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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 28, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 39
'Talk to me'
Section One
ALL STORIES
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'Talk to me'

Trevor Project expands IM service for youth suicide prevention

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

This week, the Trevor Project announced the expansion of its instant messaging program, TrevorChat, to Saturdays, adding a new day of service each week. The Sept. 27 announcement coincided with Trevor Project Day, the culminating day of its 'Talk to Me' campaign marking Suicide Awareness Month. At events in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, volunteers and supporters gathered with elected officials and celebrities for events to raise awareness about suicide prevention.

According to Trevor Project officials, research indicates that improving help-seeking behaviors and access to care can have a dramatic effect on suicide prevention - a driving principle for both 'Talk to Me' and the expansion of TrevorChat.

'The Trevor Project Day is about taking steps to help prevent suicide, and we are so excited to do that by expanding TrevorChat to an additional day of service,' said Abbe Land, the Trevor Project's executive director and CEO. 'Helping someone can be as easy as saying three simple words like 'talk to me' to a friend or loved one. By talking about suicide, you can not only make it easier to ask for and to offer help, but it is also recommended by latest National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.'

Added Land, 'On 'Trevor Day' we also recognize our volunteers, supporters, partners and staff who work every day to save lives of LGBTQ youth.'

A MAJOR CAUSE OF DEATH
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among youth aged 10 through 24 - and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and questioning youth attempt suicide at rates three to four times higher than straight youth.

For 14 years, the Trevor Project has operated the only national suicide prevention lifeline service for LGBTQ youth, expanding to instant messaging services through TrevorChat in 2010. Beginning on Saturday, Sept. 29, service will expand to three nights per week, with expansion to seven service days planned by summer 2013.

'Talk to Me,' found at www.TrevorTalkToMe.org, has engaged youth and adults in a multi-faceted public awareness campaign to prevent suicide throughout September. Highlights have included a youth-oriented Google+ Hangout with Daniel Radcliffe on Sept. 16, a public service announcement featuring Kevin McHale of TV's hit show Glee, and recognition of National Suicide Prevention Week, (Sept. 9-15) and World Suicide Prevention Day (Sept. 10).

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT young people under 24. Every day the Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential lifeline and instant messaging service, in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources, and advocacy. Honored by the White House as a 'Champion of Change,' the Trevor Project is a leader and innovator in suicide prevention. Learn more at www.TheTrevorProject.org.

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