Tuesday, 1 June 2021
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Pricipal David Gray addressed the Brummana High School Secondary Section assembly which was attended by classes for whom teaching has not yet concluded. He congratulated them on surviving the year which has been difficult for everyone, and reminded them that although they have been deprived in many ways, especially of interaction, they have also learned a great deal. He compared their experience to that of running a Marathon, in the end finishing in success and victory since it requires preparation, a great deal of hard work, stamina and persistence all of which the vast majority of the Secondary Section students have shown.
The counsellor, Sarah Hanna, then talked to the assembly about mental health issues and how to get help should it be needed. She shared a recent video from the National Mental Health campaign and Embrace about the importance of talking especially now that the overlapping economic, political and Coronavirus stresses and their consequences are creating multiple traumas amongst everyone.
Embrace is a non-profit organization (NGO) which works to raise awareness around mental health in Lebanon. Embrace’s largest accomplishment to date is the Embrace Lifeline (1564) – the first National Emotional Support and Suicide Prevention Helpline in Lebanon. This specialized telephone service includes a network of highly trained operators who provide over the phone emotional support, suicide risk assessment and referrals to community mental health services. There are currently 60 trained volunteer emotional crisis and suicide prevention helpline operators who come from various backgrounds, ready to take calls 21 hrs./day (from 8:30 am to 5:30am). All the volunteers have gone through intensive workshops, trained in active listening skills, suicide risk assessment and crisis intervention.
The counselor also encouraged the secondary students on reaching out when they feel upset, as talking to someone who listens patiently, nonjudgmentally, empathetically , and who shows that they understand at a deep level can produce therapeutic effects in the brain and will contribute to an overall improvement in the well-being.
After that, Chadi Nakhle, the Head of the Secondary Section, concluded the event.