Mia Atwi
Cofounder/President
Mia Atoui is a Clinical Psychologist and the Co-founder and President of Embrace, a leading mental health NGO in Lebanon. Mia has a Master’s degree in Public Health and a Master’s degree in clinical psychology from the American University of Beirut. She has worked in the field of mental health in Lebanon for the past 10 years and is a published researcher in the field. Since 2013, she has been active in addressing stigma, awareness and accessibility of mental health care in Lebanon working in coordination with the Ministry of Public Health and multiple local and international organizations to lobby for equity of care in mental health, quality rights for persons with lived experience with mental illness, and implementing projects across sectors with the aim of improving mental well-being of individuals and communities. She has extensive experience in suicide prevention in Lebanon and has been leading and advocating for Lebanon’s National Emotional Support and Suicide Prevention and Helpline in Lebanon - Embrace LifeLine (1564). She is an active member in civil society and conducts trainings to local communities and organizations across Lebanon to build the capacities of first responders and health professionals in detection and prevention of mental illness, suicide, and psychological resilience among various vulnerable groups in the community.
Lea Zeinoun
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Lea Zeinoun is a Public Health Professional and Community Heath and Health Promotion specialist. Her dedication to mental health comes from her belief that all things stem and revolve around a sound mental wellbeing.
Her experience in the non- governmental organizations started in 2017 developing projects and creating content for diverse public health topics such as child protection, waste management and substance use. In substance use work Lea set off her journey in the field of mental health and after a year of working in a prevention and rehabilitation center Lea joined Embrace in 2018.
After working for two years as the Executive Director in Embrace Lea established her strengths in project development, proposals and partnerships. Her work has secured funding to sustain the operations of Embrace since 2018 and has supported expansion in terms of programs, specialized projects and partnerships to raise awareness to mental health in diverse settings and platforms.
Lea completed her master’s degree in public health with a concentration in health promotion and community health in 2017 from the American University of Beirut. Before that Lea graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the Lebanese American University.
Hiba Dandachli
Director of Communications
Hiba Dandachli is a Communications Consultant, Social Entrepreneur & Activist. Her mission is to create positive societal & political change in her community and country as a whole & communicates on her mission through her blog “What Works For Hiba” Her experience in Marketing & Brand Management started at Procter & Gamble in 2007 and developed on an academic level as a teaching professor of Marketing at the Yamamah University in Riyadh. She ventured into Fashion Brand Management and was the Manager of Atelier Azzi & Osta in Beirut until 2018. Dandachli’s social entrepreneurship manifested itself in 2017 after taking on communications projects for Women Empowerment & advocating for societal change in behavior through her own projects in 2018 & 2019 such as “Bold, Italic, Underline”. Hiba started supporting and volunteering as a Communications Consultant for Embrace in 2018. She built on social media, online & offline interviews as well as school visits to raise awareness & communicate on her mission. She currently is the Director of Communications of “Embrace”, a Lebanese NGO focused on Mental Health awareness & direct support to the community. She is also a co-founder of Muwatin Lebnene, a Civic Duty Movement focused on Societal & Environmental needs. She was heavily active in a Beirut Relief Project that found light after the August 4th Blast. Hiba’s features & journalism work have been published extensively in newspapers, magazines, and online platforms, including Vogue Arabia, Marie Claire Arabia, L’orient Le Jour, Al Nahar & Forbes among others. Dandachli graduated with a BS in Nutrition & Dietetics from the American University of Beirut & mastered in Business Administration with emphasis on Marketing from the Lebanese American University.
Mona Ghasham
Director of Business Support
Mona Ghasham holds a master’s degree of Public Health with concentration Health Management and Policies from the American University of Beirut and Project Management Professional (PMP).
Her management experience in the private sector has started in 2008, holding management and leadership positions at the AUB- Medical Center. Skilled in clinical operations, operation management, and project management.
Mona joined the Embrace team in December 2020 as Director of Business Support. She has contributed to the expansion of Embrace facilities, planned the development and implementation of Lifeline CISCO Call Center, Lifeline Customer Relation Management (CRM) and Clinics Electronic Health Records (EHR)
Reve Romanos
Lifeline Supervisor and Acting General Manager
Reve Romanos is a clinical psychologist who has been working in the field of mental health for several years. She  works in a private practice, and has wide experience working in NGOs in the past several years including working with War Child Holland, Medecins Sans Frontières, Tahaddi, and several other organizations where she has supervised mental health staff. Reve has clinical experience working with children, adults, and couples, and has psychotherapy training at EFAPO (Ecole Francaise d'Anaylse Psycho-Organique), a DU in psychosomatization and psychoanalysis, and is currently pursuing her PhD at Geneva University.
Candine Aoun
Awareness and Outreach Coordinator
Candine graduated from Saint-Joseph University of Beirut with a degree in Clinical Psychology and a minor in Sociology and Anthropology. She has more than 5 years of experience in the field of mental health, working specifically with children and adolescents suffering from developmental disorders and their families.

Candine was a member of many initiatives targeting stigma and awareness around mental health in Lebanon. She also has a wide range of significant experience as a team leader in organizations where she worked closely with vulnerable populations and organized a variety of community events.

Candine recently joined the Embrace team as the Awareness & Outreach Coordinator. She is in charge of planning, executing and creating content for awareness and outreach activities. Her mission is to promote psychological well-being and to provide support for people in Lebanon suffering from mental illnesses.
Dr. Myriam Zarzour
Psychiatrist, Head of Clinical Excellence
Dr Myriam Zarzour is a psychiatrist, graduate from Saint Joseph University. She was trained in Lebanon and France, and has a master’s degree in Neuroscience from Bordeaux University.
She is keen on psychotherapeutic approaches and has received a diploma in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) from Paris Descartes University. She has had advanced training in addiction psychiatry and reconsolidation therapy for psychotrauma treatment.
She has a special interest in community mental health, and is passionate about being part of the mental health professionals aiming to make a change at the community level and build a sustainable mental health system in Lebanon.
She is currently working in the mental health field as a clinician at private practice, a mental health consultant for Embrace and other NGOs, and an instructor at the Saint-Joseph University.
Dr. Yara Chamoun
Psychiatrist, Head of Clinical Staff
Dr. Yara Chamoun obtained her medical degree from Saint Joseph University in Lebanon, then completed her residency training in psychiatry in Beirut and Paris. She has a special interest in psychosomatic medicine and received a diploma in chronic pain from Paris Descartes university. She is passionate about public mental health and public policy, and is currently pursuing a diploma in development and organization of mental health services. In addition to being a clinician at Embrace, she is a consultant with several NGOs, has her own private practice and is an attending physician at Mount Lebanon hospital. She is an advocate for mental health, specifically on stigma issues, and strongly believes that promoting awareness, in addition to good governance and leadership, are key in improving quality in mental health care and fostering a state of mental health well-being.
Dr. Zeina Akiki
Research Manager
Dr. Zeina Akiki is an epidemiologist and currently is the research manager at Embrace. Dr. Akiki is an assistant Professor of epidemiology at the Lebanese University, faculty of Public Health and faculty of Sciences and at Université Saint Joseph. She obtained her PhD degree in Epidemiology in 2016 from University Paris Sud-Paris Saclay, Doctoral School of Public Health (EDSP) and from the Lebanese University, Doctoral School of Sciences and Technology (EDST) and was granted a very honorable evaluation. She obtained her Master degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the Lebanese University. She mainly teaches Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Research methods, and public health courses. Her research interests include respiratory diseases mainly asthma and COPD, and chronic respiratory diseases biomarkers and scales validation. Throughout her studies and work in academia, she has had 10 years of experience in active research in clinical and community settings, and public health. She has presented her research in different national and international conferences, along with multiple publications in many peer-reviewed journals.
 
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