Words by Smiley Team
Pride month recently ended, marking another year of celebrating LGBTQ+ individuals – and a significant topic this year was how the community deals with increased rates of mental illness.
According to the Trevor Project, over 73% of LGBTQ youth reported experiencing anxiety symptoms, 58% reported experiencing symptoms of depression, and 45% seriously considered suicide in the past year.
So they’re trying to do something about it.
The nonprofit operates an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, an advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation, and a research team to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide, a spokesperson from the project tells Smiley News.
The organization was founded in 1998 by Celeste Lecesne, Peggy Rajski, and Randy Stone who, in 1994, made an award-winning short film Trevor, a dramedy about Trevor, a gay 13-year-old boy who, when rejected by friends because of his sexuality, makes an attempt to take his life.
The film inspired the foundation of the organization as the three came to the realization that other youth may be experiencing something like their character.
The organization today has five key programs, including crisis services, peer support, research, public education, and advocacy.
“The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people,” the Trevor Project communications manager, Zach Eisenstein, tells Smiley News.
“It offers a suite of 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, TrevorSpace.”
The organization wants to help people have their voices heard.
“I didn’t know what else to do or who else to contact,” someone shared on the Trevor Project site. “So, I picked up my phone and I sent a text. And when someone from Trevor responded, it instantly made me feel like people were there for me, like I wasn’t alone.”
DONATE: The Trevor Project accepts donations to fund their work if you’re inclined to support their cause.
SUPPORT: Offer support to queer youth that you know. Show them that being themself is okay and even encouraged. It could make a world of difference.