Embrace announces today its partnership with Facebook to support the ongoing campaign "Talking Saves Lives", developed to mark the availability of the first suicide prevention helpline in Lebanon and the Middle East, the Embrace Lifeline (1564). The resource, which is availablein 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 will also be able to refer to the resource for guidance on how to support their loved ones.
The resource, which will roll out in two versions across the Middle East and in Lebanon in both Arabic and English, will provide users with an expanded set of options. In addition to the resource, Embrace has been added to Facebook's reporting flow. Those showing signs of 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.
Embrace is also committed to provide ongoing input into Facebook's suicide and self-injury policy development through its participation in a 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. For those seeking suggestions on how to approach their friend, what to say, how to react, and what to avoid, the guide equips people with the skills to reach out without fear of making the situation worse.
"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."
"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. 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," said Nashwa Aly, Director of Public Policy, Middle East & North Africa at Facebook.
Created to raise awareness on mental health, the collaboration underlines Facebook's mission to build a sense of community by bringing the world closer together. Across the globe, Facebook's suicide prevention tools provide users with a streamlined approach to crisis support via proactive prompts and pre-populated texts. Thanks to the millions of friendships people have on the platform, Facebook is in unique position to connect those in distress with friends, family, and organizations who can offer support.