Digital Crisis Counselor
Founded in 1998, The Trevor Project is a national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention to LGBTQ+ youth. With four main platforms, The Trevor Project has different avenues of contact all free and available 24/7. TrevorLifeline (866.488.7386) is the only national crisis/suicide hotline available 24/7 for LGBTQ+ youth. TrevorChat is a secure, confidential chat service available through Trevor’s website that connects at risk youth with trained counselors. TrevorText provides young people with a trained counselor by texting START to 678-678. TrevorSpace is a social networking community for LGBTQ youth, friends, and allies to provide peer support. In addition to these platforms, The Trevor Project website provides training, resources, and education to help the LGBTQ community, parents, and friends with any obstacles they may face. Every year, Trevor receives over 100,000 text, chats, or calls and educates over 22,000 with their resources.
As a Digital Crisis Counselor, I’m trained to answer chats or texts from LGBTQ young people who reach out when they are struggling with issues such as coming out, LGBTQ identity, depression, and suicide. The training for this included 40-hour virtual courses over the span of 10-weeks, including e-learning modules, role plays and supervised shifts. I started volunteering with this organization because one supportive person can up the chances of saving a life by 30 percent. As a crisis counselor for The Trevor Project, I have the opportunity to listen to and validate the struggles of youth that may not otherwise have an outlet. I believe everyone has a right to live without fear of self-expression and to feel seen and valued; volunteering for The Trevor Project allows me to instill empathy and teach coping strategies for self-reliance. As Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” By volunteering for the Trevor Project, I hope that the youth I talk to accept themselves as who they are and, through this, the world also accepts them.