US anti-suicide group begins activities in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (HPD) — With signs reading “Justice for Alejandro” placed at the entrance of a school in western Mexico, a group of students protested the suicide of one of their classmates who complained of alleged mistreatment and discrimination by one of his teachers before attempting on his life.

The suicide of Jorge Alejandro García, 17, which occurred at the end of September in the state of Jalisco, exposed a problem that has escalated in recent years in Mexico, especially among young people from the LGBTQ+ community.

Given the growing cases, the American group The Trevor Project decided to expand its digital care services to Mexico to prevent suicides among LGBTQ+ youth as part of a first advance in the region.

This is how The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization dedicated since 1998 to suicide prevention and crisis intervention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth, activated its digital services as of Tuesday. that will operate 24 hours a day and seven days a week for the 32 Mexican states.

Edurne Balmori, executive director of The Trevor Project Mexico, indicated that with the start of operations in the Latin American country, the organization seeks to help prevent suicide cases among young LGBTQ+ Mexicans.

In the last three years, suicides in Mexico increased 24% and the population between 25 and 29 years old is the one facing the highest incidence, according to figures from the state-run National Institute of Statistics and Geography.

The risks are heightened in the LGBTQ+ group, as revealed by the 2021 National Survey on Sexual and Gender Diversity, which found that 28.7% of members of that community have thought about or attempted suicide at some point in their lives.

“Our service is a response to this whole crisis issue that we believe is really already a global public health issue,” Balmori told The Associated Press.

The director of the NGO explained that the start of activities in Mexico occurred after an investigation process that involved the evaluation of local laws that affect the LGBTQ+ community, operational viability, regulatory risk, human resources and language. .

In the initial stage, The Trevor Project Mexico will have a team of 58 people and it hopes to expand to about 80 by the end of the year.

To access digital care services, young people can contact the organization’s staff through its portal, or by text message via SMS sending the word “Start” to 67676 , or by WhatsApp at 55 9225 3337.

Regarding the possibility that the program be extended to other Latin American countries, Balmori pointed out that as visibility grows in Mexico, that “will open the doors for us to other countries.”

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