Nonprofit Spotlight: The Trevor Project

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In April, PennyLoafer donors collectively gave to The Trevor Project!

The Rundown

  • Years founded: 1998

  • Leadership: CEO Amit Paley is a renowned expert on the mental health and suicide prevention of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, and has won several accolades for his work. He began as a volunteer counselor on the Trevor Project’s 24/7 crisis line in 2011, and continues to answer calls as CEO!

  • Issue they address: suicide among LGBTQ youth.

  • What they do: provide the necessary support, resources and community for LGBTQ youth experiencing a mental health crisis, and their allies.

  • How they do it:

    • Direct suicide prevention: free and confidential 24/7 crisis counseling (calls, texts, or chats) with trained, volunteer counselors.

    • Peer support: TrevorSpace is an affirming online community for LGBTQ youth to be able to connect with one another, in a safe, moderated environment.

    • Research and evaluations: they produce original, innovative research to improve services for LGBTQ youth, and add to the field of suicide research.

    • Education: trainings, resources and educational material for LGBTQ youth and allies, including trainings for educators to create safe spaces in schools.

    • Advocacy: fighting for policies and practices that support and protect LGBTQ youth.

Why they were chosen

The Trevor Project is the largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth. Their dedicated volunteer counselors and staff are creating a more inclusive world, saving lives and providing life-affirming services. In addition to their crisis support, their investment in advocacy, peer support and education work to ensure LGTBQ youth don’t enter a crisis in the first place.

  • Impact: crisis counselors answered over 200k calls, chats, texts from LGBTQ youth in the past year. Their safe-space social networking platform, TrevorSpace, has over 400K+ members who can meet friends, find support or ask questions to their peers. And their advocacy work has helped pass 30 bills over the past 10 years.
  • In 2021, they won the Classy award for social innovation, which “shines a spotlight on outstanding programs run by social impact organizations around the world.”

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📈 The stats

Warning: the stats around LGBTQ youth and suicide are stark.

Yet having at least one accepting adult can reduce the risk of suicide attempt for LGBTQ youth by 40%, and social supports significantly reduced this risk as well.

📜 Rise in anti-LGBTQ bills across states

For a population already at higher risk for depression, anxiety and suicide, it can be really tough to see the onslaught of legislation being presented lately. It’s only April, and 2022 is on track to set a record of anti-LGBTQ bills in state legislatures, with over 200 bills proposed so far. These range from barring classroom discussion about gender identity and sexual orientation to banning transgender youth from participating in sports.

☎️ Volunteer as a Trevor Project counselor

You can make the difference in a young person’s life! It’s a one year commitment, with one 3-hour shift per week. The Trevor Project provides comprehensive training on trauma and LGBTQ competency. Learn more here.

If you enjoyed this and want to get involved, you can support the Mental Health cause on PennyLoafer, starting with as little as $5/month. Each month, you’ll support and learn about a different nonprofit working to make the world a healthier place.