Now in its ninth year, Darkness Into Light (DIL ), supported by Electric Ireland, started in the early hours of Saturday with thousands of people walking or running a 5km route while dawn was breaking.
More than 110,000 people registered online before the first Darkness Into Light event kicked off in New Zealand, spreading across the world, ending in Vancouver and San Francisco.
Since it began in one venue - the Phoenix Park in Dublin in 2009 – Darkness Into Light has grown into a global movement against suicide. Funds raised help to keep Pieta House counselling services free to those in suicidal crisis, people who engage in self-harm, and those bereaved by suicide. In Ireland, almost 500 people die by suicide each year - 10 deaths per week.
Pieta House CEO, Brian Higgins, said: “For anyone who may be suffering, who may have suicidal ideation or is engaging in self-harm, or if they feel isolated, Darkness Into Light is this phenomenal and very visible sign and gesture that your community is there to support you.
“The generosity of people who support Pieta House is incredible. It’s that whole ‘pass it on’ mentality, where people give generously for someone else’s therapy and to allow us to keep it free for everyone. None of us knows whether or when we’ll need that help or not. Darkness Into Light brings in about a third of our annual income and helps keep our doors open. The funds allow us to serve people better.”
Darkness Into Light has gone from being a single sponsored walk to a mass movement of people engaged in suicide prevention.