LGBT suicide prevention group expands instant-message service

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A national group working to help LGBT youth in crisis is expanding its instant messaging program, adding a day of service on Saturdays.

The California-based Trevor Project operates nationwide, assisting – often by long-distance – young people struggling with various issues.

The TrevorChat program was announced for The Trevor Project Day and as part of an awareness campaign with high-profile events in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The group says research shows that improving access to help can have a dramatic impact on preventing suicides.

“We are so excited to do that by expanding TrevorChat to an additional day of service,” said Trevor Project CEO Abbe Land. “Helping someone can be as easy as saying three simple words like, ‘talk to me’ to a friend or loved one. By talking about suicide, you can not only make it easier to ask for and to offer help, but it is also recommended by latest National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.”

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among youth as young as age 10 through age 24 and LGBT youth attempt suicide at rates 3-4 times greater than straight youth.

The Trevor Project has operated the only national suicide prevention lifeline service for lgbt youth for 14 years. It added instant-messaging services in 2010.

The Saturday expansion begins on Sept. 29, along with a nighttime expansion, and by next summer, TrevorChat will be operating seven days a week.

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