LOS ANGELES, CA — (10-01-18) — Empire star Jussie Smollett is the new face of a new effort to save LGBTQ youth lives across the U.S. The ‘Empire’ actor and singer, has teamed up with the Trevor Project.

A well-known LGBTQ advocacy group that has just launched its “How to Save a Life” campaign. Jussie Smollett appears in the PSA aimed at encouraging supporters to apply to become volunteer crisis counselors for TrevorText and TrevorChat.

The group’s text and web chat support services for queer youth is set up to give an outlet for LGBTQ youths in their environment.

“It’s heartbreaking to think of the amount of LGBTQ youth out there who feel hopeless and alone, or think they don’t have support,” said Jussie Smollett in a press release. “Just one supportive person can decrease an LGBTQ youth’s risk of suicide by 30 percent, and The Trevor Project is giving everyone the amazing opportunity to be that person.” said Smollet.

The campaign has picked up major donors including AT&T who back in June, announced it would contribute $1 million to the Trevor Project. The donation is the largest reported in the group’s history. The AT&T $1 million dollar donation will be used as part of a multi-year “Turn Up The Love” initiative.

According to statistics, LGBTQ youths remain nearly three times susceptible to suicidal behavior as their heterosexual peers. In fact there is an estimated 34 percent of queer kids have also said they face bullying in school.

Trevor Project CEO and executive director Amit Paley told HuffPost Queer Voices…”This is where the Trevor Project comes in play and why having outspoken role models like Jussie Smollett matters more than ever,” said Paley. “It’s so important for LGBTQ young people to see that they have support in and out of the home. We hope to encourage more people to volunteer with Trevor to support the growing number of LGBTQ youth in crisis reaching out to us for help.” said Paley.

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line.

For LGBTQ youth outside the U.S., visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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