The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to youth, specifically queer youth, who are three to four times more likely to attempt suicide than young people who identify as straight. In addition to offering the Trevor Lifeline, the only 24 hour hotline for LGBTQ adolescents in crisis at 1-866-488-7386, it provides numerous resources online for young people, adults and educators to learn more about how to prevent suicide and make schools safer.
The Trevor Project was created in 1998 by Randy Stone, Peggy Rajski, and James Lecesne, after the three had created an Academy Award winning short movie TREVOR, which centers on a 13-year-old boy, Trevor, who attempts suicide after struggling with the hardships of being openly gay in an unsupportive community.
With the film set to air on HBO, the founders wished to provide a resource to help youth like the character Trevor, and found none existed. The group set to create one, and when TREVOR aired, the Trevor Lifeline was launched for any LGBTQ adolescent in need to reach out to for help. That night alone it received more than 1,200 calls.
Since then, the organization has expanded to include various other intervention services, education trainings, advocacy and more. In 2013, the Trevor Lifeline received over 36,000 calls and more than 100,000 youth reached out for support.
Luke Knudsen is a member of The Trevor Project Youth Advisory Council, a group of young adults who consult with the Trevor organization and help to spread its message. He describes the organization as impactful through its acceptance.
“Trevor is unique as an organization because it is committed to providing resources for all LGBTQ youth nationwide,” said Knudsen. “They are working to provide life-affirming, culturally competent outreach and support and are one of the few organizations nationwide who work to do so.”
Along with the Trevor Lifeline, The Trevor Project also has online assistance. TrevorChat allows youth to reach out for help through instant messaging, and is available every day of the week from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. TrevorText provides assistance over text message, and can be accessed on Fridays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Less urgent questions can be submitted online and answered by Ask Trevor. There is also a forum, TrevorSpace, for adolescents of any gender or sexual identification to talk to each other in an open environment.
Another resource is educational materials for schools. Various lessons for students and teachers on creating safe environments and preventing suicide are available for free.
The Trevor Lifeline is available 24 hours a day by calling 866-488-7386. TrevorChat, TrevorSpace and Ask Trevor can be accessed at thetrevorproject.org.