Help save Tullamore lives by walking from Darkness Into Light

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ger.scully@tullamoretribune.ie

On May 11 almost 250,000 participants in over 200 venues across 19 countries and 5 continents will walk from Darkness Into Light.

Darkness into Light, organised by Pieta and proudly supported by Electric Ireland since 2013, is a global movement dedicated to ending suicide and supporting those who engage in self-harm. Pieta and Electric Ireland are now calling on people from Tullamore and the surrounding areas to join the expected 250,000 participants across the globe; Tullamore walkers can register online atwww.darknessintolight.ie and at the Bridge Centre Tullamore (check Facebook page for dates). By walking from Darkness into Light, everyone can play a part in removing the stigma around suicide and self-harm and spreading the power of hope throughout the world.

As Pieta’s flagship fundraising awareness event,Darkness Into Light has grown from humble beginnings into a global movement dedicated to raising awareness around suicide and self-harm. The unique event, which is symbolic of the journey from despair to hope, begins in darkness at 4.15am. Thousands of people will walk a 5-kilometre route into the light of dawn. Funds raised from Darkness Into Light help keep Pieta’s counselling services free of charge and freely accessible to those in suicidal crisis, people who engage in self-harm, and to those bereaved by suicide.

Last year, walkers raised a massive €6 million from the event. Darkness into Light Tullamore raised a whopping €45,000 and are delighted to now have a Pieta House located so close by in Athlone. Pieta has supported over 40,000 people with face to face therapy. Since opening its doors 13 years ago, Pieta has heard painful truths from thousands of people who have come to the organisation at the point of suicidal crisis or actively engaging in self-harm. Worldwide close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. Suicide is an international phenomenon and occurs at any point during a person’s life.

Speaking on this movement of hope, Marie Peelo, Deputy Director of Funding & Advocacy said: ”From rural communities to major cities, suicide is an epidemic that affects all communities. In 2017, one person a day died by suicide in Ireland – nobody is immune to suicide. We want to live in a world where suicide is replaced by hope, where self-care replaces self-harm and where stigma is replaced by acceptance. The only way we can tackle this crisis is together – in our communities, in our places of work, in the sports clubs we are part of. With the help of our community, we can help prevent suicide”

Marguerite Sayers, Executive Director, ESB, commented on the long term partnership between Electric Ireland and Pieta, that has seen the Darkness into Light event grow from 20 venues in 2013 to 180 last year.

Darkness Into Light is vital for fundraising, for raising awareness and for bringing people together in a spirit of solidarity and comfort in giving all hope. To find your nearest venue and for registration, visit www.darknessintolight.ie

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