The Trevor Project is expanding its services by opening up 24-hour chat and text counseling services.
The organization has been fighting LGBTQ youth suicide with a hotline since 1998. Their phone line is already available 24/7, but they previously only offered text and chat support from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern time.
With financial help from AT&T, the Trevor Project will be better able to reach young people today, people who grew up with smartphones. The Trevor Project cites a third-party evaluation of its services that found that 63% of young people who used its text and chat services did so because they “felt like it was easier to be themselves.”
The Trevor Project promoted the new services with a video featuring popular YouTuber Tyler Oakley, who talked about how alone he felt growing up gay in Michigan.
He talked about how a friend of his, the only person he had told he was gay, told him right before a school play that she outed him to several other people.
“I remember going out there onstage thinking, ‘Who is out there that knows this about me now?’” Oakley said in the video.
“And feeling like I don’t have control over my own narrative anymore, I don’t have control over how I get to tell everyone my deepest, darkest secret – my truth – and feeling helpless and alone. I just remember thinking, I don’t know how I’m going to get through this day.”
“That would have definitely been a moment I would have reached out to the Trevor Project.”
If you need help from The Trevor Project, call 1-866-488-7386, text 678678, or visit their website to use their chat service.