Rise At Dawn And Turn Darkness Into Light

*** NO REPRODUCTION FEE *** DUBLIN : 11/5/2019 : The Power of Hope: Pictured were Robert Doherty Doherty from Fawn, Donegal with his daughter Isabella (6yrs) at the Phoenix Park Darkness Into Light 2019 event. Thousands of people across 202 locations worldwide walked together in hope against suicide at this year’s Darkness Into Light, proudly supported by Electric Ireland, raising vital funds to ensure Pieta can continue to provide critical support in the fight against suicide. Picture: Conor McCabe Photography.

The charity behind Darkness Into Light are urging everyone to rise at dawn tomorrow in a show of support for the annual walk, which was due to take place during the Coronavirus pandemic.

On May 9th, it was expected that over 250,000 people would have come together on every continent to walk together highlighting the fight against suicide and self-harm. Darkness Into Light is the main annual source of funding for Pieta.

As the walks cannot now take place as planned, a Darkness Into Light ‘Sunrise’ appeal is taking place on that day. This special appeal encourages people to donate what they can to this vital charity and to come together while remaining apart by getting up at 5:30am to watch the sunrise and to show community and solidarity with those impacted by suicide. Pieta are also asking people to spread the message and offer hope by sharing their sunrise moment using the #DIL2020.

To get the nation all set for the sunrise start, Friday night’s Late Late Show is supporting Darkness Into Light too, helping to ensure that Pieta generates the attention and funds it needs to carry out its life-saving work.

Mary McAleese (will talk about her support for Darkness Into Light) and the star of Electric Ireland’s ad ‘We’re Brighter Together’, astronaut Chris Hadfield will also appear as Pieta and Electric Ireland urge the public to come together, while apart.

Pieta was established in Lucan, Co Dublin, in 2006 and now has 15 centres across Ireland. Pieta offers free counselling to those suffering from suicidal ideation and to people who are engaging in self-harm. Pieta also operates the free 24-hour suicide helpline 1800 247 247.

The need for Pieta’s lifesaving services is greater than ever as COVID-19 impacts not only on the nation’s physical health but its mental health too. As people find themselves worried, anxious, under strain, financially impacted and in many cases isolated and alone, the effect on mental health is significant.

Recent research has also confirmed that 1 in 5 Irish people are experiencing clinically defined levels of depression. Even before COVID-19 the public need for Pieta’s services was on the increase, with calls to Pieta’s helpline up 49% year on year while text messages to Pieta had increased by 46%.

Elaine Austin, CEO of Pieta said: “As a result of Covid-19, our helpline has seen an increase in calls from people all over the country who are in crisis right now with many others presenting with high anxiety. Our bereavement counsellors are supporting people who have lost loved ones and who are struggling to come to terms with their loss in a world where friends and family cannot grieve together as a result of the lockdown.

Funding from the public has never been more vital to keep Pieta’s door open. The Darkness Into Light walk will hopefully take place later in the year, but we can’t wait – we’re urgently asking people to donate, whatever they can. This will help fund our services, ensuring we can continue to support those in their darkest hours and to keep delivering our one-to-one counselling.

Just €20 can fund two life-saving calls to those who are in crisis.  Please donate now and allow Pieta to support those in suicidal distress and stand in collective solidarity with all those impacted by suicide at sun rise on May 9th.

Donate at www.darknessintolight.ie