The Trevor Project released a new research report on the ways in which LGBTQ youth may be particularly vulnerable to negative mental health impacts associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Completed by Amy Green, PhD., the organization’s Director of Research, the report outlines ways that physical distancing, economic strain, and increased anxiety related to COVID-19 may impact LGBTQ youth and explains how The Trevor Project and others can work to support LGBTQ youth during this time.
Over the last two weeks, The Trevor Project has experienced an increase in crisis contact volume from LGBTQ youth reaching out for support. In preparation for COVID-19, The Trevor Project underwent a rapid, massive tech transformation to move its physical Lifeline call centers in NYC and LA to completely remote operations to ensure crisis services remained 24/7 and uninterrupted.
“LGBTQ youth already face increased risk of anxiety and suicide and disproportionate rates of unemployment and unstable housing. The COVID-19 global pandemic has the potential to exacerbate these ongoing concerns and to create new, unique problems for LGBTQ youth. At The Trevor Project, we know that positive social connections are vital for suicide prevention and we are hearing from an increased number of LGBTQ young people who no longer have access to their usual support systems. Some LGBTQ young people have even been forced to confine themselves in unsupportive or abusive environments,” said Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project.
“It’s critical to remember that physical distancing does not have to mean social isolation. We’re telling LGBTQ youth: Do all you can to stay connected with your friends, family, or chosen family. If you have access, try using the Internet to contact loved ones or to find affirming community online, like on TrevorSpace. Focus on your mental health and set aside time for self-care. And if you’re ever feeling hopeless, please call, chat, or text The Trevor Project. Our trained counselors are here for you 24/7. You are not alone,” continued Paley.