Darkness Into Light

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The annual Darkness Into Light 5km dawn walk/run usually takes place on the first Saturday in May in Tralee, Killarney, Dingle, Caherciveen and 120 other locations in Ireland and abroad.

Starting at 4.15am, and crossing the line just as dawn is breaking, the phenomenon that is Darkness Into Light, the annual 5km walk/run, will celebrate with over 100 venues across Ireland and beyond lined up.

About 130,000 people took part in the event in 2015 and, with a number of additional venues added, this figure is expected to increase this year.

Darkness Into Light, is the absolute highlight of the Pieta House calendar! Pieta House’s intention has always been to save lives and to change the social fabric and the conversation around suicide and self-harm.

With several hundred people joining for the event to thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people across over 80 locations and four continents in May, Darkness Into Light in aid of Pieta House, the centre for the prevention of suicide and self-harm, has grown beyond all expectations.

In 2009, the Phoenix Park saw the first of the yellow t-shirt clad people assembling at an unthinkable hour. There were about 400 people that fateful morning, all huddled together in the blackness and the cold, standing behind the starting line. Who would have guessed that seven years on, the little event called Darkness Into Light would be the symbol of hope, the celebration of life that it is today? 

With close to 110,000 participants last year, how could it get any bigger? But it has, and now Darkness Into Light is celebrated in excess of 110 venues in Ireland and much further afield.

Think about the thousands upon thousands upon thousands of remarkable people who attended last year. Think about how delicious it will be to collapse back into your warm bed later on that morning, knowing that you’ve done your good deed for the day and your exercise for the week! 

But ultimately, think about how Darkness Into Light is the flagship fundraising and awareness event for Pieta House, and without your support, they could not have helped so many people in suicidal distress and engaging in self-harm over the last nine years. 

Pieta House has nearly 180 staff and they have welcomed in excess of 22,000 people struggling in the shadows into our nine centres up and down the country since they first opened their doors a decade ago.

Pieta House’s intention has always been to save lives and to change the social fabric and the conversation around suicide and self-harm,” said Joan Freeman, founder of Pieta House, this morning in Phoenix Park.

It’s been nine years and we’ve come a long way towards reaching that goal. However, people are still afraid to face the reality that they may know someone who’s at risk of suicide or self-harm.

“You, the people, are the most important component of all in the fight against suicide"

From Wicklow to Washington, Chicago to Perth, friends, families, children and pets turned out to walk together for suicide prevention. An estimated 4,000 people walked in Melbourne and Perth, which were among the first cities to kick the morning off, followed by almost 1,500 people walking in London, Manchester and Glasgow. The final walks of the day will take place in New York, Toronto and Chicago where 1,700 people are expected to turn up in support of Pieta House.

Pieta House is a suicide and self-harm crisis organisation and works with ten centres across the State. Pieta House is set to open its first overseas centre in Queens, New York this summer as it begins to reach out to members of the Irish diaspora who may be in need of support.  

Imagine being suicidal and waiting hours and hours for help’

The founder of Pieta House has said the current mental health support system is not working.

se psychotherapists at least twice a week, or daily if they are a more high risk case.

She noted that 95% of their clients are not referred to hospital as “they don’t need to be”.

“The fact that someone is listening and that there an active care plan without the stigma of hospitalisation starts the healing process.”

She added that most people have made a lot of progress by their 8-10th session.

Information about Pieta House can be read here and more details about Darkness into Light can be found here.

·        Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email mary@pieta.ie - (suicide, self-harm)

·        Samaritans 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org

·        Console 1800 247 247 – (suicide prevention, self-harm, bereavement)

·        Aware 1890 303 302 (depression, anxiety)

·        Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)

·        Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)



Registration: https://em.eventmaster.ie/client/order_step1.html?eventId=845&showHeader=true

Distance: 5km circuit

Time: 4.15am

Tralee: Starts/finishes at CBS (The Green) 

Listowel: Starts/finishes at Listowel Racecourse Parade Ring

Dingle: Starts/finishes at the Marina Centre 

Killarney: Starts/finishes at Killarney Racecourse

Cahersiveen: Starts/finishes at Community Centre 

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