ISF stats reported 100 deaths by suicide so far this year in Lebanon, versus 143 in the year 2017. If we take May by itself, the numbers are quite shocking as 23 death by suicide occurred, which means that we have on average a suicide every two days and a half in Lebanon and an attempted suicide every 6 hours!
Yes, someone attempts suicide every 6 hours in Lebanon and despite all attempts to raise awareness on mental illness in Lebanon, there are still plenty of people unable or unwilling to get the help and support they need. There are plenty of people who are offered treatment but refuse to do so over fears society might look down on them or that it might hurt their business or career, as the issue is still somehow a taboo in our country.
The numbers are alarming but several NGOs and specifically Embrace Fund, are working hard to reach out to people with mental illness and have launched Lebanon’s first suicide prevention hotline (1564) earlier this year to try and prevent further suicide attempts in Lebanon.
Every suicide incident should push us to encourage people we care about to consult with a professional or call that hotline to get help and overcome his/her crisis. There are plenty of ways to help a loved one and especially ourselves as “research has shown that two thirds of us experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes.”