Will you help to turn Darkness Into Light?

by Mark O'Brien

This year’s annual Darkness Into Light campaign has officially been launched ahead of the upcoming walk on Saturday, May 12.

This year’s campaign, Wake Up, was launched with the release of an emotive video aimed at raising awareness of how we treat one another, and how this could be a matter of life or death.

The video also aims to destigmatise suicide and self-harm within Ireland with the help of a handful of famous faces.

Mental health advocate and academic Sinead Burke, musician and mental health activist Niall Breslin, sports broadcaster Evanne Ni Chuilinn, Fair City actor Eric Lalor, GAA All-Ireland winner Nicole Owens and the designer of the 2018 Darkness Into Light t-shirt, Stephen Considine, all take part in the video campaign, which was launched by Electric Ireland and Pieta House.

Niall Breslin, one of Ireland’s foremost mental health advocates, has said that it’s important that the issue of suicide is highlighted.

The musician said: “It’s never been more important to highlight the issue of suicide in Ireland and the message of kindness is especially important.”

Demand for the services that Pieta House provide has been steadily increasing, with the chief executive of the charity Brian Higgins, thanking participants of the annual walk for the support they provide so that the charity can continue to provide their services free of charge.

He said: “Thanks to the generosity of all our participants and supporters, all of our services remain free, but the demand for them is ever-increasing.

“We all need to wake up to the stigmas that lead people to the point of self-harm or suicidal crisis and subsequently to the doors of Pieta House to seek help.”

Now in their sixth year of partnership, Electric Ireland have said they are determined to continue supporting the communities they operate in through the Darkness Into Light initiative.

Niall Dineen, head of Commercial, Electric Ireland, said: “This programme fits with our values as an organisation and our determination to continue to support the communities in which we live and operate in.

“Sadly, suicide continues to be an issue for so many families in Ireland and we know the work that Pieta House do continues to be of vital importance in helping to create a brighter future for people in their hour of need”.

Last year, more than 180,000 people took part in Darkness into Light, which is steadily becoming a national – and indeed global – movement.

Registration for this year’s event must be completed by May 4, with organisers expecting spaces to fill up quickly.

For further information about the walk and events, see www.darknessintolight.ie

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