Everyone across the country is having to deal with the pandemic in their own way, but one of the communities that is greatly at risk during this time is LGBTQ+ youth.
This group already faces an increased risk of anxiety, suicide and disproportionate rates of unemployment and unstable housing and according to The Trevor Project, COVID-19 "has the potential to exacerbate these ongoing concerns and to create new, unique problems for LGBTQ youth."
The Trevor Project is. a non-profit organization focused on suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQ youth.
According to the organization, they're hearing from an increased number of young people who no longer have access to the support systems they're used to, and some have been forced to confine themselves in environments that are unsupportive or even abusive.
"It's critical to remember that physical distancing does not have to mean social isolation," said Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project. "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.”
Since the start of the pandemic, the number of youth reaching out to the organization's crisis service programs has increased exponentially and in preparation for this, they went through a rapid, massive tech transformation to move their physical Lifeline call centers in NYC and LA to completely remote operations for the first time ever. All of this was done to ensure that their crisis services remained 24/7 and uninterrupted.
Recently, the organization released a report on the implications of the virus and its affect on the community.
They stated that "although youth and young adults are estimated to have the lowest mortality rates from COVID-19, they are not immune to its consequences, including as it relates to mental health and well-being."
They state in the report that there's several consequences of this physical distancing that can affect mental health due to loss of social connections, housing and unemployment concerns.
To help with this growing issue, the Trevor Project has a number of resources to assist those in need including but not limited to TrevorText, TrevorChat, and TrevorLifeline.
For a link to their resources, click here.
Here's a list of resources for LGBTQ-oriented health services and providers:
Here's also strategies for quarantining in a non-LGBTQ affirming environment.