|1564 is the National Suicide Prevention Hotline|
(Artwork by Tarek Chemaly)
The way we speak of the many suicides that happened - sadly - concurrently, in Lebanon is quite harmful. Statistically, someone dies by suicide in Lebanon every two and a half days, and an estimated suicide attempt every six hours. I am not belittling this at all, but I am simply trying to put the numbers in context. May 2018 saw 28 cases of suicides as an example - a statistically aberrant number but at the time neither the media and the people where not interested in it.
1564 is the number of the national suicide prevention hotline which recieves up to seven calls a day not only from people in mental or emotiona distress but from their families and loved ones as well. According to Mia Atoui, a clinical psychologist and co-founder of Embrace Association for Mental
Health Awareness: " “In Lebanon, unlike other countries, we are a very small and tight community and when a suicide is committed the whole area would know about it. Suicide could be contagious. Once it is publicised it might affect vulnerable people and encourage them to take their own lives, too.”
So in essence the way suicide is being talked about is pushing people who are "on a ledge", please, let us be aware of the repercussions of our words.