Embrace is a non-profit organization (NGO) which works to raise awareness around mental health in Lebanon. Embrace launched as an affiliation with the Department of Psychiatry at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) back in 2013. As of 2017, Embrace branched out as an independent Lebanese non-governmental organisation (NGO), not affiliated with any institution. Embrace seeks to better inform the community about mental illness, break the stigma, provide support to those affected, and help foster a resilient and emotionally healthy community which cares for the mental wellbeing of its young and old.

Since its birth in 2013, Embrace has worked on several national awareness campaigns, community outreach efforts and patient advocacy through financial support and project development. One of Embrace’s cofounders Michella Nahas lost her brother to suicide many years ago. Back then, there were no organizations to support her and her family who many years later continue to be affected by this tragic loss.

Embrace’s largest accomplishment to date is the Embrace Lifeline (1564) – the national emotional support and suicide prevention helpline in Lebanon. One in 4 Lebanese will suffer from a mental illness sometime during his or her lifetime. If left untreated mental illness can result in serious disabilities and even death. However, due to the stigma and social taboos surrounding the subject of mental health many people who need treatment will not seek it. Negative attitudes, negative opinions, and misinformation keep people from seeking the help they need to live healthy and productive lives. Embrace is working to provide information, community awareness, and support to break down the stigma of mental illness in Lebanon.

Stigma and the financial cost of treating mental illness should never be a barrier to seeking help. Embrace grew out of the need to fight these challenges in order to raise awareness about mental illness and facilitate access to treatment.

Embrace is a non-profit organization (NGO) which works to raise awareness around mental health in Lebanon.

Vision

Embrace aspires to be the leading mental health organization in Lebanon and the region through mental health awareness and advocacy.

Mission

To ensure people with mental illness are respected, empowered, and able to access appropriate care without the constraints of lack of knowledge, shame or limited resources through positive representation, supportive community programs, alliances with policymakers and financial assistance.

Core Values
To consider all individuals worthy of high regard and respect
To adhere to the highest moral and ethical principles in fulfilling Embrace’s mission
To understand another person’s condition from their perspective and strive to respond to their needs
To actively include stakeholders in decision making and the implementation of Embrace’s strategic goals
To acknowledge and assume responsibility for all actions and decisions undertaken within the organization
To actively seek partners and engage them in fulfilling Embrace’s mission and vision
Strategic Goals
  • To reduce the suffering of patients and their families and prevent the disabling consequences resulting from untreated mental illnesses
  • To increase public awareness of mental health issues
  • To advocate for the support of mental health at all levels of policymaking
  • To ensure that individuals suffering from mental illnesses in Lebanon have access to psychiatric and psychological care
Target Audience and Services
Local Community

Awareness campaigns, “Into the Dawn” annual suicide memorial walk, financial assistance, support groups, outreach activities, Embrace Art Exhibition, Annual Hike, Awareness in schools and municipalities

Individuals with mental illness

National Suicide Prevention Helpline, Awareness Campaigns, “Into the Dawn” annual suicide memorial walk, financial assistance, support groups, outreach activities, social enterprise

Institutional

Lobbying for financial parity, working with universities, corporations and in the workplace

Cultural and Legal community

Media advisory services, patient advocacy, close collaboration with the Ministry of Public health and other local organizations