SELFIE AWARE Darkness Into Light ambassadors, chef Derry Clarke, rugby player Jack McGrath and footballer Shane Carthy. Pic: ©INPHO/James Crombie
Pieta House is calling on as many people as possible to take part in this Saturday’s Darkness into Light 5k walk at one of 168 venues across the country – nine in Mayo – to raise much-needed funding for and awareness of the prevention of suicide and self-harm and the promotion of positive mental health. In Mayo, 5,067 people walked in solidarity for last year’s Darkness Into Light, starting in the dead of night and finishing as the light of a new day dawns.
The funds raised from Darkness into Light help to keep Pieta centres open, offering free therapy, the 24 /7 Helpline, 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.
Irene Hehir, from Ennis, is one of the many thousands of people who have experienced challenging times and sought the help of Pieta. “Almost two years ago during a time of deep crisis, Pieta took great care of me and helped me to find my way to a better life, one where I learned to believe in myself, to learn what a good person I was and to learn skills to help me get through day-to-day life without the thought of suicide … This year, I will rejoice in the life I now have and will relish the dawn when it breaks, letting us all come from the darkness into the light on Saturday, May 11.”
In Mayo, Darkness Into Light walks are taking place in Achill, Ballaghaderreen, Ballina, Castlebar, Clare Island, Belmullet, Inishturk, Swinford and Westport.
All walks start at 4.15am this Saturday morning. For more information and to register, visit www.darknessintolight.ie.
Pieta operates a free 24-hour suicide helpline on 1800 247 247.