LGBT Education Program Listed as Suicide Prevention “Best Practice”

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Today, The Trevor Project announces the official listing of its cornerstone education program, the Trevor Lifeguard Workshop, as a best practice for suicide prevention.The announcement coincides with the unanimous support of the Senate HELP Committee of the Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act (S.689), a bill to help fund suicide prevention programs and emphasize mental health awareness in schools.

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Today, The Trevor Project announces the official listing of its cornerstone education program, the Trevor Lifeguard Workshop, as a best practice for suicide prevention. This school-based training program, appropriate for middle school, high school and college age students, has been reviewed by experts for adherence to standards and is the first training to address the unique needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth in the SPRC/AFSP Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention. The announcement coincides with the unanimous support of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee of the Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act (S.689), a bill to help fund suicide prevention programs and emphasize mental health awareness in schools.

“As a best practice training for suicide prevention, Trevor Lifeguard Workshops are among the few programs that are available to schools to train life-saving, life-affirming skills to students. They provide a vital resource to our schools at a time when the mental health of students is being addressed nationally as evidenced today by the Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act, which was approved to move to the Senate floor,” said Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project. “With this recognition in the national best practices registry, educators and school administrators can feel confident that the Trevor Lifeguard Workshop’s curriculum is based on the most current research regarding suicide prevention education.”

Suicide is preventable, which make the statistics staggering. It is the second leading cause of death among youth as young as 10 through age 24, and the second leading cause of death on college campuses. While 1 out of 6 students in high school in the U.S. have seriously considered suicide, suicide attempts among lesbian, gay and bisexual youth occur at rates 4 times greater, (among questioning youth, it is 3 times greater), than their straight peers. Among transgender youth, data is incomplete, but one study showed that nearly half of transgender youth have seriously considered suicide, and that nearly 1/4 had made a suicide attempt.

Trevor Lifeguard Workshops are one-hour trainings that employ best practices to teach suicide prevention to middle school, high school or college students. The workshop helps students:

  •     Identify the challenges faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people;
  •     Recognize the warning signs of suicide; and
  •     Respond in a way that will keep themselves and their peers safe.

The Trevor Project’s crisis services have been accredited by the American Association of Suicidology, and the Trevor Lifeguard Workshop is the first among the organization’s education programs to receive recognition as a best practice for suicide prevention. Other education programs offered by The Trevor Project include Trevor C.A.R.E. and Trevor Ally Workshops, which train adults who interact with youth regularly to recognize warning signs for suicide and respond appropriately, and also to build competence in the specific needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. The organization also offers classroom resources called Trevor Survival Kits. More information about The Trevor Project’s education programs can be found at TheTrevorProject.org.

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people under 24. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential lifeline and instant messaging services, 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 TheTrevorProject.org.

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Laura McGinnis
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