Community Advocacy

A collective effort and investment in

​ creating REAL change.

Like state advocacy, often communities don’t respond until there is a tragedy or a crisis. Be proactive and join with others to educate your community regarding the growth rate of adolescent suicide, bullying and the significant risks faced by LGBTQIA youth.

Commit to working together to keep ALL youth in your community safe and healthy.

Form or join a coalition focused on creating a community which supports and protects ALL youth. See the Resources page for Groups to connect with. Support and get involved with Advocacy groups in your state.

Steps for Creating Change in your Community

Step 1: Understanding the situation

Do research Through the DATA page to discover what the adolescent suicide rate is in your state and the risks facing LGBTQIA youth in your community.

Step 2: Collective strength

  • Find or start a coalition or committee in your community focused on youth services.

  • Begin by making a list of all youth service providers in your community -- ask others to ensure your list is complete

  • If your community/schools do not have GSAs (Gay, Straight Alliances) Ask that your schools create them and help them do so. LGBTQIA youth need to see they are valued, protected and cared for - These groups help them feel this!

  • Invite the service providers to a meeting -- purpose: to ensure needs are being met, to create programs and activities where there are gaps, collaborate to strengthen the net

  • Bring needed training to these providers: bullying, cyberbullying, reporting, suicide prevention, awareness, and support for LGBTQIA and other high-risk youth. Go to the Training page for more info.

  • Create a directory of all youth services, contact info, event info, needs lists, volunteer needs.

  • Ask your local government to create a Youth Services Coordinator position, who would be responsible for maintaining the Youth services information available and engaging actively with you via social media to keep them informed of events and opportunities in your community.

  • Meet regularly until you have established services reaching ALL youth. Pool resources and volunteers to ensure programs are successful. Then meet less often to assess areas of strengths and weaknesses to fill in gaps.

  • Ensure all agencies are committed to protecting and serving all youth

  • Work together to engage the local school board and encourage them to adopt the Necessary Components!

Step 3: Educate and Empower your community

Bring speakers to your community to offer training and education on issues faced by youth in -your area, Assess current problems or areas that are lacking. Promote meeting kids where they are at. Help the students in your area implement change in the school culture, and climate by Supporting peer to peer training and programs. Bring training for the community as a whole and for those serving youth in the community. Go to the Training page as well as the Resources page for more information.

Attend School Board meetings regularly especially when discussing Bullying, suicide and/or LGBTQIA youth. See the School Advocacy page for more.

Step 4: Model kindness and create a lasting commitment to youth

  • Create support and commitment to promoting kindness in all areas of your community again this requires training and raising of awareness

  • Create a phone down campaign. Share growing concerns and evidence demonstrating that more than 2 hrs of screen time a day is connected to a significant increase in depression and suicidal thoughts. Parents and adults must participate and model this behavior.

  • Get involved with some youth services in your community and give them your time! Be a positive presence in the lives of young people.

  • Create a community-wide digital citizenship campaign. Many adults are setting examples of meanness and cyber-bullying through their own behaviors and attitudes. Adults must demonstrate how to be a good digital citizen. Promote positive role modeling for the youth in your community. It begins with each person.