Facebook Have Joined Up With the Trevor Project to Help Fight LGBTQ Suicide

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Among the younger community, especially that of the United States, the rates of suicide and suicide attempts are significantly higher in the LGBTQ community, and it's far from a coincidence. In fact, data suggests that cases of depression and drug use among LGBTs actually spikes following the passing of discriminatory laws, or equality bills failing to go through. Take a moment and really think about that.

In 1994, a short film about a suicidal gay 13-year-old called Trevor took the Oscar for best short film, and that became the catalyst for director Peggy Rajski, writer James Lecesne and producer Randy Stone to found The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is a non-profit which houses the only 24/7 hotline for depressed and suicidal LGBT youths. The value of their work cannot be understated, and now they've made a move beyond the telephone and into the world of social media, with the help of Facebook.

Suicide prevention tools have been available on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram for some time now, and they've partnered with a few different groups to make the outreach as all-inclusive as it can be. With The Trevor Project, they're going to bring in tools which will allow the project's helpline operators to connect directly with depressed or suicidal users through the chat function.

Social media has provided many unique opportunities to help combat suicide. According to certain statistics, suicide is the second highest cause of death among 10-24 year olds in the US, and social media is nothing if not youth oriented. It could be argued, then, that social media platforms don't just have an ideal vantage to help reach out to young people experiencing suicidal thoughts, they have a responsibility.

One-to-one discussion is often the best method, and that's exactly what the Trevor Project specialise in. Facebook is already an important hub for many members of the LGBTQ community to discuss their issues and struggles, as are YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr and a number of other platforms, so this is a logical step. Hopefully it will set a precedent for certain other platforms to expand their reach as well.

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