Facebook backs suicide prevention campaign in Lebanon with ‘Embrace’

Embrace is also committed to provide ongoing input into Facebook’s suicide and self-injury policy development through its participation in regular meetings of global experts in suicide prevention and mental wellbeing.

14 September 2019 | 18:00

Source: Annahar

  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 14 September 2019 | 18:00

BEIRUT: Earlier this week, Embrace announced its partnership with Facebook to support the former's ongoing campaign “Talking Saves Lives."

The campaign was developed to mark the availability of the first suicide prevention helpline in Lebanon and the Middle East, the Embrace Lifeline (1564). The lifeline, which is available in Facebook’s Safety Center, provides advice and support to anyone who may be suffering from suicidal thoughts or seeking ways to cope with an emotional crisis.

Friends and family of those who are struggling with mental health issues or depression can also use the resource to support those in need. 

The resource, which will be available in English and in Arabic, will provide users with an expanded set of options.

Additionally, Embrace has been added to Facebook’s reporting flow, where those showing signs of verbal distress will be prompted to “talk with a friend,” “contact a helpline,” or “get tips and support.” Similarly, users who report a concerning post will be presented with options to offer direct help or support, reach out to a friend for guidance, see tips, or seek advice by reaching out directly to the Embrace Lifeline by phone.

“We believe that mental health issues, specifically depression, are treatable, and suicide is preventable,” said Mia Atoui, Clinical psychologist, Embrace Lifeline clinical supervisor and Co- founder of Embrace Lebanon. “At Embrace, we seek to inform and support individuals who need help by dispelling misinformation that surrounds mental illness. Our aim is to encourage Facebook users in Lebanon to support one another in times of distress by offering them access to valuable resources and tools. Through this important initiative, we hope to raise awareness, reduce the stigma surrounding self-harm, and prevent suicidal occurrences.”

Embrace is also committed to provide ongoing input into Facebook’s suicide and self-injury policy development through its participation in regular meetings of global experts in suicide prevention and mental wellbeing.

Modeled on Facebook’s “Help A Friend in Need” guide created in partnership with The Jed Foundation and The Clinton Foundation in the U.S, the newly-launched “Talking Saves Lives” outlines potential warning signs that a friend might be in emotional distress and need support. Serving as a point of reference for friends and family, the guide helps to identify when someone is struggling and what steps to take to ensure they receive the help they need.

“At Facebook, we are constantly looking for ways to build and maintain a safe community on and off of the platform. In line with our commitment to make Facebook a safer place for our users, we are pleased to announce our partnership with Embrace on World Suicide Prevention Day,” said Nashwa Aly, Director of Public Policy, Middle East & North Africa at Facebook. “An important part of Facebook’s mission, and an important part of how we’ll measure our progress moving forward, is ensuring we are building a community that helps keep people safe.”

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