Darkness into Light Walk Raises Funds for Suicide Prevention in Mayo

Over 150,000 participants are expected to take part in the Darkness into Light 5km walk fundraiser for Pieta House, a charity supporting suicide prevention and self-harm support. The event will be held in 14 communities across Mayo, Ireland, making it one of the largest fundraisers of its kind.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Darkness into Light Walk Raises Funds for Suicide Prevention in Mayo

Darkness into Light Walk Raises Funds for Suicide Prevention in Mayo

On May 11, 2024, over 150,000 participants are expected to take part in the Darkness into Light 5km walk fundraiser for Pieta House, a charity supporting suicide prevention and self-harm support. The event will be held in 14 communities across Mayo, Ireland, making it one of the largest fundraisers of its kind.

Why this matters: Suicide prevention and self-harm support are critical issues that affect communities worldwide, and events like Darkness into Light raise awareness and funds to provide essential services to those in need. By supporting organizations like Pieta House, individuals can make a tangible difference in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health and promoting a culture of care and compassion.

In Kiltimagh, the inaugural Darkness into Light walk saw over 500 people participate, making it one of the biggest events in Mayo. The 4.7km loop walk started and ended at the Bocce Courts, with more than 35 volunteer stewards positioned along the route. A special "Remembrance Stretch" allowed participants to walk in silence and pay tribute to loved ones lost through suicide.

Joe Corry, Chairperson of the Kiltimagh Darkness Into Light Committee, expressed his delight at the community's response to the event. "On behalf of myself and all the volunteers, stewards, and committee members, we are absolutely delighted with the response to our Darkness Into Light Kiltimagh Inaugural Walk," he said. "This walk is a credit to all involved, underscoring the strength and vibrancy of the community spirit here in Kiltimagh."

Pieta House, founded in 2006, provides free, accessible one-to-one counseling to people suffering from suicidal ideation, engaging in self-harm, or bereaved by suicide. In Connacht alone, Pieta provided over 4,000 hours of therapy and saw more than 500 clients in 2023. The charity has over 200 qualified therapists and support staff across 24 centers and is 85% funded by events like Darkness Into Light.

In Kilkenny, the main Darkness into Light event was held at the James Stephens Army barracks, with a 5km walk leaving just before 4:15 am. The route included John Street, the Canal Walk, the Parade, and High Street. Singers were dotted along the route, and the Lady Desart Choir performed uplifting songs back at the event headquarters.

Aurelia Glynn of Pieta House emphasized the powerful message of hope sent by those participating in the early annual Darkness into Light event. "By joining us this morning for the most important sunrise of the year you're sending a message of powerful hope," she said. "You're letting anyone in our community who may be struggling know they are not alone."

The Darkness into Light walk has grown significantly since its inception in 2009, when 400 people participated in the inaugural event in Phoenix Park, Dublin. Last year's event raised over €4 million for people impacted by suicide and self-harm. Those wishing to support Pieta House can still make donations by visiting www.darknessintolight.ie/donate.