Darkness Into Light 2021

Michael Greene

Under one sunrise, we’re brighter together

Founded in Dublin in 2006, Pieta was established to provide free, accessible counselling to people suffering from suicidal ideation, engaging in self-harm or to those impacted by suicide. With over 200 qualified therapists across 15 centres, and five outreach services in Ireland they do everything they can to ensure that help is available to those in crisis.

In 2009, 400 people volunteered in the inaugural Darkness Into Light 5km walk in the Phoenix Park to raise funds for Pieta and around 200,000 people now take part in the event annually.

Each year the walk provides an opportunity for people to connect with their community and to show their support for those who have been impacted by suicide. Their team of dedicated volunteers, in Ireland and around the world, return every year to make the event a success and to help raise awareness in the global fight against suicide and Self-harm.

Since Darkness Into Light began, their supporters have helped raise almost €29 million, which has enabled them to keep their doors and their 24/7 helpline open for people in crisis, free of charge. And since its foundation Pieta has helped over 48,000 in Ireland alone.

In 2012, their first international event took place in London, since then their international partner charities, from Seoul to Spain and New Zealand to Netherlands, have benefited from an investment of over €3.5 million in local mental health support services. Pieta are happy to acknowledge the support of Electric Ireland since 2013.

In 2020, despite the impact of Covid 19, Pieta has delivered over 52,000 hours of suicide intervention and bereavement counselling. They also answered over 70,000 crisis support calls and texts, and directly supported over 600 households impacted and bereaved by suicide.

The 2021 Darkness Into Light event was held on May 8th; chalking up 143,644 participants. Due to social distancing requirements, instead of doing the walk people were invited to wake up at sunrise and take part in a way that suits them, such as walking, swimming, or cycling, under the banner “Under one sunrise, we’re brighter together”. They have also added a challenge option for those people who want to test their fitness levels and focus on fundraising for Pieta.

Pieta has raised €7,480,412 so far and volunteers are still being accepted to take this challenge, it is not too late to contribute to this amazing cause.

Image: electricireland.ie