Digital firm helps boost LGBTQ helplines

  • by Laura Moreno
  • Wednesday June 26, 2024
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Nisha Kadaba. Photo: Courtesy PagerDuty
Nisha Kadaba. Photo: Courtesy PagerDuty

A global leader in digital operations management has announced an investment in crisis line and crisis response organizations, including those that work with the LGBTQ community., the foundation arm of, stated in a news release that it's investing $600,000 in three crisis response organizations: The Trevor Project, which is based in West Hollywood and works with LGBTQ youth; the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the country's largest grassroots mental health advocacy organization; and SameSame Collective, a nonprofit organization based in South Africa and the U.S.

The money will provide pro bono technology assessment, product, support, and volunteer hours to help increase each organization's effectiveness in response time, the release stated.

Furthermore, the company leverages technology to activate real-time response and strengthen organizational resilience to advance justice and health, the release explained. The tech company provides cost-effectiveness for small and medium-sized teams, a user-friendly interface, out-of-the-box functionality, and adaptable workflows.

Nisha Kadaba, global social impact leader at PagerDuty, explained to the Bay Area Reporter a bit about the partnership.

"All three of these organizations are part of's third Impact Accelerator Cohort to advance equitable health outcomes through crisis text and chat lines, and response services," she stated in an email. "[They] receive holistic support from PagerDuty, which include general operating funding, product credits, technical pro bono support from our employees and impact storytelling."

PagerDuty was founded in 2009 in Toronto, Canada by Alex Solomon, Andrew Miklas, and Baskar Puvanathasan. It has over 1,100 employees worldwide and offices in San Francisco, Atlanta, Lisbon, London, Santiago, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto.

"Over the next 12 months, each organization will leverage the PagerDuty operations cloud to transform incident management, automate manual tasks, and triage and prioritize urgent issues to ensure that their critical services are available 24/7 and their organizational resources are focused on their community impact," noted Kadaba.

The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is a leading suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for youth struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity. It provides free 24/7 crisis intervention services for "hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ+ youth contacts each year," noted Kadaba.

The company's support, she explained, will assist The Trevor Project in providing real-time problem-solving to its staff and volunteers if they encounter technical issues that prevent them from connecting with contacts when using PagerDuty's crisis services platforms.

"It is critical that we have best-in-class resources to get our crisis counselors back online as quickly as possible to ensure that our services remain available 24/7 for LGBTQ+ young people to reach us," wrote Kadaba.

Jeremy Wilson-Herrmann, vice president of IT and security at The Trevor Project, stated that working with the company has "decreased response time and improved situational awareness."

"By ensuring that not just a resource, but the right resource is engaged while providing visibility to all stakeholders, PagerDuty helps our team get the support they need in real time and keep our crisis services platforms up and running to support our community," Wilson-Hermann added in an email. "PagerDuty has become a central part of the fabric that allows us to innovate and integrate new ways of working and supporting our staff and volunteers at the core of our life-saving platforms."

In addition, Wilson-Herrmann stated, "As many nonprofits continue to face increasing headwinds in fundraising, it is more important than ever that we find new and innovative ways to do more with less. Our 24/7 crisis services must be available whenever an LGBTQ+ young person reaches out, and with PagerDuty's partnership, we are better able to make sure that a supportive voice is always there when the call comes in."

The funding should help The Trevor Project, which experienced layoffs earlier this year, according to a Washington Blade article.


NAMI's programs reach people across the United States through its network of more than 600 local affiliates and 49 state organizations. It has received national attention this year via Season 9 of "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars," on which the drag queens are competing to raise money for different charities, and contestant Jorgeous choose NAMI as her nonprofit. (Fellow contestant Nia West is competing on behalf of The Trevor Project.)

Jessica Edwards, chief development officer at NAMI, stated in an email to the B.A.R. that PagerDuty's platform "will help NAMI with real-time alerts for crucial technical systems, enabling them to quickly identify issues as they begin, and reduce the time to resolution. With the support from PagerDuty, NAMI aims to strengthen its technology infrastructure to improve its program efficiency and effectiveness and increase its organizational capacity."

SameSame Collective

SameSame Collective supports the mental health and wellbeing of more than 100,000 LGBTQ youth. Kadaba noted that "SameSame works with cognitive behavioral therapy experts to create evidence-backed activities that help users set goals, fight depression and anxiety, deal with stress, and overcome both internal and external homophobia and transphobia so that the youth can achieve their full potential.

"With SameSame, support from PagerDuty will be instrumental in enhancing and scaling the impact of SameSame's WhatsApp chatbot service, providing a virtual lifeline to LGBTQI+ youth in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria over the next year and making sure they get timely, tailored support," Kadaba added.

Jonathan "Jono" McKay, co-founder and executive director at SameSame Collective, stated, by integrating the company's tools, "we enhance operational efficiency and optimize our back-end processes, making sure that users who need urgent support are connected to the right services, while allowing staff to focus more time on core activities such as program development and direct user engagement at this critical time of growth for the organization."

McKay added, "SameSame's team is still tiny and that's partly by design. We need to stay lean to make sure we're delivering cost-effective scalable services. The only way we can do this is by relying on tools that help us automate a lot of our processes and that help draw our attention to the most important and urgent issues — exactly the kind of tools PagerDuty provides us with."

Kadaba also explained that the company takes security seriously and has designed effective security controls, she said.

The foundation arm of the company has also collaborated with the Global Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organization Foundation, Kadaba noted, to provide two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to 92 countries.

If you are experiencing a crisis, call 988, the national suicide and crisis line. The Trevor Project can be reached at 866-488-7386.

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