Volunteer Journal #65 – The Trevor Project

“Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds.”

Downer opening but, let's face it, 15-24 is rough. For many of us it's the worse time of our life.  Almost impossible. You get raging hormones, a new body, acne, and hair in random places. You want to experiment with stuff, learn what you are and are not capable of, but you're still under the watchful eye of the ever present parentals. And then there are your classmates. I don’t know many adults who weren’t picked on to some extent.

Personally, I feared walking into the cafeteria so much during high school that I started eating lunch in the library with the librarian. I got a lot of reading done.

But, besides being female, I wasn't in any minority or oppressed group. I can't fathom...

“LGB youth are up to 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers.”

Is it any wonder?  We tell them they can die for their country but they can't tell us who they really are.  We tell them they can't legally be with the person that they love, so sorry - no legal protection for you. In many countries lesbians, gays, and bisexuals are even butchered by the law. So, is it any wonder?

That's why I'm so honored I got to work with The Trevor Project on Labor Day weekend.

The Trevor Project’s goal is to stop suicide among young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or questioning youth, but anyone seeking help is welcome to call their 24/7 help line 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386) to talk to a counselor.

My friend Sara, who spent time in Africa rehabilitating monkeys (random amazing factoid - see pic), joined me and other volunteers from the group Century of Compassion. We made survival kits!  Filled with information on GLBTQ literature and films and tips on how to deal with and prevent bullying. The kits are sent to kids, parents, schools, anyone who needs help - and they're free, so don't be shy about calling to ask for one.

The Trevor Project needs volunteers to make survival kids, be lifeline counselors (you have to go through training), or answer Trevor Chat.  Trevor Chat is a new instant messaging program for anyone who might be too scared to call.  They've talked to kids as young as 9 who need counseling.

Trevor took 33,000 calls last year, and intervened in a several suicide attempts.  If you have a friend or know someone who needs to talk please encourage them to call.

Life is rough but it would be so much less interesting without you around. Lots of people care and have been through something similar.  Please call 866-4-U-Trevor.

It gets so much better.