BYU student receives award for suicide awareness video

BYU student Adam White received the youth Innovator Award from The Trevor Project on Dec. 8. (Photo courtesy of Adam White.)

The Trevor Project, a national nonprofit organization that handles crisis intervention resources to young adults, presented its Youth Innovator Award to BYU student Adam White. The star-studded event took place in Los Angeles on Dec. 8.

The award came, in part, as a result of White’s work in helping to create a video detailing the necessity of suicide awareness, especially in the BYU and Utah communities. White has proven to be a valuable part of the mission of The Trevor Project through fostering growth in the local Latter-day Saint community towards LGBT members.

The Trevor Project also awards their Hero Award to a celebrity who has done something for the LGBT community. The 20/20 Award is also given to an organization that has helped recognize diversity. This year’s Hero Award recipient was Jane Lynch along with the 20/20 Award recipient being Toyota.

White admits that many times LGBT young adults in the LDS community often feel like they are not included entirely by either group. This is simply not true, he said.

“Because (Mormon LGBT youth) are at the intersection of their faith and identity, they sometimes feel left out by either group,” White said. “I think it’s a wonderful thing to be able to show LGBT Mormon youth and young adults that the LGBT community at large hasn’t left them behind.”

Another roadblock faced by LGBT members of the LDS community is how to rationalize faith with feelings. Being a member of the LGBT community does not mean that dismissing faith is entirely necessary and faith communities are now facing the question of how to include these valuable members into faith-based societies, according to White.

“Adam is an example of this support and a bonafide Trevor Youth Innovator, who works through his faith to ensure other LGBTQ Mormons find safety, community and acceptance,” said Abbe Land, executive director and CEO of The Trevor Project. “Our dynamic honorees serve to teach the greater community about what it means to break boundaries and stereotypes to benefit LGBTQ youth everywhere.”

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Utah youth ages 10–17 and Utah young adults ages 18–24, according to The Utah Department of Health’s website. This is a serious concern that oftentimes flies under the radar of public awareness.

If you or anyone you know is at risk for suicide, contact The Trevor Project at 1–866–488–7386.

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