Community Advocacy -
A collective effort and creating a lasting investment in 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. Together commit to working 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.

Step 1:  Understanding the situation

Do research to discover what the adolescent suicide rate is in your state and in your community. Statistics for each state are found through the State Health Dept.

For Utah:

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) Demand that your schools creat them and help them do so. LGBTQIA youth need to see they are valued 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

  • Create a directory of all youth services, contact info, event info, needs list

  • 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

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

Step 3: Educate and Empower your community

Bring speakers to your community to offer training, education on issues faced by youth in -your area, education on current problems and 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.

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

  • Create support and commitment to promoting kindness in all areas of your community

  • 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. 

  • 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.