Senate Committee on State Affairs
1200 Congress Ave.
SHB 380
Austin, TX 78701

 

Dear Chairwoman Huffman:

The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth (LGBTQ) writes to strongly urge you to vote against SB91. Many organizations are weighing in on the civil rights implications of this bill, but it is also critically important that you consider the devastating public health impact this bill will have on the transgender youth of Texas, who are your constituents.

The Trevor Project (Trevor) serves youth under 25 and works to save young lives through our accredited free and confidential lifeline; our secure instant messaging services which provide live help and intervention; our social networking community for LGBTQ youth; and our in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources, and advocacy. Unfortunately, there is a great need for an organization such as Trevor.  Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are almost four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers.[i]While this alone is shocking, it pales in comparison to the statistics regarding transgender youth. In a recent national survey, 40% of transgender adults reported having made a suicide attempt. 92% of these individuals reported having attempted suicide before the age of 25.[ii]

There are many factors that contribute to the high suicide rate for transgender youth: lack of understanding and awareness from others, the rejection of family and friends, bullying, mental health challenges, and discrimination and stigmatization on the individual and societal levels. If SB91 becomes law, this ostracizing policy will become one more brick on the backs of transgender youth who are already on the verge of collapsing from too much weight. The message this bill sends to transgender youth is simple yet cruel: they do not deserve basic human dignity and respect.

Not being allowed to use the restroom or locker room consistent with one’s gender identity can cause significant psychological and social distress. Research has shown a high correlation between denying transgender young people the right to use the appropriate bathroom and suicidality.[iii] When youth are forced to use the incorrect restroom, they place themselves in danger of harassment from peers. Youth may take steps such as attempting to refrain from using the bathroom all day, leaving school to use an appropriate restroom, or skipping school entirely to avoid these harmful encounters, severely impacting their education and health.

In addition, requesting a so-called “reasonable” accommodation, such as using a single stall teacher’s restroom, requires youth to disclose their identity to administrators and their peers, putting them at further risk of bullying and violence, including homicide. Every year in the United States, transgender individuals are killed simply because of who they are. This year alone, fifteen transgender individuals have been murdered in the United States simply for being transgender.[iv]

Many cities and states have laws explicitly allowing transgender individuals to use the restroom consistent with their gender identity.[v]  Since the passage of those laws there hasn’t been a single case of a person posing as a transgender individual to gain access to a restroom for the purpose of carrying out a sexual assault.[vi] Therefore, the premise that this bill will “protect” children and an individual’s right to privacy is completely false, and in fact may increase the risk of violence for transgender youth. Research has found that transgender individuals are significantly more likely to be victims of verbal and physical assault in public gender-segregated settings, including restrooms, than their cisgender peers.[vii]

 

Furthermore, this legislation would inflict significant suffering on transgender youth in Texas by subjecting them to these anxieties and threats of violence. In 2017, Trevor has had over 2,000 calls, chats and texts from youth in Texas, including many transgender youth in mental health crises or youth who were struggling with suicidal ideation. In June alone we received 380 contacts, a significant increase in the contact volume, possibly as a result of the increased discussion of this so-called “bathroom bill” legislation in the state. Generally, we see a positive correlation between media coverage of bills that stigmatize or shame LGBT youth and an uptick in crisis contacts at Trevor. It would be shameful to add to the existing systems of oppression and institutional transphobia by passing a public policy that actively discriminates and ostracizes transgender individuals.

In order to ameliorate this public health issue, we strongly urge you to vote against SB91. Should you have any questions or comments please contact Amy Loudermilk, Associate Director of Government Affairs at [email protected] or 202-391-0834.

 

Sincerely,

Amit Paley
CEO & Executive Director

Media Contact: Sheri Lunn, Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Engagement


[i] Kann, L., O’Malley Olsen, E., McManus, T., Kinchecn, S., Chyen, D., Harris, W. A., Wechsler, H. (2011).  Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contracts, and Health-Risk Behaviors Among Students Grades 9-12 – Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Selected Sites, United States, 2001-2009, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 60(SS07), 1-133.

[ii] James, S. E., Herman, J. L., Rankin, S., Keisling, M., Mottet, L., & Anafi, M. (2016). The Report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. Washington, DC: National Center for Transgender Equality

[iii] Seelman, Kristie L. (2016). Transgender Adults’ Access to College Bathrooms and Housing and Relationship to Suicidality. Journal of Homosexuality. 63(10), pp. 1378-1399. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/citedby/10.1080/00918369.2016.1157998?scroll=top&needAccess=true

[iv]Violence Against the Transgender Community. Human Rights Campaign. http://www.hrc.org/resources/violence-against-the-transgender-community-in-2017

[v] American Civil Liberties Association. Know Your Rights: Transgender People and the Law.  Accessed at: https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/transgender-people-and-law

[vi] Brinker, Luke and Maza, Carlos.  (2014, March 20). 15 Experts Debunk Right-Wing Transgender Bathroom Myth. Media Matters. Accessed at: http://mediamatters.org/research/2014/03/20/15-experts-debunk-right-wing-transgender-bathro/198533

[vii] Herman, Jody L. (2013). Gendered Restrooms and Minority Stress: The Public Regulation of Gender and its Impact on Transgender People’s Lives. Journal of Public Management and Social Policy. Accessed at: http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Herman-Gendered-Restrooms-and-Minority-Stress-June-2013.pdf


Trevor Joins 166 Organizations Opposing ACA Repeal; AHCA

Oppose the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628)
Oppose Repeal of the Affordable Care Act; Medicaid Block Grants/Per Capita Caps; and Defunding of Planned Parenthood

Dear Senator:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Health Law Program, the National Partnership for Women & Families, and the undersigned 163 organizations, we urge you to oppose any attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA); slash federal funding and transform Medicaid into a block grant or per capita cap; eliminate the Medicaid expansion; and defund Planned Parenthood health centers.

Repealing the ACA, and restructuring and reducing the financing and coverage of Medicaid as proposed by the American Health Care Act (AHCA), would leave at least 23 million people in the United States, particularly people of color and underserved populations, significantly worse off than under current law. The ACA and Medicaid are critical sources of health coverage for America’s traditionally underserved communities, which our organizations represent. This includes individuals and families living in poverty, people of color, women, immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, individuals with disabilities, seniors, and individuals with limited English proficiency.

The ACA has reduced the number of people without insurance to historic lows, including a reduction of 39 percent of the lowest income individuals.i The gains are particularly noteworthy for Latinos, African Americans, and Native Americans. Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have seen the largest gains in coverage. The nation and our communities cannot afford to go back to a time when they did not have access to comprehensive, affordable coverage. Further, due to the intersectionality between factors, such as race and disability, or sexual orientation and uninsurance, and issues faced by women of color, many individuals may face additional discrimination and barriers to obtaining coverage. Proposals to replace the ACA with high-risk pools, Health Savings Accounts, or “cheaper” insurance plans that do not offer comprehensive, affordable benefits are unacceptable.

Medicaid is also critically important as it insures one of every five individuals in the United States, including one of every three children and 10 million people with disabilities.
Medicaid coverage, including the Medicaid expansion, is particularly critical for underserved individuals and especially people of color, because they are more likely to be living with certain chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, which require ongoing screening and services. People of color represent 58 percent of non-elderly Medicaid enrollees.ii According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, African Americans comprise 22 percent of Medicaid enrollment, and Hispanics comprise 25 percent.iii They are more likely than White non- Hispanics to lack insurance coverage and are more likely to live in families with low incomes and fall in the Medicaid gap.iv As a result, the lack of expansion disproportionately affects these communities, as well as women, who make up the majority of poor uninsured
gains in health coverage, this could mean vastly reduced access to needed health care, increased medical debt, and persistent racial disparities in mortality rates.v Further, Medicaid provides home and
community-based services enabling people with disabilities to live, work, attend school, and participate in their communities. The proposed cuts would decimate the very services that are cost-effective and keep individuals out of nursing homes and institutions. Finally, one in five people with Medicare rely on Medicaid to cover vital long-term home care and nursing home services, to help afford their Medicare premiums and cost-sharing, and more.

Despite the common myth that all low-income people could enroll in Medicaid, the Medicaid program has only been available to certain categories of individuals (e.g., children, pregnant women, seniors, people with disabilities) and had little to no savings or assets. Parents of children and childless adults were often excluded from Medicaid or only the lowest income individuals in these categories were eligible. For example, the Medicaid expansion greatly expanded coverage for LGBTQ individuals who previously did not fit into a traditional Medicaid eligibility category and for working people struggling in jobs that do not offer health insurance and pay at or near the minimum wage.

The CBO estimated that under the AHCA, as initially proposed, 14 million people would lose their Medicaid coverage by 2026, a reduction of about 17 percent relative to the comparable number under current law.vi The AHCA would end the higher federal matching rate for people newly enrolled through the Medicaid expansion and transform the financing from an entitlement program based on the number of persons enrolled to a more limited per capita-based cap or block grant. CBO estimates that by 2026, Medicaid spending would be reduced by $834 billion or 25 percent less than estimated under current law.vii This dramatic reduction in funding to the states is likely to result in more people losing coverage and/or needed services, particularly those optional services needed by people with disabilities.

Further, we are very concerned about the possibility of giving states an option under the Medicaid program to impose a work requirement as a condition of eligibility for the first time. Such a requirement not only fails to further the purpose of providing health care but also undermines this objective. Among adults with Medicaid coverage, nearly 8 in 10 live in working families and a majority are working themselves.viii

In addition, the AHCA would single out Planned Parenthood and block federal Medicaid funds for care at its health centers. The “defunding” of Planned Parenthood would prevent more than half of its patients from getting affordable preventive care, including birth control, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and well-women exams at Planned Parenthood health centers, often the only care option in their area. This loss of funds will have a disproportionate effect on poor families and people of color who make up 40 percent of Planned Parenthood patients.ix Seventy-five percent of Planned Parenthood patients are at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level and half of their health centers are in rural or underserved areas.x

We are seriously concerned about the lack of transparency of the discussions taking place to develop this legislation. After more than seven years and 60 votes to repeal the ACA, there is no excuse for forcing consideration of this bill without adequate time for analysis, hearings, and discussion of a CBO score, providing ample opportunity for the public to understand the proposed legislation and participate in this discussion in which their very access to health care for themselves and their families is at stake.
funding guarantee into a block grant or per capita caps, and any attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Leadership Conference Health Care Task Force Co- chairs Judith Lichtman at the National Partnership for Women & Families ([email protected]), Mara Youdelman at the National Health Law Program ([email protected]), or June Zeitlin at The Leadership Conference ([email protected]).

Sincerely,

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights National Health Law Program (NHeLP)
National Partnership for Women & Families ACCESS
Access Living
ADAP Advocacy Association (aaa+) Advocates for Youth
AFL-CIO AFSCME
AIDS Foundation of Chicago American Academy of Nursing
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) American Association of University Women (AAUW) American Civil Liberties Union
American Federation of Teachers American Nurses Association
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Amida Care
Amnesty International USA APLA Health
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Asian & Pacific Islander Caucus for Public Health (APIC)
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals Association of University Centers on Disabilities Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law Bend the Arc Jewish Action
Black Women’s Health Imperative
Black Women’s Roundtable, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation Breast Cancer Action
Cascade AIDS Project
Center for Community Change Action Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) Center for Medicare Advocacy
Center for Reproductive Rights
Coalition for Disability Health Equity Coalition of Labor Union Women
Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR) Commission on the Public’s Health System
CommonHealth ACTION
Community Access National Network (CANN) Crescent City Media Group
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Drug Policy Alliance
EMILY’s List
Equal Justice Society Equal Rights Advocates Equality California Equality Federation Families USA
Family Equality Council Family Voices Farmworker Justice Feminist Majority
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality Health & Medicine Policy Research Group
Health Care for America Now (HCAN) Health Justice Project
Hispanic Health Network HIV Medicine Association Human Rights Campaign Human Rights Watch
Illinois Public Health Association Indivisible
International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies International Association of Women in Radio and Television, USA Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Jewish Women International Justice in Aging
Korean Community Services of Metropolitan NY Lambda Legal
Latino Commission on AIDS Latinos in the Deep South
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
LBGT PA Caucus of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Inc. League of United Latin American Citizens
League of Women Voters of the United States
LEAnet, a national coalition of local education agencies LPAC
Main Street Alliance Medicare Rights Center
Movement Advancement Project
NAACP NAPAFASA NASTAD
National African American Drug Policy Coalition Inc.
National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors & National Association for Rural Mental Health
National Association of Human Rights Workers National Association of Social Workers National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Learning Disabilities National Center for Lesbian Rights National Center for Transgender Equality National Collaborative for Health Equity
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) National Council of Churches
National Council of Jewish Women National Council of La Raza
National Council on Independent Living National Disability Rights Network National Domestic Workers Alliance National Education Association National Employment Law Project
National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association National Hispanic Medical Association
National Immigration Law Center National Institute for Reproductive Health
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund National Low Income Housing Coalition
National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) National Organization for Women
National Urban League
National Women’s Health Network National Women’s Law Center National Women’s Political Caucus
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
NOBCO: National Organization of Black County Officials OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates
OneAmerica
Organizing for Action-Springfield Out2Enroll
People For the American Way Philadelphia Unemployment Project Planned Parenthood Federation of America PolicyLink
Population Institute
Positive Women’s Network – USA
Prevention Institute Prism Health
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada Project Inform
Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need Resource Center
San Francisco AIDS Foundation
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) SisterSong: National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective SiX Action
TASH
The AIDS Institute
The Arc of the United States
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy The Trevor Project
The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society Trust for America’s Health
UCHAPS: Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services Union for Reform Judaism
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity Venas Abiertas
Voices for Progress
Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health Women Employed
Women’s Action Movement
Women’s Intercultural Network (WIN) Women’s Media Center
Women’s Missionary Society African Methodist Episcopal Church Young Invincibles
YWCA USA

i U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Affordable Care Act Has Led to Historic, Widespread Increase in Health Insurance Coverage, pp. 2, 4 (Sept. 29, 2016), available at https://aspe.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/207946/ACAHistoricIncreaseCoverage.pdf.
ii Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicaid Coverage Rates for the Nonelderly by Race/Ethnicity: 2015, available at http://kff.org/medicaid/state-indicator/rate-by-raceethnicity-3/?currentTimeframe=0.
iii Kaiser Health Foundation, Medicaid Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity, available at http://kff.org/medicaid/state- indicator/medicaid-enrollment-by-raceethnicity/.
iv Kaiser Family Foundation, The Coverage Gap: Uninsured Poor Adults in States that Do Not Expand
Medicaid,  http://kff.org/uninsured/issue-brief/the-coverage-gap-uninsured-poor-adults-in-states-that-do-not-expand-medicaid/ v Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, African Americans Have Much to Lose Under House GOP Health Plan, available at http://www.cbpp.org/blog/african-americans-have-much-to-lose-under-house-gop-health-plan.
vi Congressional Budget Office Estimate, American Health Care Act (March 13, 2017) available at https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/costestimate/americanhealthcareact_0.pdf. vii Congressional Budget Office Estimate, American Health Care Act (May 24, 2017) available at https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/costestimate/hr1628aspassed.pdf.
viii Kaiser Family Foundation, Understanding the Intersection of Medicaid and Work, available at http://files.kff.org/attachment/Issue-Brief-Understanding-the-Intersection-of-Medicaid-and-Work
ix Planned Parenthood, This is Who We Are, (July 11, 2016), available at https://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/6814/6833/9709/20160711_FS_General_d1.pdf
x Planned Parenthood, The Urgent Need for Planned Parenthood Health Centers (Dec. 7, 2016), available at https://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/4314/8183/5009/20161207_Defunding_fs_d01_1.pdf


Trevor Submits Testimony in Support of Banning Conversion Therapy in NYC

The Honorable Chairwoman Darlene Mealy
Committee on Civil Rights
New York City Council

The Trevor Project writes in strong support of amendment T2017-6329, which would ban so-called “conversion therapy” in New York City. If passed, New York City would join the ranks of nine other states, including California and New Jersey, and nearly twenty cities that have demonstrated their commitment to the well-being of LGBTQ youth by passing similar laws. Conversion therapy is a dangerous and discredited practice which aims at changing one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. This “therapy” is done through methods which often include emotional, psychological and even physical abuse.[1] As the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, we know this bill is critical to creating supportive mental health care for LGBTQ people in New York City and saving many young people from the trauma of conversion therapy.

The Trevor Project works to save young lives through our accredited free and confidential lifeline; our secure instant messaging services which provide live help and intervention; our social networking community for LGBTQ youth; and our in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources, and advocacy. From August 1, 2016 to June 13, 2017, The Trevor Project has had almost 4,500 crisis contacts in New York State. While we are unable to track contacts by city, we know that hundreds of New York City LGBTQ youth struggling with suicidal thoughts are reaching out to us every year.

Banning conversion therapy can be a matter of life or death for many young people. Research shows that LGB youth seriously contemplate suicide at almost three times the rate of heterosexual youth and LGB youth are almost five times as likely to have actually attempted suicide.[ii] In a national study, 40% of transgender adults reported having made a suicide attempt at some point in their lives. 92% of these individuals reported having attempted suicide before the age of 25.[iii] Suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth in New York ages 15-24,[iv] with a suicide rate of 6.7 deaths for every 100,000 young people.[v] Studies show that for every one person who dies by suicide, there are 25 attempts.[vi]

Perhaps most importantly, youth placed in conversion therapy are at an even greater risk. For example, LGBTQ youth from highly rejecting families are more than eight times as likely to attempt suicide compared to those from accepting families.[vii] Families that are extremely rejecting of their child’s sexual orientation or gender identity are among those most likely to send their child to conversion therapy. Evidence also shows conversion therapy poses serious health risks including depression, shame, decreased self-esteem, social withdrawal, substance abuse, risky behavior and suicidal ideation.[viii] Passing this ordinance will help ensure no more young people suffer from the harms of conversion therapy or lose their life to this abuse.

Additionally, there is no scientific evidence to show conversion therapy is effective in its goal of changing one’s sexual orientation or gender identity.[ix] The nation’s leading mental health associations including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy have all issued statements condemning the practice.[x] As the nation’s only accredited, 24/7 lifeline specifically for LGBTQ youth, we hear from conversion therapy survivors and bear witness to the devastating impacts of this practice. No young person should have to endure the damage done by supposed members of helping professionals or religious institutions.

By supporting this proposed law, you can be a part of ending this abuse and ensuring that LGBTQ youth in New York City can truly have a bright future.
Learn about Trevor Project advocacy programs here.

[1] Dart, Tom.  “’Praying the gay away’: Trauma survivors crusade to ban conversion therapy.” The Guardian 11 April 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2016 from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/11/survivors-crusade-conversion-therapy-ban-pray-gay-away
[1] Kann, Laura. O’Malley Olsen, Emily. McManus, Tim et al. Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts and Health-Related Behaviors Among Students in Grade 9-12. MMWR Surveill Summ 2016: 65
[1] James, S. E., Herman J.L., Rankin S., Keisling, M., Mottet, L., & Anafi, M. (2016). Executive Summary of the Report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. Washington, DC: National Center for Transgender Equality.
[1] American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. New York 2017 Facts and Figures. 2016. https://afsp.org/about-suicide/state-fact-sheets/#New-York
[1] American Association of Suicidology. USA State Suicide Rates and Rankings for the Nation, Elderly, and Young, 2015. 2015. http://www.suicidology.org/Portals/14/docs/Resources/FactSheets/2015/2015StatesTOY-corrected.pdf?ver=2017-01-09-215406-197
[1] American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Suicide Statistics. 2015. http://www.suicidology.org/Portals/14/docs/Resources/FactSheets/2015/2015datapgsv1.pdf?ver=2017-01-02-220151-870
[1] Ryan, C. (2009). Supportive families, healthy children: Helping families with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children. San Francisco, CA: Marian Wright Edelman Institute, San Francisco State University.
[1] Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Ending Conversion Therapy:
Supporting and Affirming LGBTQ Youth. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 15-4928. Rockville,
MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2015.
[1] Ibid.
[1] Ibid.


The Trevor Project Partners with U.S. Rep. Maloney to Introduce the PRIDE Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 13, 2017
Contact: Sheri A. Lunn | [email protected] | 310.271.8845 ext. 402

 

(Washington, June 13, 2017)  –  Today U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney reintroduced a bill to Provide a Requirement to Improve Date Collection Efforts, also known as the LGBT PRIDE Act, which will improve our understanding of the relationship between LGBTQ individuals and suicide.

The bill directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to enhance the collection of sexual orientation and gender identity data for deceased individuals, including those who died by suicide. Currently national surveillance endeavors including the National Violent Death Reporting System do not collect sexual orientation or gender identity information on decedents, leaving an enormous gap in our knowledge of the number of LGBTQ youth who die by suicide. The idea for the bill was conceived during a legislative briefing by The Trevor Project on LGBTQ youth suicide last year. Once Rep. Maloney learned of this inequality he quickly set out to draft the PRIDE Act to correct it.

From the office of Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Co-Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus: “One year after the deadly shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), New York’s first openly gay member of Congress, announced the introduction of the bill to improve data collection on the sexual orientation and gender identity of victims of violent crimes. Rep. Maloney’s LGBT PRIDE (Provide a Requirement to Improve Date Collection Efforts) Act calls on CDC to improve the process, and authorizes $25 million to fund the effort.

Although the overwhelming majority of victims of the Pulse shooting were LGBTQ, the federal government’s National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) collects only a small amount of information on sexual orientation and gender identity. This means the lives lost in the Orlando attack were not recorded as anti-LGBT murders in any data collection.

Pulse wasn’t an isolated occurrence – anti-LGBTQ violence is way too common – it happens when a transwoman of color is gunned down in the street, it happens when a young gay person is bullied into depression or takes his own life. “We have to get more information on where this violence is happening and we have to be more aggressive about doing something to stop it – and this bill is a necessary first step.”

“No American should ever feel like they are treated less than equal. It’s on all of us to continue fighting until we make this a reality. The LGBT PRIDE Act will authorize $25 million to expand data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity through the CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System. This data is critical for identifying the causes of violent crime, and developing new, strategic methods to stop it. I’m proud to join Congressman Maloney in introducing this important bill today,” said Rep. David Cicilline, Co-Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.

“This legislation will play a critical role helping us to better understand and help end LGBTQ youth suicide,” said Trevor Project CEO Amit Paley. “Currently no one is able to answer the question of how many LGBTQ individuals die by suicide every year. This is a monumental gap in our knowledge of suicide and keeps us from most effectively targeting prevention and intervention efforts. The saying often goes ‘if you’re not counted then you don’t count’, and it’s time to finally acknowledge the importance of LGBTQ lives and get the data to help save those lives.”

The LGBT PRIDE Act would require the CDC to improve its data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity and authorize $25 million to fund the effort. The system currently has the ability to collect data on sexual orientation and gender identity, but various barriers exist to comprehensive collection. The NVDRS aggregates data from a variety of local sources including death certificates, coroner/medical examiner reports, police reports, and crime labs. This data is used to inform policy and regulatory decisions aimed at responding to public health crises such as suicide and homicide at the local, federal, and state level. All data collection is performed on a voluntary basis, and the results are only released in aggregate to protect the privacy of decedents.

Amy Loudermilk, Trevor Project Director of Government Affairs said, “We know LGBTQ youth have disproportionately higher rates of suicide attempts, but what we don’t know is if that extends to disproportionate rates of death by suicide. In order to prevent suicide deaths and save young lives this data is of vital importance.”

Loudermilk spoke at this morning’s press conference with Representative Maloney at the United States Capitol.  Below are her remarks:

“Good Morning. My name is Amy Loudermilk and I’m the director of government affairs at The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth. At The Trevor project, we are experts on the issue of LGBTQ youth suicide and have over 50,000 crisis contacts with youth every year. I routinely talk about the disproportionate risk LGBTQ young people have for suicide attempts. For example, LGB youth attempt suicide at four times the rate as straight youth, and a recent survey found that 40% of transgender adults reported attempting suicide, with 92% of those attempting before the age of 25. What I can’t tell you though, is how many LGBTQ youth die by suicide in each year. No one can answer that question because neither sexual orientation nor gender identity data is routinely collected when someone dies from a violent death. Rep. Maloney’s PRIDE Act will change that.

Did you know that since 2000 motor vehicle related fatalities have decreased 35-40%? A number of factors contributed to this, including: laws against texting or talking on the phone while driving; zero tolerance for drunk driving; child car seat laws and helmet laws. The impact public policy can make is truly impressive and in this case lifesaving. But right now it’s as if we’re in the dark ages of LGBTQ suicide prevention because we don’t even have a baseline number of deaths from which to assess the effectiveness of interventions or appropriately target resources.

This landmark piece of legislation signals a fundamental change in the way information about violent deaths, including suicide and homicide, are recorded and reported. It also communicates a key message to LGBTQ youth: their lives matter. We can only get better at saving lives if we have data about who is most at risk. The Trevor Project is incredibly grateful to Rep. Maloney and his staff for introducing this bill and helping to obtain the data necessary to move the field of suicide prevention into the light so we can continue to help shed light on this issue and provide support to LGBTQ youth in crisis.”

#LGBTQLivesCount

About the Trevor Project:
The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25.  The Trevor Project offers a suite of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as the world’s largest peer-to-peer social support network for LGBTQ young people under the age of 25, TrevorSpace. Trevor also offers an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, a legislative advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and conducts research to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our Trevor Lifeline crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 866.488.7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org


Pulse Shooting Day of Remembrance Brings Together LGBTQ, Muslim, and Latinx Communities

Photo credit: Muslim Advocates / Contact: Scott Simpson, [email protected], 202.735.1984 / LINK

The undersigned 59 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ), American Muslim, and Latinx organizations released the following statement in advance of the first day of remembrance of the June 12, 2016 massacre at the LGBTQ nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida. The statement was convened by national civil rights organizations including Muslim Advocates, the National LGBTQ Task Force, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC):

“One year ago, in the aftermath of the Orlando tragedy, we came together in grief, in unity, and in solidarity with the Orlando community and millions of people everywhere, to condemn this act of hate violence and affirm that love conquers hate. That senseless act struck at the heart of the LGBTQ and Latinx communities, families, and close friends, and at the core of one of our nation’s greatest strengths: our diversity. The ensuing backlash against the American Muslim community led to hate speech and violence, shootings, and mosque vandalism that claimed even more victims.
The acts of kindness that followed also illustrated that, even in our darkest moments, and despite the repeated attempts to use fear to further divide us, time and time again, the people of this country come together to console and support those in need.

As we remember those we lost and their families, we renew our commitment to honor them with action by protecting one another and our country’s ideals of freedom, liberty, and equality under the law for all people.
This day of remembrance comes during LGBTQ Pride Month and the holy month of Ramadan.  As we reflect on the past year, we are deeply concerned about the direction of our country including efforts to divide Americans from one another by demonizing and scapegoating many of our communities–but we are also proud of the millions of Americans of all faiths, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, and backgrounds who continue to rebuff those attempts by stepping up to defend our highest ideals.

We have been reminded countless times that a threat against any one community is a threat against all of us, and that we must take notice and action. As our communities resist a massive rollback of civil rights protections at the state and federal level and a rising tide of hate violence, we stand together ever stronger, ever braver, and ever more resolute to resist these attacks and move forward with love and acceptance for all.”

Signed,
Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
Muslim Advocates
National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
National LGBTQ Task Force
Advocates for Youth
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA)
Auburn Seminary
Bend the Arc Jewish Action
BiNet USA
Casa de Esperanza: National [email protected] Network
Center For Black Equity
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
DignityUSA
Eliminate Hate Campaign
Equality California
Equality Federation
Equality Florida
Farmworker Justice
GLAAD
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality
Harvard Islamic Society (and Anti-Islamophobia Network)
Islamic Networks Group (ING)
Lambda Legal
Los Angeles LGBT Center
LPAC
Media Matters for America
Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA)
Muslim Public Affairs Council
Muslims for Progressive Values
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Coalition for LGBT Health
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
National Congress of American Indians
National Council of Jewish Women
National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP_
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
National Women’s Law Center
NEAT – National Equality Action Team
New Ways Ministry
NMAC
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
Out2Enroll
OutRight Action International
OutServe – SLDN
People For the American Way
PFLAG
Pride at Work
ReconcilingWorks
SAGE
The Trevor Project
Voto Latino
Whitman-Walker Health
Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER)


Trevor Joins 436 Organizations in Opposition of the American Health Care Act

View the letter below and here.

May 30, 2017

The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader, United States Senate

The Honorable Charles Schumer, Minority Leader, United States Senate

Dear Leader McConnell and Leader Schumer,
The undersigned organizations are writing to share our views on critical provisions we believe must be included in any legislation modifying the nation’s health care system. We also want to share serious concerns with several of the reforms included in the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA).

We collectively represent consumers, families, providers, health care and social service professionals, criminal justice professionals, advocates and allied organizations who are committed to meaningful and comprehensive policies to reduce the toll of substance use disorders and mental illness through prevention, treatment and recovery support services.

We recognize that the current law can be improved and that there are problems that need to be fixed. However, we do not support changes to the health care system that would result in reduced access to substance use disorder and mental health treatment, including changes that would cap federal funding for Medicaid, end the Medicaid expansion, and eliminate benefit protections for Americans insured through the small group and individual markets. In the face of the opioid overdose and suicide epidemics, equitable access to a full continuum of mental health and substance use disorder treatment services, including medications to treat substance use disorders and mental illness, must be an essential component of health care coverage. It is also critical that substance use disorders and mental illness be covered on par with other medical conditions consistent with the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA).

As the Senate takes up health reform legislation, we ask that the Senate bill:

  • Maintain benefit protections for mental health and substance use disorder treatment and recovery support services through the exchanges and individual/small group markets, and maintain requirements that those benefits be offered at parity with medical benefits
  • Maintain Medicaid’s current financing structure, including the Medicaid expansion

More than 20 million Americans currently have health care coverage due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including millions of Americans with substance use disorders and mental illness. This coverage is a critical lifeline for these individuals, many of whom were unable to access effective treatment before the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility to low-income adults, and its requirement that Medicaid expansion plans and plans sold in the individual and small group markets cover substance use disorder and mental health treatment services at parity with medical and surgical services.

The Medicaid expansion in particular has led to significant increases in coverage and treatment access for persons with substance use disorders and mental illness. In states that expanded Medicaid, the share of people with substance use disorders or mental illness who were hospitalized but uninsured fell from about 20 percent in 2013 to 5 percent by mid-2015, and Medicaid expansion has been associated with an 18.3 percent reduction in the unmet need for substance use disorder treatment services among low-income adults. Rolling back the Medicaid expansion and/or fundamentally changing Medicaid’s financing structure to cap spending on health care services will certainly reduce access to evidence-based treatments and reverse much or all progress made on the opioid crisis last year. Moreover, the loss of Medicaid-covered mental health and
substance use disorder services for adults would result in more family disruption and out-of-home placements for children, significant trauma which has its own long-term health effects and a further burden on a child welfare system that is struggling to meet the current demand for foster home capacity.

Medicaid funding for mental health and substance use disorder treatment services for low-income populations must be predictable, sustainable, and integrated with financing mechanisms for general medical care to ensure consistent access to treatment and support the long-term development and retention of a substance use disorder and mental health clinician workforce. Capping federal Medicaid funding through per-capita caps or block grants would strain state budgets and likely force states to cut benefits, lower provider reimbursement rates, and/or limit access to care. These changes would be devastating to states grappling with the current opioid overdose and suicide epidemics.

The ACA’s Medicaid expansion, Essential Health Benefit requirements for mental health and substance use disorder treatment coverage, and extension of parity protections to the individual and small group market have surely reduced the burden of the opioid misuse and overdose and suicide epidemics and saved lives. As you consider this legislation, we ask that you ensure substance use disorder and mental health treatment benefits continue to be available to Americans enrolled in the individual, small and large group markets as well as Medicaid plans and that these benefits are compliant with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.

Finally, throughout this process, we implore you to keep in mind how your decisions will affect the millions of Americans suffering from substance use disorders and mental illness who may lose their health care coverage entirely or see reductions in benefits that impede access to needed treatment.

Sincerely,

1. Acadia Healthcare
2. Adcare Educational Institute
3. Addiction Education Society
4. Addiction Haven
5. Addiction Resource Council
6. Addiction Services Council
7. Addiction Policy Forum
8. Addiction Treatment Center of New England
9. Addictions Connections Resource
10. Advocates for Recovery Colorado
11. Advocates, Inc.
12. Alabama Society of Addiction Medicine
13. Alano Club of Portland
14. Alcohol & Addictions Resource Center
15. Alcohol/Drug Council of North Carolina
16. Alternatives Unlimited, Inc.
17. Amesbury Psychological Center, Inc.
18. American Correctional Association
19. American Federation of State, County and Municipal, Employees (AFSCME)
20. American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
21. American Academy of Pediatrics
22. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
23. American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD)
24. American Association of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
25. American Association on Health and Disability
26. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
27. American Dance Therapy Association
28. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
29. American Group Psychotherapy Association
30. American Medical Student Association
31. American Mental Health Counselors Association
32. American Nurses Association
33. American Public Health Association
34. American Psychiatric Association
35. American Psychological Association
36. American Society of Addiction Medicine
37. A New PATH
38. Anxiety and Depression Association of America
39. Arc of South Norfolk, The
40. Arise & Flourish
41. Arizona’s Children Association
42. Arizona Council of Human Service Providers
43. Arizona Society of Addiction Medicine
44. Arkansas Society of Addiction Medicine
45. Association for Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare
46. Association for Behavioral Healthcare of Massachusetts
47. Association for Community Affiliated Plans
48. Association for Community Human Service Agencies
49. Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO)
50. Association of Flight Attendants – CWA, AFL-CIO
51. Association of Persons Affected by Addiction (APAA)
52. Association of Recovery Schools
53. Association of Recovery Community Organizations
54. Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
55. A Stepping Stone to Success
56. Atlantic Prevention Resources, Inc.
57. Avanti Wellness
58. BAMSI
59. Bangor Area Recovery Network, Inc.
60. Bay Cove Human Services
61. Bay State Community Services, Inc.
62. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
63. Behavioral Health Network, Inc.
64. Better Life in Recovery
65. Bill Wilson Center
66. Boston Alcohol and Substance Abuse Programs, Inc.
67. Boston Healthcare for the Homeless
68. Boston Public Health Commission
69. BreakingTheCycles
70. Bridge of Central Massachusetts, Inc., The
71. Bridgewell
72. Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, The
73. Brookline Community Mental Health Center
74. Bullhook Community Health Center, Inc.
75. Burke Recovery
76. California Consortium of Addiction Programs & Professionals
77. California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies
78. California Society of Addiction Medicine
79. Cambridge Health Alliance
80. Camelot Care Centers, Inc.
81. Cape Cod Healthcare Centers for Behavioral Health
82. Capital Area Project Vox
83. Casa Esperanza
84. Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families
85. Catholic Charities Family Counseling and Guidance Center
86. Catholic Family Center
87. Center for Human Development
88. Center for Open Recovery
89. Center for Recovery and Wellness Resources
90. Central City Concern
91. Chautauqua Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Council
92. Chicago Recovering Communities Coalition (CRCC)
93. Child & Family Services, Inc.
94. Child and Family Services of New Hampshire
95. Children’s Friend, Inc.
96. Children’s Home Society of Washington
97. Children’s Law Center
98. Children’s Services of Roxbury
99. CleanSlate Centers
100. Clergy for a New Drug Policy
101. Clinical and Support Options, Inc.
102. Clinical Social Work Association
103. Coalition of Addiction Students and Professionals Pursuing Advocacy (CASPPA)
104. Colorado Society of Addiction Medicine
105. Community Catalyst
106. Communities for Recovery
107. Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)
108. Community Counseling of Bristol County, Inc.
109. Community-Minded Enterprises
110. Community Oriented Correctional Health Services (COCHS)
111. Community Services Institute
112. Community Solutions
113. Community Substance Abuse Centers
114. Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR)
115. Connecticut Society of Addiction Medicine
116. Counselors Obediently Preventing Substance Abuse (COPS)
117. Cutchins Programs for Children and Families
118. DarJune Recovery Support Services & Café
119. Dash for Recovery
120. Davis Direction Foundation – The Zone
121. DC Fights Back
122. DC Recovery Community Alliance
123. Delphi Behavioral Health Group/MHD
124. Desert Eagle Addiction Recovery
125. Detroit Recovery Project, Inc.
126. Dimock Community Health Center
127. Disability Rights Pennsylvania
128. Doctors for Recovery
129. Dorchester Recovery Initiative
130. Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization of Pennsylvania (DASPOP)
131. Drug Policy Alliance
132. Drug Prevention Resources
133. East Bay Agency for Children
134. Easy Does It, Inc.
135. Eating Disorders Coalition
136. Edinburg Center, The
137. Eliot Community Human Services
138. El Paso Alliance
139. Engaged Recovery Community Services
140. Faces and Voices of Recovery
141. Facing Addiction
142. Family Focused Treatment Association
143. Family Service Association
144. Family Service of Greater Boston
145. FAVOR Greenville
146. FAVOR Low Country
147. FAVOR Mississippi Recovery Advocacy Project
148. FAVOR Pee Dee
149. FAVOR Tri-County
150. FED UP! Coalition
151. Fellowship Foundation Recovery Community Organization
152. Fenway Health
153. FHR
154. Florida Society of Addiction Medicine
155. Floridians for Recovery
156. Foundation for Recovery
157. Friends of Recovery – New York
158. FSA – Family Service Agency
159. Futures of Palm Beach
160. G III Associates
161. GAAMHA
162. Gandara Center
163. Georgia Council on Substance Abuse
164. Georgia Society of Addiction Medicine
165. Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice
166. Gosnold on Cape Cod
167. Granite Pathways
168. Greater Macomb Project Vox
169. Greater Philadelphia Association for Recovery Education
170. Great South Bay Coalition
171. Greater Cincinnati Recovery Resource Collaborative (GCRRC)
172. Griffin Recovery Enterprises
173. Harm Reduction Coalition
174. High Point Treatment Center
175. Hillview Mental Health Center, Inc.
176. HIV Medicine Association
177. Home for Little Wanderers, The
178. HOPE for New Hampshire Recovery
179. Hope House Addiction Services
180. Horizon Health Services
181. IC&RC
182. Illinois Association for Behavioral Health
183. Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (IARF)
184. Indiana Society of Addiction Medicine
185. International Nurses Society on Addictions
186. Institute for Health and Recovery
187. Iowa Association of Community Providers
188. Iowa Behavioral Health Association
189. Italian Home for Children, Inc.
190. Jackson Area Recovery Community
191. Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JF&CS)
192. Joint Coalition on Health
193. Jordan’s Hope for Recovery
194. Judge Baker Children’s Center
195. Juneau Recovery Community
196. Justice Resource Institute (JRI)
197. Kentucky Society of Addiction Medicine
198. KEY Program, Inc., The
199. Kyes 2 a 2nd Chance
200. Lahey Health Behavioral Services
201. Lakeshore Foundation
202. Latah Recovery Center
203. Legal Action Center
204. Lifehouse Recovery Connection
205. Lifeline Connections
206. Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
207. Long Island Recovery Association (LIRA)
208. Lost Dreams Awaken Center, Inc.
209. Lotus Peer Recovery/SoberKerrville
210. Lowell Community Health Center, Inc.
211. Lowell House, Inc.
212. LUK, Inc.
213. Madison County Council on Alcoholism & Substance Abuse
214. Magnolia Addiction Support
215. Maine Alliance for Addiction Recovery
216. Mariah’s Mission Fund of the Mid-Shor Community Foundation
217. Mark Garwood SHARE Foundation
218. Martha’s Vineyard Community Services
219. Maryland-DC Society of Addiction Medicine
220. Maryland House Detox
221. Maryland Recovery Organization Connecting Communities (M-ROCC)
222. Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR)
223. Massachusetts Society of Addiction Medicine
224. McShin Foundation
225. Mental Health Association
226. Message Carriers of Pennsylvania, Inc.
227. Messengers of Recovery Awareness
228. MHA of Greater Lowell
229. Michigan’s Children
230. Michigan Recovery Voices
231. Michigan Society of Addiction Medicine
232. Middlesex Human Service Agency, Inc
233. Mid-Michigan Recovery Services, Inc.
234. Midwest Society of Addiction Medicine
235. Mi-HOPE – Michigan Heroin & Opiate Prevention and Education
236. Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Programs (MACMHP)
237. Minnesota Recovery Connection
238. Minnesota Society of Addiction Medicine
239. Missouri Recovery Network
240. MOBER
241. Mountain View Prevention Services, Inc.
242. NAADAC – the Association for Addiction Professionals
243. National Alliance for Medication-Assisted Recovery (NAMA)
244. National Alliance on Mental Illness
245. National Alliance on Mental Illness – San Mateo County
246. National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health
247. National Alliance to End Homelessness
248. National Association for Rural Mental Health
249. National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers
250. National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
251. National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
252. National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD)
253. National Association for Children’s Behavioral Health
254. National Association for Rural Mental Health
255. National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors
256. National Association of County & City Health Officials
257. National Association of Drug Court Professionals
258. National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
259. National Council for Behavioral Health
260. National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
261. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
262. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of E. San Gabriel & Pomona Valleys
263. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence–Greater Phoenix
264. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – Maryland
265. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – San Diego
266. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of the San Fernando Valley
267. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse-St. Louis Area
268. National Disability Rights Network
269. National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
270. National Health Care for the Homeless Council
271. National League for Nursing
272. National Safety Council
273. Navigate Recovery Gwinnett
274. Nevada Society of Addiction Medicine
275. New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, Inc.
276. New Jersey Society of Addiction Medicine
277. New Life Counseling & Wellness Center, Inc.
278. New Mexico Society of Addiction Medicine
279. New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services
280. New York Society of Addiction Medicine
281. New York State Council for Behavioral Health
282. NFI Massachusetts, Inc.
283. NMSAS Recovery Center
284. No Health without Mental Health
285. North Charles, Inc.
286. North Cottage Program, Inc.
287. Northeast Center for Youth and Families, The
288. Northern New England Society of Addiction Medicine
289. Northern Ohio Recovery Association (NORA)
290. Northwest Indian Treatment Center
291. North Suffolk Mental Health Association, Inc.
292. Northern Rivers Family Services
293. North Carolina Society of Addiction Medicine (NCSAM)
294. O’Brien House
295. Ohio Society of Addiction Medicine (OHSAM)
296. Oklahoma Citizen Advocates for Recovery & Treatment Association (OCARTA)
297. Old Colony YMCA
298. Open Doorway of Cape Cod
299. Oregon Recovery High School
300. Oregon Society of Addiction Medicine
301. Overcoming Addiction Radio
302. Parity Implementation Coalition
303. Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
304. Partners in Prevention/National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of Hudson County, Inc.
305. P.E.E.R Wellness Center, Inc.
306. PEER360 Recovery Alliance
307. Pennsylvania Recovery Organization – Achieving Community Together – (PRO-ACT)
308. Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations Alliance (PRO-A)
309. Pennsylvania Society of Addiction Medicine
310. People Advocating Recovery – PAR
311. Phoenix Houses of New England
312. Phoenix Multisport Boston
313. Pine Street Inn
314. Pivot, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Council of Jefferson County, Inc.
315. PLR Athens
316. Pretrial Justice Institute
317. Prevention Network OCAA
318. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association
319. Putnam Family & Community Services, Inc.
320. RASE Project
321. REAL- Michigan (Recovery, Education, Advocacy & Leadership)
322. Recover Project/Western MA Training
323. Recovery Allies Of West Michigan
324. RecoveryATX
325. Recovery Café Seattle
326. Recovery Community Foundation of Forsyth
327. Recovery Communities of North Carolina
328. Recovery Community Of Durham
329. Recovery Consultants of Atlanta
330. Recovery Data Solutions
331. Recovery – Friendly Taos County
332. Recovery Idaho, Inc.
333. Recovery is Happening
334. RecoveryNC (Governors Institute on Substance Abuse)
335. Recovery Point at HER Place
336. Recovery Point of Bluefield
337. Recovery Point of Charleston
338. Recovery Point of Huntington
339. Recovery Point of Parkersburg
340. Recovery Point of West Virginia
341. Recover Wyoming
342. reGROUP
343. Rhode Island Communities for Addiction Recovery Efforts (RICAREs)
344. Riverside Community Care
345. Robby’s Voice
346. ROCovery Fitness
347. Rockland Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependence, Inc.
348. Sandusky Artisans Recovery Community Center
349. Sandy Hook Promise
350. Serenity Sistas
351. ServiceNet
352. Shatterproof
353. SMART Recovery
354. Solano Recovery Project
355. Solutions Recovery, Inc.
356. Sonoran Prevention Works
357. South Arkansas Regional Health Center, Inc
358. Sound Community Services, Inc.
359. South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Inc. (SMOC)
360. South Bay Community Services
361. South Carolina Society of Addiction Medicine
362. South Central Human Relations Center
363. South End Community Health Center
364. South Shore Mental Health
365. Southwest Washington Recovery Coalition
366. Spectrum Health Systems, Inc.
367. SpiritWorks Foundation
368. Springfield Recovery Community Center
369. Springs Recovery Connection
370. SSTAR
371. STEP Industries
372. Steppingstone, Incorporated
373. Student Assistance Services Corp
374. Substance Use and Mental Health Leadership Council of Rhode Island
375. Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc.
376. Tennessee Society of Addiction Medicine
377. Texas Society of Addiction Medicine
378. The Addict’s Parents United (TAP United)
379. The Alliance
380. The Bridge Foundation
381. The Bridge Way School
382. The Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice
383. The Chris Atwood Foundation
384. The Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse
385. The Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse for Greater New Orleans
386. The DOOR – DeKalb Open Opportunity for Recovery
387. The Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice
388. The Kennedy Forum
389. The Ohana Center
390. The Recovery Channel
391. The Rest of Your Life
392. The Trevor Project
393. The Village Family Services
394. The Village Project, Inc.
395. Tia Hart Recovery Community Program
396. T.O.R.C.H Inc.
397. Toward Independent Living and Learning, TILL, Inc.
398. Treatment Communities of America
399. Trilogy Recovery Community
400. Two Guys and a Girl
401. UMass Memorial Community Healthlink, Inc.
402. United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
403. Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness (USARA)
404. Valley Hope
405. Veterans Inc.
406. Vermont Council of Developmental and Mental Health Services
407. Vermont Recovery Network
408. Victory Programs, Inc.
409. Vinfen
410. Virginia Association of Recovery Residences
411. Voice for Adoption
412. Voices of Hope for Cecil County
413. Voices of Recovery San Mateo County
414. Volunteers of America of Massachusetts, Inc.
415. WAI-IAM, Inc. and RISE Recovery Community
416. Walker, Inc.
417. Washtenaw Recovery Advocacy Project (WRAP)
418. Washington Federation of State Employees
419. Washington Recovery Alliance
420. Washington Society of Addiction Medicine
421. Watershed Treatment Programs
422. Wayside Youth & Family Support Network
423. WEConnect
424. Wellspring Recovery Services
425. West Virginia Society of Addiction Medicine
426. WholeLife Recovery Community/ Arizona Recovery Coalition
427. Wisconsin Recovery Community Organization (WIRCO)
428. Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine
429. Wisconsin Voices for Recovery
430. Wyoming County CARES
431. Yoga of Recovery
432. Young Invincibles
433. Young People in Recovery
434. Young People in Recovery – Los Angeles
435. Youth Opportunities Upheld, Inc.
436. Youth Villages


Trevor Responds to Presidential Executive Order Promoting Religious Liberty

Today, on the National Day of Prayer, President Trump signed an Executive Order directing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “issue guidance interpreting religious liberty protections in Federal law.”  Sessions is known for his strong anti-LGBT equality policies.  Many people were previously aware that Trump was likely to sign an executive order dealing with so-called “religious liberty,” which we know is nothing but a license to discriminate, particularly against the LGBTQ+ community.

In his remarks, Trump said, “With this Executive Order we make clear that the federal government will never ever penalize any person for their protected religious beliefs… that’s why I am directing the Department of Justice to develop new rules to ensure these religious protections are afforded to all Americans… that is why I am signing an Executive Order to defend the freedom of religion and speech in America.”

Trump’s signed order did not provide any new religious freedom protections that would specifically allow individuals to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals, but it did, however, direct the Department of Justice to develop rules to ensure that people aren’t punished for exercising their freedom of religion.  “In reality this means that although Trump didn’t issue a broad “religious freedom” order aimed at the LGBTQ+ community, he essentially directed the Department of Justice to do so through regulations,” said Trevor Project Director of Government Affairs Amy Loudermilk.  “In sum, the fight is far from over and the rhetoric about what to expect down the line is very concerning. We will continue to monitor and respond as necessary.”

The Trevor Project is committed to continuing to work with our LGBTQ and allied organizational colleagues across the country, and we will stand strong against any future negative actions against our community.

The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25.  The Trevor Project offers a suite of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as a peer-to-peer social network support for LGBTQ young people under the age of 25, TrevorSpace. Trevor also offers an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, a legislative advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and conducts research to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our Trevor Lifeline crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 866.488.7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org