Local people have been urged to join the Darkness Into Light walk in aid of both HURT and Pieta House.
The event was launched at HURT’s premises in Derry on Friday, ahead of the annual 5K Walk/Run on Saturday, May 12 from Sainsburys café, Strand Road, at 4.15am.
Darkness Into Light is a fundraising and suicide awareness event which begins in darkness as thousands of people walk or run a 5km route while dawn is breaking.
Have Your Tomorrows (HURT) is a local charity helping to support individuals and families affected by drug and alcohol misuse. It offers counselling, as well as programmes to raise awareness of the dangers of substance misuse.
Pieta House meanwhile is a suicide and self-harm crisis centre with locations throughout Ireland. The Letterkenny centre opened in May 2017 and serves the North West of Ireland. Pieta offers free counselling to those suffering from suicidal ideation, those who have been bereaved by suicide and people who are engaging in self-harm.
This is the third year of the Darkness into Light walk/run in Derry. Edelle O’Donnell, Chairperson of the Darkness into Light Committee said: “Last year we had just under 500 participants, and we are aiming for more this year.
“Raising the awareness around suicide, mental health and self- harm and how it is affecting our country is one of the important things about this event, and trying to reduce the stigma attached to them.”
Registration this year is all online, with no registration on the morning of the walk. To register for the event, go to the Darkness Into Light website: www.dil.pieta.ie
This year, Darkness into Light will take place in over 100 locations in Ireland and abroad including in the US, the UK, Scotland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and Asia.