Holiday Self-Care Tips for LGBTQ Youth

Each year, we hear from LGBTQ young people that the holidays can be a particularly difficult time for them. The complicated relationships we have with our families can sometimes leave us feeling raw, overwhelmed, and upset during and after the holidays. Additionally, the time leading up to a holiday gathering can bring up anxiety as we think about how it might go. We know that it can be incredibly powerful to identify ways to support ourselves for if things get tough.

What’s a Self-Care Plan?

Self-care plans can look very different from one another — they’re just as diverse and unique as the people who use them! Before creating one, it is important to remember that whatever you are feeling is completely valid. You are not wrong for having your feelings, and you deserve to feel supported and loved for all that you are. Sometimes, though, we don’t get that love and support from the people who are supposed to love and support us. Self-care can be a way to love and support ourselves when we need it most.

Self-care can help us feel calmer, and it can give us a sense of control when things feel out of control. The best way to plan for this kind of self-support is to identify things that may be helpful or comforting for before, during, and after the holidays.

Self-Care Planning

Before, it can be helpful to find a friend or supportive adult to talk to about how you’re feeling. This can give us a clearer understanding of our fears and worries, and can help us identify what sorts of support we might need throughout the holidays. It is so powerful to know that we are not alone, that someone has our back, and is willing to listen. Also, if you know that someone will be at holiday gatherings who might be supportive of your identity, it might be helpful to talk with them beforehand if you are able to do so.

Self Care During the Holidays

As you enter a holiday gathering, it is important to remember that our identities are not contingent upon our family’s ability to understand or validate them. You know yourself best, you are the expert of yourself and your identity, and you are so incredibly valid. We know, though, that hearing this doesn’t change how difficult it can feel when the people around us aren’t showing us the acceptance and love that we deserve.

One thing that has been helpful for folks in the past is to create an affirmation to repeat in their head when they’re feeling anxious or upset. This can be very specific to your experience with specific comforting words or phrases, or it can be as simple as “I am valid,” or “I deserve to be supported and loved for who I am.” Additionally, it can be helpful to identify a friend who might be able to support you by texting you throughout, and to step away from family at any point to take care of yourself if you feel safe doing so — even if it’s just a quick walk outside or trip to the bathroom.

For transgender and gender non-conforming people who experience dysphoria (or for anyone whose physical expression is important to their identity), it can be great to get creative about the way that we affirm ourselves while with family. Folks have found it helpful to wear a piece of jewelry or clothing that feels affirming while around family. This can be something that is visible to others if that’s safe for you, or it can be something you wear under your clothing (like a necklace, a cool pair of socks, an undergarment, or a cute t-shirt!) so that only you know that it’s there.

Post-Holiday Self-Care

It can also be important to plan for the self-care we might need after the holidays. This may be talking with someone who is supportive and understanding, watching a favorite TV show, creating some art, writing about your holiday experience, taking a cozy bubble bath, or doing something else that makes you feel comforted. A lot of LGBTQ people find it affirming to watch LGBTQ YouTubers or read their blogs when they’re feeling upset or alone, as it helps us to remember that there are people out there who are just like us.

The Trevor Project is Here for You 24/7

The reality is that some LGBTQ young people will spend the holidays with family; and for others, the holidays are a reminder of the loss of and the rejection from their families. Homelessness, violence, and suicidal thoughts affect LGBTQ youth uniquely and profoundly, and the holidays can be particularly difficult while alone.

Regardless of our relationship to the holidays, creating a self-care plan can be a powerful way to show ourselves the love we deserve. If you need additional support, please know that Trevor is always here for you 24/7. You can reach out to our caring and compassionate counselors through our Lifeline, Chat, and Text programs to talk about anything you are going through — you might even want to consider making Trevor a part of your self-care plan!

Joie A. DeRitis, LMSW (she/her/hers)
Senior Trainer
The Trevor Project


Report: Protecting LGBTQ Youth Through Inclusive School Suicide Prevention Policies in California

School policies are an important part of suicide prevention, especially because of the amount of time young people spend at school. Released today, The Trevor Project’s new report shows that implementing legislation like California Assembly Bill 2246, which requires schools serving grades 7–12 to establish student suicide prevention policies, dramatically increases the number of policies that address the needs of high-risk populations including LGBTQ youth.

After reading hundreds of school suicide prevention policies from all across the state, The Trevor Project’s researchers found that only 3% of policies implemented before passage of AB 2246 in 2016 included LGBTQ youth, compared to more than 90% of those written afterwards. Today, 25% of California’s school suicide prevention policies still do not address LGBTQ students.

It is vital that all California policies be updated to comply with AB 2246, because studies show that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, and nearly half of all trans people have made a suicide attempt — many before the age of 25. A third of all lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are bullied at school, and almost half of them seriously consider attempting suicide, almost 4 times more likely than their straight peers.


The Trevor Project & Jussie Smollett Recruit Volunteers For 24/7 Suicide Prevention Services for LGBTQ Youth

20th Anniversary Campaign for Volunteer Crisis Counselors Is Powered by AT&T

New York & Los Angeles — The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people, released “How to Save a Life,” a new national campaign that encourages supporters to apply to become volunteer crisis counselors for TrevorText and TrevorChat, the organization’s free and confidential text and web chat support services for LGBTQ youth. The campaign’s :30-second PSA features artist and activist Jussie Smollett.

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, and nearly half of all transgender adults have made a suicide attempt – most before the age of 25. Each year The Trevor Project answers more than 68,000 calls, chats, and texts, but estimates that more than 1.5 million LGBTQ youth experience suicidal ideation and could benefit from its services. Volunteers who sign up through the “How to Save a Life” campaign will increase the organization’s capacity to serve more LGBTQ youth than ever before. The expansion is powered by AT&T’s $1 million commitment, the single largest in The Trevor Project’s 20-year history.

“More LGBTQ youth in crisis are reaching out to us than ever before – many over text and chat, two increasingly prevalent forms of communication for young people,” said Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project. “Just over the last year our youth text conversations have increased by 165%. Training more volunteer crisis counselors will help us connect even more young people with our life-affirming crisis services.”

“It’s heartbreaking to think of the amount of LGBTQ youth out there who feel hopeless and alone, or think they don’t have support,” said Smollett. “Just one supportive person can decrease an LGBTQ youth’s risk of suicide by 30%, and The Trevor Project is giving everyone the amazing opportunity to be that person. I can’t encourage you enough to apply — volunteering your time can literally save lives.”

Volunteers can use a computer and stable internet to support LGBTQ youth from anywhere in the country. To become a volunteer, supporters can apply at TheTrevorProject.org/SaveALife. Successful candidates will complete a series of training courses that meet American Association of Suicidology accreditation guidelines and are designed to prepare volunteers to support LGBTQ youth in crisis. Among the volunteer crisis counselor trainees are AT&T employees from across the country. Employee engagement and volunteerism is an integral part of AT&T’s multi-year commitment to The Trevor Project.

“Our employees have a long history of stepping in to help those in need,” said Charlene Lake, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility, AT&T. “The Trevor Project is doing critical work by connecting LGBTQ youth in crisis to those who can help. We’re proud to support the “How to Save a Life” campaign and make these connections possible.”

AT&T’s commitment to The Trevor Project and other initiatives are the latest in its exceptional history of supporting the LGBTQ community. In 1975, AT&T was one of the very first American companies to prohibit discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation. Supporting the LGBTQ community is an enduring priority for AT&T, who continuously identifies ways to advocate and foster inclusivity.

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, queer & 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 1-866-488-7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org

MEDIA CONTACT:

Kevin Wong
The Trevor Project
646.576.7044
[email protected]


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 1-866-488-7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org


Expanded Hours for TrevorText and TrevorChat!

As we come upon celebrating our 20th Anniversary, The Trevor Project continues to be dedicated to serving the needs of our LGBTQ young people and being available for them where and when they need us.  As we move into our Trevor 2.0 phase preparing for 2018, we are thrilled to announce that we’re expanding TrevorText to 5 days a week, and we’re adding additional hours of availability to both TrevorChat and TrevorText!

Beginning May 1st, TrevorText is now available Monday to Friday from 3pm to 10pm ET/12pm to 7pm PT. Additionally, TrevorChat is now available from 3pm to 10pm ET/12pm to 7pm PT 7 days a week.

“As the youth we serve have become increasingly mobile, the expanding hours of TrevorText allows The Trevor Project to meet our youth where they’re at,” notes Brock Dumville, MPH, the Senior Crisis Services Manager at The Trevor Project.  “Many young people may not have access to a computer or have more privacy from their mobile device. Others feel safer chatting than talking on the phone. Being mobile-friendly makes it even easier for youth to reach a counselor whenever and wherever they need to.”

Being able to meet our youth on the devices that are easiest for them to access allows us to save even more young LGBTQ+ lives. The Trevor Project has been providing support for almost two decades on the Trevor Lifeline, the only nationally accredited suicide lifeline for LGBTQ+ youth available 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386.  Now, we’re hard at work building the infrastructure, supported by your generous donations, to expand TrevorChat and TrevorText to eventually also be available 24/7/365. In February of this year, The Trevor Project expanded TrevorText by adding an additional day of services from 3PM-9PM EST on Wednesdays, and in April, we expanded to include Tuesdays.

“Now more than ever, we need to focus on helping youth to find us when and where they need us.  Given the current political climate, it’s important for us to provide more tools for youth to reach us when they are in crisis,” notes our Vice President of Programs, David W. Bond, LCSW, B.C.E.T.S.  “Since the election The Trevor Project has experienced record contact volume, and providing support to LGBTQ+ youth is especially critical now.”

The outpouring of support in the wake of the election has us hopeful that we’ll be able to expand our services even further. If you would like to help us meet this demand, you can support our work here.  If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, the Trevor Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, TrevorChat.org is available 3-10 pm EST 7 days a week, or you can text the word “START” to 6786780 Tues-Fri 3-10 pm EST. To learn more about how The Trevor Project is creating a brighter future for LGBTQ youth, visit thetrevorproject.org.


Trevor Youth Ambassador Council Accepting Applications

Are you an LGBTQ or allied young person age 16-24?  Do you know someone who would be interested in volunteering to serve as an Ambassador? We are now accepting applications for the 2017/2018 term.  Apply by May 15 to be considered.

The Youth Ambassador Council (YAC) is a group of ten young people, ages 16-24*, who serve as a liaison between youth nationwide and The Trevor Project. The young people selected for the YAC have demonstrated knowledge and/or leadership in the areas of suicide, LGBTQ equality, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The YAC provides feedback to The Trevor Project and works on Trevor-led campaigns in an effort to increase Trevor visibility and best serve the LGBTQ youth population, build on their current leadership skills, and gain experience with a national non-profit organization.
*Youth under 18 will need guardian permission and all youth will need to sign a consent to be photographed.

MISSION
The mission of the Youth Ambassador Council (YAC) is to maximize The Trevor Project’s lifesaving work by integrating the perspectives of representative young people into services, programs, and messaging; spreading awareness as organizational spokespeople; and furthering outreach in new geographical areas as regional coordinators.

MAIN ROLES
·         Writing at least one guest entry on our national blog, TrevorNews
·         Serving as a “guest editor” for at least one week on our Tumblr & SnapChat pages
·         Engaging the TrevorSpace community through campaigns, forum posts, and other areas
·         Providing input and recommendations on our programs, services, and messaging
·         Opportunity after training to speak publicly during outreach events, to members of the media, and other outlets as an official youth representative
·         Advocating for and spreading awareness about Trevor in your local community

STRUCTURE
YAC members serve 1-year terms and elect two co-leaders who work directly with The Trevor Project’s staff to guide the council. Every 2 months, there is a group video conference meeting for the YAC and Trevor to discuss ideas, feedback, and updates.


TrevorSpace Re-Launches with a New Platform!

The Trevor Project has been providing support for almost two decades on the Trevor Lifeline, the only nationally accredited suicide lifeline for LGBTQ+ youth available 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386, and during that time we’ve seen social media become increasingly more important.  Youth were turning to social media not just for fun, but for support and community. To respond to this need, The Trevor Project launched our own peer-to-peer social media site for LGBTQ+ youth in 2008, called TrevorSpace. TrevorSpace now has nearly 150,000 members who support each other every day through serious discussions about coming out, suicide, mental health, and relationships. They also build their own community through more light-hearted conversations about their interests and passions.

We’re celebrating a re-launch and upgrade of TrevorSpace, which creates an even more easy-to-use platform for youth to connect with other like-minded peers. Unlike the Trevor Lifeline, TrevorText, or TrevorChat, TrevorSpace is not a crisis intervention tool, but rather an international social media site where LGBTQ youth from all over the world can connect. “TrevorSpace friendships can provide connections that we know can make a difference in the well-being of a young person, and can often mitigate the kind of isolation that increases a young person’s risk of suicide,” notes our Vice President of Programs, David W. Bond, LCSW, B.C.E.T.S.  By giving LGBTQ youth a safe place to connect with each other, TrevorSpace is a powerful resource for LGBTQ young people to find support among their peers.

TrevorSpace is an online, social networking community for LGBTQ youth ages 13 through 24 and their friends and allies. Youth can create personal profiles and connect with other young people throughout the country, as well as find resources within their communities. TrevorSpace is carefully monitored by administrators designated by The Trevor Project to ensure all content is age appropriate, youth-friendly and factual. This ensures the site provides the safest space possible for its young members, and that TrevorSpace remains a safe space for all LGBTQ people.

The safety and privacy of the LGBTQ youth members on TrevorSpace are both incredibly important to us. Members cannot privately message each other without staff and volunteers verifying who they are through a process called photo certification. In order to get photo certified, members have to submit a “selfie” of themselves holding a piece of paper that prominently displays their user ID. This helps young people know they are talking to other members who are who they say they are. Trevor Project staff and volunteers also proactively monitor discussions on TrevorSpace to make sure young people have a safe, supportive space where they can be themselves.

For LGBTQ youth who feel isolated in their communities, TrevorSpace is a way for youth to discover that they are not alone.  If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, remember that the Trevor Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, TrevorChat.org is available 3-9 pm EST 7 days a week, or you can text the word “START” to 678678 Tues-Fri 3-9 pm EST (soon to be 7 days a week this summer!). To learn more about how The Trevor Project is creating a brighter future for LGBTQ youth, visit thetrevorproject.org.


The Trevor Project Renews Accreditation with The American Association of Suicidology

The Trevor Project, including The Trevor Lifeline, TrevorChat, and TrevorText has been re-accredited and is continuing to operate within the standards established by the American Association of Suicidology (AAS).  AAS has been accrediting crisis intervention programs since 1976 in the United States, Canada and recently internationally.  The Trevor Project has been accredited since 2008, and the current reaccreditation cycle certifies us for another 5 years!

The American Association of Suicidology accreditation process strives to recognize exemplary crisis programs, and to help other programs refine their services according to these standards.  According to the AAS Organization Accreditation Standards Manual, programs seeking accreditation must offer crisis intervention services either as a primary focus or as a principle component of their service.  A good portion of the AAS Accreditation process is modeled on the Program Analysis of Service Systems (PASS) developed by Wolf Wolfensberger.   Crisis services are varied in their style of delivery, the community needs which they address, and their overall focus.  The AAS Accreditation Standards recognize and applaud this diversity.

AAS accreditation is important because it assures the minimum standards of service for persons in crisis:
– It validates service delivery programs that are performing according to nationally recognized standards
– The examiners offer consultation tailored to the needs of the individual program, its staff and board
– Accredited centers are given access to view crisis centers’ best practices on the AAS website
– It offers increased visibility and credibility, providing opportunities for modeling of program excellence to other organizations and professionals
– It provides additional credibility with funding agencies and opportunities
– It provides access to vital criteria for systematic, ongoing self-evaluation
– People who reach out to an accredited organization (The Trevor Project) are assured that staff has seriously examined their commitment to provide service according to nationally recognized standards

The 2016 site examiner stated that they were impressed with the level of commitment from The Trevor Project Management Team.  “It is admirable that the administrative team is focusing on achievable metrics and responsible growth.  I also appreciated the understanding the administrative team showed that all work done at The Trevor Project is suicide prevention work, even when the client does not specifically mention suicide.  The Trevor Project provides a necessary and vital service to users nationwide.  It is efficient, well managed and dedicated to its mission and vision.”

We are honored to be the only nationally accredited suicide lifeline for LGBTQ youth, and look forward to 5 more years of supporting our community.  If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, the Trevor Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386. To learn more about how The Trevor Project is creating a brighter future for LGBTQ youth, visit thetrevorproject.org.


TrevorText Expands Availability!

On February 1st, The Trevor Project expanded TrevorText by adding an additional day of services from 3PM-9PM EST on Wednesdays.  TrevorText, originally a pilot program with limited hours once a week, will now be available three days a week during after school hours for LGBTQ youth who need us.

The Trevor Project has been providing support for almost two decades on the Trevor Lifeline, the only nationally accredited suicide lifeline for LGBTQ+ youth available 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386.  As the youth we serve have become increasingly mobile, in 2013 we piloted our chat service, TrevorChat, three days a week, and began one day a week of TrevorText.  TrevorChat has since expanded to be available 7 days a week, every day of the year, from 3PM-9PM EST.  TrevorChat is available online, and is a great option for youth who feel more comfortable chatting online than talking on the phone.

The expanding hours of TrevorText allows The Trevor Project to be mobile friendly, which is important for youth who may not have access to a computer or who have more privacy from their mobile device. “It makes it even easier for youth to reach a counselor whenever and wherever they need to,” notes Brock Dumville, MPH, the Senior Crisis Services Manager at The Trevor Project.  Being able to meet our youth on the devices that are easiest for them to access allows us to save even more young LGBTQ+ lives.

“Now more than ever, we need to focus on helping youth to find us when and where they need us.  Given the current political climate, it’s important for us to provide more tools for youth to reach us when they are in crisis,” notes our Vice President of Programs, David W. Bond, LCSW, B.C.E.T.S.  “Since the election The Trevor Project has experienced record call volume, and providing support to LGBTQ+ youth is especially critical now.”

The outpouring of support in the wake of the election has us hopeful that we’ll be able to expand our services further in 2017.  If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, the Trevor Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, TrevorChat.org is available 3-9 pm EST 7 days a week, or you can text the word “START” to 678678 Wed-Fri 3-9 pm EST. To learn more about how The Trevor Project is creating a brighter future for LGBTQ youth, visit thetrevorproject.org.


Welcome Series-Part 4

Learn about our Education and Prevention Programs

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about The Trevor Project as much as we’ve enjoyed sharing our work with you. In our last email in this welcome series we would like to tell you more about our education programs.

Trevor’s education programs provide life-affirming and life-saving resources for LGBTQ young people. Trevor Education provides a number of supportive, youth-focused resources including the Trevor Lifeguard Workshop and Trevor’s adult training programs. We are continuing to expand our education and outreach initiatives in order to create safe, inclusive spaces for LGBTQ youth, in education and community centers across the country, like “Sandy,” a 16-year-old bisexual female from Maryland:

“My math teacher was the first adult I came out to. She noticed something was bothering me and asked about it after class one day. I told her I was bisexual and just broke down crying. She hasn’t taught me for two years but she still teaches me so much about embracing my identity and loving myself every single day. I don’t know what I’d do without her and I’m so grateful for her continued help.”

Lifeguard Workshop
Launched in February 2016, is an online educational resource that helps teachers, mental health professionals, social workers, administrators, PTAs, GSAs, and faith groups share lifesaving programs with youth in their communities.

This resource, shows youth they are not alone and it is brave to ask for help. Based on The Trevor Project’s in-person workshop, which is listed in the SPRC/AFSP Best Practice Registry for Suicide Prevention, we’ve designed The Lifeguard Workshop to include a video, Safer Spaces Guide, and empathy building lessons for middle school and high school aged youth. The Lifeguard Workshop teaches youth how to identify the challenges faced by LGBTQ people, recognize the warning signs of suicide, and respond to someone who may be in crisis. Classroom posters and other educational resources that can be ordered online.

Adult Trainings
Trevor CARE (Connect, Accept, Respond, and Empower) and Trevor Ally are training programs for youth-serving adults.The trainings provide an overview of LGBTQ youth culture and an opportunity to discuss the different environmental stressors that contribute to LGBTQ youth’s heightened risk for suicide. Ally and CARE cover research and popular methods that help adults identify and reduce the risk of suicide, as well as provide steps educators and other adults can take to promote a positive environment.

Learn how you can take part in these trainings.

Trevorspace
TrevorSpace is our peer-to-peer life-affirming social network that links its users to all Trevor crisis services.The unique online resource functions as a virtual safe space for LGBTQ youth ages 13-24 and now has more than 130,000 members. TrevorSpace also has the distinct ability to cross international borders, curren