The Trevor Project has launched free, confidential 24/7 crisis services for LGBTQ+ youth in Mexico.
The move, announced Tuesday for National Coming Out Day, marks the first expansion of the Trevor Project's services beyond the U.S. in the organization's nearly 25-year history. The crisis intervention services for LGBTQ+ youth will be offered in Spanish across TrevorChat and TrevorText, including SMS text messaging, WhatsApp, and online chat.
As is the case in the U.S., suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people in Mexico. Overall, 28.7 percent of the LGBTQ+ population has thought about or attempted suicide at some point in their lives. While the Trevor Project estimates that more than 1.8 million LGBTQ+ youth in the U.S. seriously consider suicide each year, that number is more than 40 million globally.
"It's incredibly inspiring to see our vision of providing life-affirming crisis services to LGBTQ young people beyond the U.S. being realized today with our launch in Mexico. This is a major milestone in our goal to end the global public health crisis of LGBTQ youth suicide," Trevor Project CEO and Executive Director Amit Paley said in a press release. "The Trevor Project is committed to building a world where every single LGBTQ young person has access to resources that affirm who they are, and we couldn't be more optimistic about the impact we'll have on this journey to support more LGBTQ young people around the world."
"Today we celebrate the activation of our services in Mexico, kicking off what we hope will be a global social movement around suicide prevention," added Edurne Balmori, executive director of the Trevor Project Mexico. "For many LGBTQ youth in the country, expressing themselves and simply being who they are can put their physical safety and mental wellness at risk. At The Trevor Project Mexico, we will strive to end the stigma around the issue of mental health, provide LGBTQ youth with a safe and trusted space, and ultimately save lives."
As the organization does in the U.S., the Trevor Project Mexico will rely on a volunteer-based model in which counselors will undergo extensive training and implement an evidence-based crisis support model.
The organization plans to expand its services to other countries as well, under a plan announced in March. Several of the Trevor Project's existing supporters are funding this work. Google.org Monday announced a renewed grant of $2 million, designed specifically to help scale the Trevor Project's services globally. This grant will make Google.org a lead funder of the organization's international work. In addition, the Trevor Project was able to build and customize its crisis services platform for Mexico using Twilio Flex.
In Mexico, if you or someone you know needs help or support, the Trevor Project's trained crisis counselors in the nation are available 24/7 via chat at TheTrevorProject.MX/Ayuda, via SMS by texting "Comenzar" to 67676, or via WhatsApp by texting 55 9225 3337.
In the U.S., if you are having thoughts of suicide or are concerned that someone you know may be, resources are available to help. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 is for people of all ages and identities. Trans Lifeline, designed for transgender or gender-nonconforming people, can be reached at (877) 565-8860. The lifeline also provides resources to help with other crises, such as domestic violence situations. The Trevor Project Lifeline, for LGBTQ+ youth (ages 24 and younger), can be reached at (866) 488-7386. Users can also access chat services at TheTrevorProject.org/Help or text START to 678678.