Walk in Westport to raise awareness against suicide, ‘a scourge in our community’

The inaugural Mayo Darkness into Light 5km walk—a walk to raise funds for Pieta House, and to increase awareness about suicide and self-harm intervention—will take place on the grounds of Westport House on Saturday May 12, commencing at 4am.

Throughout the country thousands will take part in these Darkness into Light walks for Pieta House, which is a non-for-profit, suicide and self-harm crisis centre which provides a professional, face to face, free of charge therapeutic service for people in the acute stages of suicidal distress. Since it was established in 2006 in Dublin, it has opened two outreach centres and two centres of excellence in both Dublin and Limerick and a centre is soon to open in the west in Tuam.

At the launch of the Mayo Darkness into Light walk at Westport House, Joan Freeman, Pieta House CEO and founder, said that these centres, besides saving lives, will also assist people to think differently about suicide as “it can happen to anyone”. Ms Freeman said since the organisation’s establishment, they have helped 6,000 people— the youngest being six-years-old and the oldest in his eighties.

The walk, which is hoped to become an annual event, not alone raises funds for the centres, but according to Ms Freeman is also “making a statement that all [are] walking together in solidarity, shining a light on suicide, with everyone crossing the finish line at dawn.” This symbolic walk will elevate awareness of suicide and will help to “fight this terrible scourge in our community.”

The route on the day will commence at Gracy’s Bar at 4am and a route throughout the grounds of Westport House has been mapped out. For further details, and to register online visit http://dil.pieta.ie.

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