Amazing news for my one of my favorite LGBTQ organizations that do incredible and life-saving work for our community!
The Trevor Project, the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, was presented with the Crisis Center Excellence Award from the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) yesterday at the 43rd Annual AAS Conference in Orlando, FL.
The Crisis Center Excellence Award is presented to one organization each year to recognize outstanding service in the face of extraordinary circumstances, or for service to the community through an innovative and creative program. The Trevor Project was nominated for innovative programming and providing services to an under-served and at-risk population: LGBTQ youth.
Suicide is one of the top three causes of death among 15 to 24-year-olds. In addition, LGBTQ youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers and up to nine times more likely to do so if they come from a rejecting family.
That's why the work that Trevor Project does as a vital and necessary part of our community.
Phoenix Schneider, M.S.W., program director at The Trevor Project:
Suicide, especially among high-risk populations such as LGBTQ youth, is a public health crisis. But we are headed in the right direction to prevent this epidemic from spreading by saving lives, building supportive communities and advocating for a more accepting national culture.
It is an incredible honor for The Trevor Project to receive the Crisis Center Excellence Award from AAS because it validates that we are providing LGBTQ youth with the kind of innovative and effective crisis and suicide prevention programs that they need. We dedicate this award to our hundreds of heroic volunteers who answer calls on the helpline, conduct school workshops and advocate on behalf of LGBTQ youth each day.
The recipient of the Crisis Center Excellence Award must be accredited by AAS as an exemplary crisis and suicide prevention program performing according to nationally-recognized standards. To date, The Trevor Project is the only crisis and suicide prevention service delivery program specifically serving the LGBTQ community to be accredited by AAS. The organization achieved accreditation in Nov. 2008.
Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential helpline, in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources and advocacy. The organization was founded in 1998 by three filmmakers whose film, "Trevor," a comedy/drama about a gay teenager who attempts suicide, received the 1994 Academy Award® for Best Short Film (Live Action).
I have a special love for the Trevor Project. Over the years, I've heard the stories of volunteers who work the suicide prevention hotline. I've heard the tales of heartbreak, abandonment, homophobia, and struggle from young LGBTQ people that call in. But what shines through in all the stories after the Trevor Project listens to and helps them, is one thing: Hope.
The Trevor Project has many exciting and innovative projects coming to help reach LGBTQ youth, from an ambitious social networking outreach to in-school peer counseling programs. They are truly one of the most dedicated and life-changing organizations our community has.
Congratulations to a much deserved recognition for the Trevor Project. And a heartfelt thank you from a community that knows the important work you do and the lives you save.
Here's an interview I did with Executive Director Charles Robbins, who talks about some of the exciting thing coming up for Trevor Project: