(Bloomberg) -- Consulting firm Deloitte LLC will donate $1 million to The Trevor Project, a LGBTQ mental-health nonprofit that supports youth in the community in times of crisis.
Financed by the Deloitte Health Equity Institute, the donation will be distributed over the course of two years and will help fund the Trevor Project’s crisis counseling services, a web-based chat and a text-supported phone line, among other resources. The donation will also be used to recruit, train and support Trevor’s counselors.
The contribution comes at a time of increased legislative limitations on LGBTQ people in the US, as well as right-wing pushback against acts of support for the LGBTQ community by corporate America.
A 2021 study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law found that 31% of LBGQ people between the ages of 18 and 25 had attempted suicide at some point during their lives. In a 2023 survey by The Trevor Project, 41% of LGBTQ youth aged from 13 to 24 said they seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year. Rates were higher for transgender and nonbinary youth.
“Not only do we need to be thinking about making sure that we have enough staff and volunteers to be crisis counselors for such a large volume of young people who are reaching out to us in record numbers at this time, we also need to make sure that we are creating an environment at Trevor where our crisis counselors are also adequately trained, supported, and getting a good experience,” said Shira Kogan, a corporate partnerships specialist at The Trevor Project.
Trevor’s survey also found that nearly a third of LGBTQ youth said they experienced a poor quality of mental health due to anti-LGBTQ policy and legislation. So far this year, state lawmakers have introduced at least 491 anti-LGBTQ bills, per a count by the American Civil Liberties Union. Many of those bills target transgender and nonbinary kids. Eighteen states have banned gender-affirming care for transgender and nonbinary youth. Such care is recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other major medical groups as the standard of care.
Other companies, including the retailers Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and Macy’s Inc., made donations to The Trevor Project in June as a commemoration of Pride Month.
Jerry Bruno, a principal at Deloitte, said it’s important to identify and address disparities in health-care systems, such as mental health support gaps. The donation will also signal to Deloitte employees how they might get involved, as well as increase a sense of belonging for LGBTQ employees and allies. “It’s an authentic commitment to our core values,” he said.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.