TAR’s Oakley shares PSA

Beyond the Carolinas

NEW YORK, N.Y. and LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Trevor Project (TTP) and AT&T Turn Up the Love, the company’s campaign to support and engage LGBTQ people and allies, has launched “Anytime, Anywhere” featuring content creator and LGBTQ advocate Tyler Oakley who is currently competing on his second season on CBS’s “The Amazing Race.”

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young individuals, and LGBTQ youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers. “Anytime, Anywhere” highlights Oakley’s moments of feeling hopeless and alone during his youth, and tells LGBTQ young people that The Trevor Project’s text and chat counseling services, TrevorText and TrevorChat, are now available 24/7 for the first time in the organization’s 21-year history of saving young LGBTQ lives.

“The Trevor Project wants every young LGBTQ person to know that they are never alone and can always reach out to us for help,” said Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of TTP. “Now that our text and chat services are available around the clock, thanks to financial support, products, services, and employee volunteers provided by AT&T, we can provide life-saving support to even more of the 1.5 million LGBTQ young people we estimate to need our services every year. With the help of Tyler Oakley and AT&T, we’re able to reach LGBTQ youth nationwide so they know how to connect with trained crisis counselors at any time, who can tell them that they are loved, valued, and never alone.”

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The organization expanded TrevorText and TrevorChat’s availability with Generation Z in mind. As the first mobile-native generation that grew up with smartphone technology, they are more comfortable with text and chat services than with speaking on the phone or in-person interactions. In fact, in a third-party evaluation of the organization’s services, 63 percent who used its text and chat services reported doing so because they felt like it was easier to be themselves. Oakley, who his social media following of more than 23 million fans and over 7.5 million YouTube subscribers, connects directly with young people daily through content that resonates uniquely with them.

“Moments of crisis are different for everyone, and I hope that by sharing mine, LGBTQ youth know there’s no reason too big or small to reach out to The Trevor Project,” said Oakley. “Asking for support isn’t always easy — it’s important to meet LGBTQ young people where they are, with counselors who are trained to meet their unique needs, and on platforms they’re comfortable using.”

The 24/7 transformation of TTP’s text and chat services is powered by AT&T.

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“Our work with The Trevor Project is especially meaningful to AT&T. We’re proud to make millions of connections every day and those connections are never more important than in a time of need or crisis,” said Valerie Vargas, senior vice president of advertising and creative services. “As one of the first corporate allies of the LGBTQ community, providing resources and support — whether it’s through our technology or our dedicated employees — to help save lives of LGBTQ young people is a crucial part of our mission.”

Supporters of TTP’s expansion to provide 24/7 text and chat support for LGBTQ youth in crisis also includes The Coca-Cola Foundation and Wells Fargo Foundation.

TTP also supports LGBTQ youth in crisis through TrevorLifeline, its confidential phone lifeline, which has been available 24/7 since the organization’s inception 21 years ago.

info: thetrevorproject.org.

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Posted by Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988, x205.

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