About Us

What and Why

About the Embrace LifeLine

The Embrace LifeLine is the first National Emotional Support and Suicide Prevention Helpline in Lebanon.

This specialized telephone service includes a network of highly trained operators who provide over the phone emotional support, suicide risk assessment and referrals to community mental health services.

Hours of Operation
Daily, from 12pm (noon) to 2am (With your support, we can soon operate 24 hours a day. Learn how you can contribute here: Get Involved)

Trained Operators and Team

There are currently 44 trained volunteer emotional crisis and suicide prevention helpline operators who come from various backgrounds, ready to take calls. All the volunteers have gone through intensive workshops, trained in active listening skills, suicide risk assessment and crisis intervention.

Why a LifeLine?

In response to the growing concern of suicide in Lebanon, coupled with the increasing evidence that supports the establishment of a emotional crisis and suicide prevention helpline as an effective preventative measure for suicide, Embrace set out to develop the Embrace Lifeline. Suicide helplines have been found to significantly reduce suicide rates by 36% to 57%1.

Implementing an evidence-based framework for prevention and moni­toring of suicide, is one of the strategic objectives of the ‘Mental Health and Substance Use-Prevention, Promotion and Treatment-Strategy for Lebanon 2015-2020’, launched by the Ministry of Public Health with the aim of building a sustainable system for mental health in Lebanon. Establishing an emotional crisis and suicide prevention helpline is one of the key components of such a framework and is therefore a substantial step towards achieving this objective of the national strategy, thereby contributing to the building of the national system for mental health.”2

About Embrace

Embrace is a non-governmental organization (NGO) and an awareness support network, specialized in mental health and suicide prevention in Lebanon and the Middle East. It was first established in 2013 at the Psychiatry Department of the American University of Beirut (AUBMC). It is currently an independent local Lebanese Non-Profit Organization.

Embrace’s mission is to ensure people with mental illnesses are respected, empowered, and able to access appropriate care without the constraints of lack of knowledge, shame or limited resources. It strives to achieve this mission by focusing on positive representation, supportive community programs, alliances with policymakers and financial assistance.

For more on Embrace, visit www.embracefund.org

Our Mission

  • To increase awareness about suicide in Lebanon.
  • To ensure the respect and empowerment of individuals suffering from suicidal thoughts, and to provide them with access to appropriate care, while also creating a referral network of community resources for intervention and treatment.
  • To support those bereaved from suicide.

The shocking facts

Over 800,000 people die of suicide every year; that’s one death every 40 seconds. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that for every one death by suicide, there may be more than 20 others who have been attempting suicide.

In Lebanon, on average, every 3 days one person dies of suicide and on average, every six hours, one person attempts suicide.

While these figures may not seem high, they are not representative of the actual suicide rates as prevailing religious, legal, and social issues that surround suicide often result in the mislabeled cause of death as natural, accidental, or undetermined. Furthermore, these numbers do not take into account the number of individuals who experience suicidal ideation. Hence, the rate of suicide in Lebanon is expected to be underreported.

The thoughts can start early on…

Studies conducted in Lebanon have shown that 16% of students aged 12 to 14 had seriously considered committing suicide in the year prior to the study making it the highest percentage compared to other Arab countries; while 13.5% of the students reported having actually attempted suicide in the previous year.3

Suicide is preventable.

With the availability and access to appropriate services, the rate of suicide, and suicidal attempts can be reduced.

1 De Leo, D., Buono, M. D., & Dwyer, J. (2002). Suicide among the elderly: the long-term impact of a telephone support and assessment intervention in northern Italy. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 181(3), 226-229. Gould, M. S., Kalafat, J., HarrisMunfakh, J. L., & Kleinman, M. (2007). An evaluation of crisis hotline outcomes part 2: suicidal callers. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 37(3), 338-352. Pil, L., Pauwels, K., Muijzers, E., Portzky, G., & Annemans, L. (2013). Cost-effectiveness of a helpline for suicide prevention. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 19(5), 273-281.

2 Reference to MPH strategy: Ministry of Public Health. 2015. Mental Health and Substance Use – Prevention, Promotion, and Treatment- Situation Analysis and Strategy for Lebanon 2015-2020. Beirut: Lebanon.

3 *Mahfoud, Z. R., Afifi, R. A., Haddad, P. H., & DeJong, J. (2011). Prevalence and determinants of suicide ideation among Lebanese adolescents: Results of the GSHS Lebanon 2005. Journal of Adolescence, 34(2), 379-384.

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