Embrace Lebanon just announced, on September 10th, its partnership with Facebook to support the ongoing suicide prevention campaign Talking Saves Lives. Facebook added Embrace as an expert resource within its online Safety Center in the Middle East and Lebanon. The resource offers advise and support for anyone suffering from suicidal thoughts or seeking professional help. Friends and family of those suffering from mental health issues or depression will be able to refer to the resource for guidance on how to support their beloved ones.
In addition to the resource that will be out in both English and Arabic across the region, Facebook added Lea Zeinoun, the executive director of Embrace, to their list of suicide prevention experts.
Besides, Embrace has been added to Facebook’s reporting flow, making regional users who are showing signs of distress eligible to “talk with a friend,” “contact a helpline,” or “get tips and support.”
Help a Friend in Need is a guide on Facebook created in partnership with The Jed Foundation and The Clinton Foundation in the U.S. The guide helps people identify when someone is distressed and what steps to take to get help. It offers suggestions on how to approach their friend, what to say, how to react, and what to avoid.
Talking Saves Lives will be included in this guide, outlining potential warning signs that a friend might be in emotional distress and need support.
Likewise, people reporting concerning posts will be provided with various options including getting direct help or support, reaching out to a friend or guidance, or seeking advice by reaching out directly to Embrace Lifeline 1564 by phone.
Embrace Lifeline is the first Emotional Support and Suicide Prevention Helpline in Lebanon and the MENA region. The Helpline campaign Talking Saves Lives was launched at Embrace’s fundraising Gala Dinner, held on September 12, 2017.
The campaign aims to encourage talking about suicide, for the Lebanese community to break the silence about this social taboo, and send their messages of support to those affected by suicide.
According to Embrace statistics, during May – June 2018, the Embrace Lifeline received a total of 59 calls and 174 calls respectively. The mean age of callers was 22 years old in May and 33 years old in June, with the majority falling between the ages of 20-24 years old for both months.
Another report shows that in 2018, Embrace Lifeline’s operations reached a significantly wide target population across Lebanon, with an estimated 1512 calls received between February 2018 and December 2018.
Last Sunday, on September 8th, more than 200 people united together for a memorial walk for suicide prevention led by Embrace. The walk, Into the Dawn, took place from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. at Raouche in Beirut.
“Every year, in honor of World Suicide Prevention Day, which is on September 10, Embrace organizes the ‘into the dawn’ walk, which is a yearly memorial walk that aims to raise awareness on suicide and provide a supportive community to individuals who have lost someone to suicide or who are still struggling with suicidal thoughts,” Mia Atwi, co-founder of Embrace, told Annahar.
The hotline is available every day from 12 pm to 12 am. However, Mia told Annahar that they’re working on making it available for 24/7 in 2020. “There’s a need, and people should be able to call someone at any time when they’re in distress,” she explained.
If you have suicidal thoughts or know someone who has, do not hesitate to call 1564 at once, and in seeking professional help and advice. Participate in breaking this social stigma, talk to your friends and family, and stand by yourself and those who need support.
Last but not least, pay attention to the small details, suicidal people often seem happy on the outside. Talking truly saves lives. Remember, Embrace’s hotline is 1564!