Charity event returns to shine a light on suicide and self-harm

Michael Scott

Reporter:

Michael Scott

Email:

michael.scott@ulstergazette.co.uk

PEOPLE in Armagh are being urged to sign up to a special Darkness Into Light (DIL) that will take place on Saturday, May 8 this year.

DIL, one of the biggest global charity events of the year, returns in Northern Ireland for One Sunrise Together with organisers, Pieta, asking people to sign up and mark the event with an activity of their choice – be that walking, running, hiking, biking or simply sharing their sunrise.

These activities, carried out within Covid guidelines, will help shine a light on suicide and self-harm while raising vital funds for the prevention and bereavement services provided by 17 partner charities in Northern Ireland - including PIPS Hope and Support - as well as Pieta, the founding charity of DIL.

Darkness Into Light, which has become a global movement of comfort, solidarity and hope for all those affected by suicide and self-harm, is proudly supported by Electric Ireland.

Commenting on this year’s Darkness Into Light, Clare McAllister, Northern Ireland Residential Manager, Electric Ireland, said: “Now more ever in these extremely trying times, our communities need encouragement, support and hope and so we are delighted to have Darkness Into Light return.

“Although this year we can’t come together in the way we usually do, we are confident that ‘together-apart’ we can play a role in raising funds for the essential services provided by charities right across Northern Ireland.

“While we can’t be together physically as in previous years, whether walking, running, biking or hiking, we will all be watching the same sunrise together and that is hugely important.”

Elaine Austin, Pieta CEO, said: “We have all been faced with some incredible and daunting challenges over the last year. Pieta is here to support all of those in suicidal crisis and our free counselling has continued, uninterrupted throughout the Covid lockdowns.

“Our clinical team provide services over the phone, via text and in-person in twenty centres nationwide and, since last year, we now provide free counselling over video.

“In 2020, we delivered over 52,000 hours of therapy and we received over 70,000 calls and texts for help through our 24/7 crisis helpline.

“Darkness Into Light is crucial in delivering the funds needed to support this level of service.”

Electric Ireland has sponsored Darkness into Light since 2013.

To sign up, visit www.darknessintolight.com.

For more information, visit Pieta.ie.

Pieta also operates the free 24hr suicide helpline 1800 247 247 and a 24-hr text service - Text HELP to 51444.

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Alpha Newspaper Group

Characters left: 1500