On average, every 2.5 days, someone dies by suicide in Lebanon. And on average, every 6 hours, someone attempts suicide. Given the seriousness of the issue and the many lives it affects, Lebanon was in need of a National Suicide Prevention Helpline more than ever before.

Embrace Lifeline is a specialized telephone service that provides over the phone services such as suicide risk assessment, collaborative problem solving in life threatening suicidal emergencies, emotional support, and referrals to community mental health resources and treatment programs. The Embrace Lifeline is run by Embrace, in collaboration with the MOPH-National Mental Health Programme. The lifeline is a component of the national suicide prevention framework under development in line with the national mental health strategy for Lebanon 2015-2020 (Link). 
 
"The national mental health strategy, launhed in 2015 by the MOPH, aims to build a sustainable mental health system in the country that guarantees the provision and universal accessibility to high quality mental health peventive and curative services. Suicide prevention and decreased suicide rates is one of the targeted outcomes of thisstrategy. Several objectives of the strategy when implemented will contribute to reaching this target, from integrating eveidence-based mental health promotion and prevention into national protection programming and schools, to implementaing an evidence-based framework for prevention and monitoring of suicide. The Embrace Lifeline consistutes one of the components of this latter framework. The NMHP is also working on improving the availabiltiy and distribution of mental healthcare through developing evidence-based services at all levels of healthcare using a community-based model, and building a referral system between these levels. This will contribute to the effectiveness of the Embrace Lifeline in referring persons to resources and care in their communities. For more info: Link.  
 

Philosophy of Embrace Lifeline 

In line with Embrace's belief in the primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of suicide, Embrace Lifeline strives to provide access to support during times of crisis. 
 

Mission 

The helpline is a flagship initiative of Embrace, and is in line with the mission and vision of Embrace. It aims to:  
  • Ensure the respect and empowerment of individuals suffering from suicide, along with their ability to access appropriate care.
  •  Increase awareness about suicide in Lebanon, to support individuals suffering from suicide, those bereaved by suicide, and those suffering from emotional distress, while also providing a referral network of community resources for intervention and treatment.
 

Vision

The helpline strives to be a national resource for suicide prevention and emotional crisis support  in Lebanon and the region and a hub for training and research in the realms of suicide awareness, assessment, and prevention.
 

Call Center

The call center is located in the Beirut metropolitan area and comprises more than 40 volunteer helpline operators, a senior helpline supervisor, a center manager, and in the future an outreach officer. It is equipped with state of the art technology for receiving, handling, and managing calls. The call center’s layout and furnishing facilitates intercommunication between four workstations. Multiple concurrent calls, call monitoring, call reporting, call barging, call waiting, and call transfer technologies are available. 
 
Embrace Lifeline can be contacted at 1564. It currently operates from 12 PM until 2am, with plans to extend to 24/7. 
Individuals interested in serving as volunteer helpline operators, can reach us at info@embracefund.org. We are looking for dedicated members who will commit for a minimum of one year and who will support us in sustaining the first suicide prevention helpline in the region. All volunteers undergo a specialized active listening and suicide risk assessment training.
 
For individuals who would like to donate to support the sustainability of Embrace Lifeline, we encourage you to visit our Become a Donor page.
 

Supporting Partners

The Kamynu Trust
The Kamynu Trust (KT) is the primary funder of the National Suicide Prevention Helpline. The KT provides funding for organizations that are striving to improve mental health and wellbeing by:
  • Combating the stigma surrounding mental health issues through raising awareness and increasing access to information
  • Working on increasing access, availability and affordability of services for marginalised and disadvantaged groups
  • Exploring new, non-traditional and creative approaches to mental health and wellbeing, with a specific focus on organizations that use art therapies.  The KT strongly believes in the importance of creating spaces and strengthening communities where creative and free expression can thrive
The Agnes Varis Trust
The Agnes Varis Trust supports Embrace's project to start the first suicide prevention helpline in Lebanon and the region. The trust exhibits its commitment to Embrace's mission in mental health awareness and suicide prevention through a generous donation. 
 

Useful Links

World Health Organization (2014). Preventing suicide: A global imperative. Available at:   http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/131056/1/9789241564779_eng.pdf?ua=1&ua=1