A Memorial Walk for suicide prevention on Beirut s Corniche, June 14, 2018. (The Daily Star/Embrace, HO)
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That figure is likely higher during the winter holiday season, which for some can cause feelings of isolation and strain, say experts and volunteers working with people who have suicidal thoughts .Though statistics on suicide in Lebanon are hard to come by, the experts and volunteers interviewed for this article all said that anecdotally at least the number of suicides in the country probably increases during the holiday season, especially for people diagnosed with mental illness.Bouchra, an operator at a suicide hotline run by Embrace, told The Daily Star that she and her colleagues were fielding calls from people distressed about the holidays "at least once per shift". Parties over the festive period symbolize "togetherness, family and companionship," said Rindala Merhi, director of the Counseling Center at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK).People can feel as if their relationships are inadequate when gatherings don't live up to expectations -- not to mention how those without a gathering to attend may feel.Amid this turmoil, the operators at Embrace hope to be a model understanding and solace, says Fadi, another hotline operator.
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