Embrace Lebanon, an active NGO dedicated to mental health and suicide prevention, is collaborating with the Internal Security Forces (ISF), providing the officers with the needed resources to improve their mental health and that of the public.
The initiative stems from the NGO’s goal to ensure that all Lebanese have access to mental health care, including the officers, and train them for related crisis intervention.
“ISF officers are among Lebanon’s main front-liners dealing with Mental Health emergencies in Lebanon,” Embrace stated.
The NGO acknowledged the increasing daily stressors in Lebanon with the deteriorating economic conditions.
In face of these pressuring circumstances, Embrace has dedicated efforts to help ISF officers address these challenges.
“Our mission is to protect ISF officers from mental and emotional problems as they continue to protect us,” Embrace noted.
Their initiative, which ultimately benefits the public the ISF interacts with, has provoked some backlash due to the Lebanese experiences with the use of excessive force during previous protests.
In response, Embrace issued a statement, explaining that it’s acting in alignment with its vision, mission, and values.
“We at Embrace understand and respect people’s negative feelings and experiences they have towards members of various institutions in Lebanon,” the statement clarified.
To achieve its goal of informing the community about mental illness, Embrace added that it seeks “to provide mental support and services across all Lebanon to everyone irrespective of background, race, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or religion.”
The NGO believes that equipping ISF officers with needed mental health training will help improve their overall responses to people in severe mental health conditions, asserting that ISF officers are commonly the first responders to people in such conditions.
Similarly, deeming “Lebanon’s front-liners are our most valuable assets,” Embrace has set to support the volunteers of the Lebanese Red Cross, providing them with mental health awareness and support sessions.
“The goal of these sessions is to help first-aiders manage their wellbeing and be better equipped to respond to all emergencies and continue their mission of better serving our community,” Embrace explained in an Instagram post.
Embrace operates the national suicide prevention hotline in Lebanon and conducts prevention activities and awareness across the country.
With the crises compounding in Lebanon and impacting people’s lives and mental health, the demand for Embrace’s services has been increasing. Its mental health center (EMHC) has been recording hundreds of free mental health consultations monthly.
Embrace Lebanon has also been conducting campaigns, calling the society to raise their voice “so together we can improve our living conditions to improve our Mental Health.”
In a recent Instagram post calling the public to raise their voices, Embrace posted the following:
“We are living in a country that lacks
– laws that care for mental health,
– basic social and economic security, justice, and peace of mind,
– politics that protect against discrimination, violence, and persecution,
– educational and work environments safe from harassment and bullying.
Content warning – If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the friendly team at Embrace by calling 1564.