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Celebrities mark Trevor Project Day to raise awareness for suicide prevention (Video)

By Ben Cartwright| San DIego Gay and Lesbian News
Thursday, September 27, 2012

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – To raise awareness of the organization’s life-saving programs and services, The Trevor Project is hosting The Trevor Project Day today, Thursday, Sept. 27, at its offices in West Hollywood, with high-profile guests such as Darren Criss, Jessica Lu, Kevin McHale, Missi Pyle, Zachary Quinto and others in attendance.

The day-long event includes a news conference and open house at The Trevor Project’s main offices. Guests can take a “behind-the-scenes” tour of the Randy Stone Call Center and hear from volunteers and counselors about their experiences working with at-risk youth.

Participants will also have the opportunity to see a demonstration of the organization’s new “TrevorChat” crisis service.

Also, Trevor Project staff will unveil findings from a study that surveyed youth about how they want to reach out in times of crisis.

What is The Trevor Project?

Founded in 1998, The Trevor Project was founded by James Lecense, Peggy Rajski, and Randy Stone, creators of the Academy Award-winning short film, “Trevor.”

The coming-of-age story follows the life of Trevor, a seemingly happy 13-year-old who has a crush on the most popular boy in school, Pinky Faraday. When Trevor’s classmates discover his true feelings for Pinky, they tease and mock him. Sad and friendless, Trevor decides the world would be better off without him and tries to take his own life. But Trevor is no victim. By the end, it’s clear his developing sense of self and undeniable enthusiasm for life will always see him through.

When “Trevor” was scheduled to air on HBO, the filmmakers realized that some young viewers might face the same kind of crisis as Trevor did in the film and could use support. They searched for an appropriate lifeline number to broadcast with the film but no such number existed. On Aug. 8, 1998, Lecesne, Rajski and Stone opened the Trevor Lifeline. Since that time, The Trevor Project has become a national leader providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.

Today, The Trevor Project continues its core service, saving the lives of thousands of youth over the years. In addition to the lifeline, the organization also offers suicide prevention services to youth in digital spaces, including counseling via instant messaging.

The organization is recognized as a national leader in its field, and has played a key role in creating nationwide anti-bullying programs, such as StopBullying.gov.

Star-studded support

The Trevor Project has attracted the attention of support of numerous high-profile individuals, including celebrities like Daniel Radcliffe. Last Sunday, Sept. 16, members of The Trevor Project’s Youth Advisory Council hosted a live chat on Google+ with Radcliffe, who spoke about his support for the organization.

In the hour-long chat, Radcliffe reminds youth who are being bullied that there is a wider world of kind, caring, loving people beyond the few who are making them feel miserable.

Kevin McHale, of “Glee” fame, has also spoken out on behalf of The Trevor Project. As part of the organization’s new “Talk To Me” campaign for conversation, McHale encourages youth to reach out to The Trevor Project if they need help, or speak to someone else can support them.

LGBT youth suicide continues to be a major problem

According to The Trevor Project, suicide is the third leading cause of death among youth as young 10 years old, through age 24. Adding to this, in California, only about half of the teens who need mental health care actually receive it.

The National Suicide Prevention Plan recommends campaigns like “Talk to Me,” saying these types of programs help make it much easier to offer help to a friend in crisis and potentially help save a life.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month and The Trevor Project is asking everyone to participate in helping alleviate youth suicides by joining in the “Talk To Me” campaign here.

How to get involved with Trevor Project Day

While community members in the L.A.-area will have the opportunity to visit The Trevor Project’s headquarters on Thursday for the open house, those across the nation who are unable to attend are encouraged to get involved to spread the word about The Trevor Project.

The organization is encouraging supporters to share the image included with this story on their Social Media accounts, and consider making it their profile image.

To join the conversation for Suicide Prevention Month, participants can also take the #TrevorTalkToMe Pledge.

Those who take the pledge will be given tools to share it on their Social Media accounts and learn more about how to help a friend or loved one in need.

The Trevor Project Day Open House

The Trevor Project open house will take place at Trevor’s headquarters, located at 8704 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood. The event will include a press conference unveiling the findings of the youth study at 9:30 am, followed by an open house from 10 am to 2 pm.

Tours, demonstrations, and a “Talk to Me” photo booth in support of suicide prevention will be available for participants.

For more information about The Trevor Project, click here.

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An LGBTQ Nation media partner.

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