What is the Trevor Project?

What is the Trevor Project? How Can It Help Your LGBTQ Clients?


August 17, 2023 | Reading Time: 5 Minutes

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What is the Trevor Project?

With laws changing across multiple states for transgender, the Trevor Project is in the news for dealing with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth community. The organization has established itself as a leading non-profit organization dedicated to providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to the LGBTQ youth community under 25 years of age in the United States. The article below will answer the following questions: What is the Trevor Project? What does the Trevor Project do? How Can the Trevor Project Help My LGBTQ Clients? What is LGBTQ?

What Does the Trevor Project Do?

The organization’s founding principles recognize the unique and often more challenging mental health needs faced by LGBTQ youth, particularly regarding suicidal ideation, often exacerbated by societal stigma and isolation.

Given recent changes in the political client toward LGBTQ people, organizations such as the Trevor Project have surfaced as leaders in the movement to establish equal rights for all US citizens. These are some of the press release titles that have appeared in the Trevor Project Press Room in the last few months:

New Poll Illustrates High Support Among Parents for Transgender, Nonbinary Children

Most adults would be willing to take all actions tested to support their child if they came out as transgender or nonbinary, including: encouraging other family members or friends to respect their gender identity (71%); use their chosen name and pronouns correctly (69%); and not vote for political candidates that support anti-transgender policies (65%)

The Trevor Project Celebrates Passage of Conversion Therapy Protections in Michigan Senate

The Trevor Project — the leading suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ young people — celebrated the passage of H.B. 4616 and H.B. 4617 in the Michigan Senate today, which would prohibit licensed medical professionals from subjecting LGBTQ youth to the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion “therapy.” The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk, where it is expected to be signed into law.”

The Trevor Project Supports Reintroduction of Equality Act. Kasey Suffredini (he/him), Vice President of Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project, released the following statement:

“We all deserve to live our lives free from discrimination. Treating everyone with dignity and respect — regardless of who they are or who they love — is supported by a majority of Americans across geography, demographics, and political affiliation. The Trevor Project applauds the reintroduction of nondiscrimination legislation, and we strongly urge federal lawmakers to work together to codify these protections and bring us one step closer to equality.”

How Can the Trevor Project Help Your LGBTQ Clients

Psychotherapists who work with LGBTQ clients can utilize the services and resources provided by The Trevor Project in several ways:

  1. Crisis Intervention. In urgent situations, therapists can refer clients to The Trevor Project’s 24/7 hotline, text, and chat services, which are staffed by trained counselors ready to provide support.
    1. Trevor Lifeline. A 24/7 toll-free crisis hotline (1-866-488-7386) that offers immediate, confidential support by trained counselors. More information can be found at Trevor Lifeline.
    2. TrevorChat. This online instant messaging service provides a confidential, secure way for LGBTQ youth to connect with trained counselors during specific hours. Learn more at TrevorChat.
    3. TrevorText. Recognizing the preference for texting among youth, this confidential service allows individuals to reach out for help via text message. Details can be found at TrevorText.
  2. Educational Materials. The Trevor Project offers educational materials on LGBTQ issues, mental health, and suicide prevention. Therapists can utilize these resources to enhance their understanding and to provide support and information to clients and their families. This can be accessed via their website’s Education and Resources section.
    1. TrevorSpace. An international online community that provides a safe space for LGBTQ youth to connect, find support, and access valuable resources. Visit TrevorSpace for more information.
    2. Research and Publications. Engaging in robust research initiatives, The Trevor Project collaborates with leading academic institutions to develop evidence-based practices and tools. Their research efforts are detailed at Trevor Research.
    3. Public Policy Advocacy. They work at various governmental levels to advocate for LGBTQ-affirming policies, laws, and regulations, contributing to a more inclusive society. Explore their advocacy work at Trevor Advocacy.
  3. Training Opportunities. The Trevor Project provides training for professionals to enhance their competence in working with LGBTQ youth, including suicide prevention training.
  4. Community Referral. The Trevor Project’s website offers a community referral service where therapists can find local LGBTQ-supportive mental health professionals, groups, and other resources, enabling a more comprehensive support system for their clients.
  5. Research and Statistics. Therapists looking to stay updated on the latest research and data regarding LGBTQ mental health can utilize The Trevor Project’s research documents and publications.
  6. Support for Families and Friends. Resources are also available to assist families and friends in understanding and supporting their LGBTQ loved ones. This can aid therapists in working with the broader support network of their clients.
  7. Toolkit and Guides. Customized toolkits, guides, and best practice documents support specific professions, such as educators, legal professionals, and more. These may include information applicable to mental health professionals seeking to tailor their approach to LGBTQ clients.

Assessment of Impact & Recognitions

Through their diverse services, the Trevor Project has reached and assisted hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ youth, reflecting their commitment to a more accepting and understanding society. Their efforts have been recognized through awards, endorsements, and collaborations with other mental health and LGBTQ organizations.

While the Trevor Project offers a wide range of resources and support, professionals must assess their client’s needs and complement these resources with their professional judgment and additional evidence-based practices. Collaborating with LGBTQ-specialized organizations and professionals may provide more comprehensive care tailored to each client’s unique situation.

What Is LGBTQ?

The acronym LGBTQ represents a diverse spectrum of sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions. Here’s an explanation of each of the letters and what they stand for:

L. Lesbian – Women who are emotionally, romantically, or sexually attracted to other women.

G. Gay – Men who are emotionally, romantically, or sexually attracted to other men and sometimes used more broadly to describe anyone attracted to the same sex.

B. Bisexual – Individuals who are emotionally, romantically, or sexually attracted to both men and women.

T. Transgender – An umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.

Q. Queer or Questioning – Queer is an inclusive term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or cisgender. Questioning refers to individuals who are uncertain or exploring their sexual orientation or gender identity.

What about the term “LGBTQI+”?

It is worth noting that these terms can have different interpretations and connotations depending on the cultural, individual, and community context. Moreover, additional terms, acronyms, and identities may better resonate with specific individuals or communities.

For instance, variations of this acronym can include:

  • I. Intersex – Refers to individuals born with several variations in sex characteristics, including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals that don’t fit the typical definitions of male or female.
  • +. The plus sign represents all other sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions not specifically covered by the letters mentioned.
  • A. Asexual – Individuals who experience little or no sexual attraction to others.
  • P. Pansexual – Individuals who are attracted to people regardless of gender or gender identity.
  • 2S. Two-Spirit – A term some Indigenous North American cultures use to describe a person who embodies both masculine and feminine qualities.

Recognizing that language and identities in this area can be highly personal, and fluid is essential. Engaging in respectful dialogue and educating oneself through resources like GLAAD and Human Rights Campaign can foster a deeper understanding.

Other aspects of the current GLBTQI+ issues are of particular concern in the workplace, medical settings, and general healthcare access arenas where telehealth is particularly helpful.

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