Darkness Into Light helps brings local people together
By William O'Connor
With just over a week to go until Darkness into Light on May 11, the event organisers, Pieta, are calling on as many people as possible to join them to raise much need funding and awareness for the prevention of suicide and self-harm and the promotion of positive mental health.
Over 200,000 people are expected to come together in the pre-dawn hours in 19 countries across five continents to take part in the global movement that seeks to remove the stigma around suicide and self-harm and spread the power of hope in Ireland and around the globe.
Donnachadh, Robin and Saoirse Ronan-Welds from Clondalkin with Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring at the Darkness into Light launch
Last year, Darkness into Light walkers raised €6 million from the event, of which €800,000 was raised across our international venues. Worldwide close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year - one person every 40 seconds. In Ireland 392 people took their own lives in 2017.
This year the walk will take place in Tymon Park, Marlay Park and the Phoenix Park and big crowds are expected.
The funds raised from Darkness into Light help to keep Pieta centers open, offering free therapy, the 24 /7 Helpline line, education and bereavement counselling for people in need of support.
In 2018 over 8,000 clients were supported with face to face therapy by Pieta experts. Since 2006 over 40,000 people received support from their intervention and bereavement counselling services.
By the end of this school year, Pieta will have reached out to over 7,500 students with a bespoke schools’ programme called the Resilience Academy a free programme for second year students in secondary schools designed to increase young people’s resilience, hope for the future, ability to cope with difficult feelings and connection to their school.
Siobhan Leijen, Clinical Manager, Pieta Midlands said: “It’s difficult to describe the incredibly hopeful feelings created by Darkness Into Light. As a therapist and Clinical Manager we see first hand the undisputable need for Pieta to be present in our communities. The walk is about far more than just the raising of funds. It brings people together from all over the world every year because the need for change is immense.”
Leijen added “Among those who walk are the people we have been so humbled to assist in their greatest time of need, their families, friends, neighbours and coworkers the list is endless.
“Darkness Into Light is unity and true human compassion from one human being to another. It is Hope.”
Pieta operates a free 24-hour suicide helpline on 1800 247 247 and has offices in Ballyfermot, Tallaght and Lucan.
Darkness Into Light is vital for fundraising, for raising awareness and for bringing people together in a spirit of solidarity and comfort in giving hope to all.