BY JOE O’DONNELL
THE Darkness Into Light Donegal campaign in aid of a suicide and self-harm crisis centre will be officially launched in Letterkenny next weekend.
Darkness into Light is the most vital component of Lucan, Co Dublin-based Pieta House’s fund-raising calendar and this is the first year the event is taking place in Donegal.
Taking place on Saturday, May 10, Darkness into Light, supported by Electric Ireland, is a unique, early morning experience which begins in darkness at 4.15am as thousands of people walk or run a 5km route while dawn is breaking. The early dawn represents hope and is symbolic of the work of Pieta House; bringing people from darkness back into the light.
Pieta House was founded in Lucan, Co. Dublin in 2006 by psychologist Joan Freeman. With nine centres throughout Ireland, Pieta House provides a professional, one-to-one therapeutic service for those who are experiencing suicidal ideation or engaging in self-harm.
A doctor’s referral or a psychiatric report is not required and the service is completely free of charge. To date, Pieta House has supported more than 12,000 people, with almost 4,000 of those seeking help in 2013. Pieta House’s vision is to have a centre within 100 kilometres of everyone in Ireland.
As demand for the service continues to grow and with more than 80 per cent of Pieta House’s income depending on public donations, funds raised during Darkness into Light are essential for Pieta House to continue to provide a free service for the increasing numbers seeking help.
Joan Freeman, CEO and founder of Pieta House, who will be attending the Letterkenny launch on Friday, April 11, said: “Darkness into Light is an incredible experience and one that people remember for a long, long time.
There’s already huge anticipation and with so many new locations involved for 2014 it’s going from strength to strength. We’re tying this year’s event in with our Mind Our Men campaign that aims to reduce male suicide in Ireland, so I want to ask everyone to bring a male friend or family member with them. We’re making a big push this year to get all the men out – it means an early rise but they won’t regret it.”
Darkness into Light 2013 attracted 40,000 participants in 20 locations around Ireland. With this year’s event taking place in 39 locations, Pieta House is hoping for a near doubling of last year’s turnout.
Darkness into Light Donegal will be officially launched at The Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny, on Friday, April 11, at 7.30pm, all are welcome.
If you would like to take part in Darkness Into Light you can register by visiting:http://dil.pieta.ie/. If you would like to volunteer/marshal or sponsor the event please contact Darkness Into Light Donegal www.facebook.com/DILDonegal
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