A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Trevor Project website offers suicide prevention information and other resources to assist LGBTQ+ youth and their loved ones with sexual health questions, acknowledging sexual identity, and other topics. The site touches on a number of sensitive subjects in a respectful, positive way. Kids will find practical information and can connect with counselors via phone, chat, or text through the site to get hands-on help. There’s no way to directly connect to other site visitors, though, so parents don't have to worry about any personal information being exchanged. Sexual content is discussed in a light manner and provides links to external sources of information, while info about self-harm is discussed in an educational and non-sensationalized manner.
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What's it about?
THE TREVOR PROJECT is a site from The Trevor Project organization, which provides social service- and mental health-related services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning young people under age 25. Kids can access the TrevorLifeline, a crisis intervention and suicide prevention phone service, TrevorChat, which offers assistance through instant messaging, or TrevorText, a similar text service. Written information about suicide, sexual orientation, gender identity, sexual health, and other topics are also available.
Is it any good?
This informational site offers numerous resources LGBTQ+ youth may find helpful. The content on The Trevor Project ranges from written materials on topics like asexuality and self-injury -- which feature responses to FAQ questions such as “"Why do people self-harm?" -- to contact-based services kids can access to connect to a counselor to talk, text, or IM about their concerns. Site visitors who are over 18 can also apply for volunteer opportunities, and information about educational programs for educators and youth service professionals is also available.
The ability to make personal contact is definitely the site’s most dynamic element. Aside from that, most of the content involves reading -- and some items, such as the sections on sexual health and homelessness, contain lists that direct you to external resources, not original content. There aren't a ton of visual aspects or interactivity to wow kids on the site, or an endless amount of information to read. (They can probably get through all the written materials in a day.) But the site links to a separate social networking site run by the organization that offers less static content, and the resources that are available on The Trevor Project are well-written and contain truly helpful information. Even if kids won't find a ton of bells and whistles, that alone makes The Trevor Project site a worthwhile stopping point for LGBTQ+ and other teens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about sexual orientation, gender identity, acceptance, and some of the other subjects mentioned on The Trevor Project. What challenges can LGBTQ youth face in school and other social environments?
What are some ways kids can express themselves positively when they’re feeling sad or upset?
How are stereotypes formed? What steps can people take to prevent bias from influencing decisions they make?
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