More than 200,000 people have taken part in this year’s Darkness into Light campaign.
The annual event kicked off at 4.15am this morning (May 12) with thousands of people coming together at 180 venues across Ireland for the 5km walk to promote suicide prevention and tackle the stigma surrounding mental health.
Organised by Pieta House, a non-profit organisation that provides specialist treatment for those with suicidal ideation, the campaign is now in its tenth year and is very much a global movement which touches the hearts and minds of people throughout Ireland and around the world with more and more participants taking part each year.
Brian Higgins, CEO of Pieta House, said: “Thanks to the generosity of all our participants and supporters, all of our services and those of our Northern Ireland charity partners remain accessible to all. We all need to wake up to the stigmas that lead people to the point of self-harm or suicidal crisis.”
Sponsor, Electric Ireland helped launch the event last month with support from Derry Girls’ actress, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, GAA legend Oisin McConville and Q radio’s Stephen and Cate.
Speaking at the launch Jamie-Lee said: “This is such an important campaign, I’m delighted to be supporting the beneficiary charities and Electric Ireland in delivering the message of Darkness Into Light for the 2018 walk. I know that together we can help contribute to this global movement and spread a message of hope, self-care and acceptance.”
Clare McAllister, Sales & Marketing Manager Electric Ireland Northern Ireland, added: “The message of kindness and hope which is delivered through the Darkness Into Light walk is one of great importance. We are very proud to support the walk and the beneficiary charities in the vital work they do every day of the year. This campaign reflects our values as an organisation and our determination to continue to support the communities in which we live and operate in.”