Darkness Into Light, the annual fundraising event organised by Pieta and supported by Electric Ireland, took place on Saturday May 6, with over 1,000 people in County Westmeath coming together for the most important sunrise of the year, helping to raise almost €4m nationally to fund Pieta’s lifesaving suicide prevention services.
This figure is expected to increase over the coming weeks as public fundraising and corporate donations for the initiative continue. These funds are crucial to help cover the €17 million it costs to run the Pieta services annually.
Among the well-known faces that supported the event this year were Pieta Ambassadors Greg O’Shea and Louise Cooney alongside broadcaster and campaigner Charlie Bird, as well as Jennifer Zamparelli, Deric Hartigan, Laura Whitmore, and many others.
Over 100,000 people walked in the annual event including hundreds of sailors, brave swimmers who welcomed the sunrise and golfers, who took to the green in the early hours of Saturday morning.
“We are beyond grateful for the thousands of people who supported the event this year. To see so many people come out each and every year is truly inspiring and each and every person makes a valuable contribution in enabling Pieta to provide free, professional therapy for suicide prevention and bereavement in Ireland. On behalf of the entire team at Pieta, we want to thank every single participant, volunteer, and supporter. Thanks to you, we can continue to support those who need us most,” Stephanie Manahan, Pieta CEO, commented.
“Electric Ireland has proudly supported Darkness Into Light for more than a decade. It’s a partnership that we value greatly and we’re very proud to have supported Pieta in growing it to become a global movement in suicide awareness, while fundraising for suicide prevention. We look forward to continuing to work with Pieta on making the coming years as successful and beneficial for families and communities affected by suicide,” speaking about this year’s Darkness Into Light, Pat Fenlon, Executive Director, Electric Ireland, added.
In Leinster in 2022 alone, Pieta delivered over 30,000 hours of free, one-to-one therapy, and helped over 4,000 clients. Almost 35% of clients presenting to Pieta in 2022 in Leinster were aged between 18-35 years and a further 40% of clients in the same year were under 18.
Nationally, the 24/7 crisis helpline received almost 100,000 calls and texts and supported close to 700 households bereaved by suicide.