Pieta House has said that thousands of people are expected to take part in four Darkness Into Light events in Derry, Strabane, Carndonagh and Buncrana next month, as they offiically launched the annual event.
On Saturday, May 11, it is anticipated that a quarter of a million people across 19 countries will participate in the 11th annual Darkness Into Light walk, organised to de-stigmatise suicide and raise funds for suicide prevention, suicide bereavement and self-harm.
Last year, over £50,000 was raised between the four walks in Derry & Strabane and Inishowen.
All events this year will begin at 4.15am, with the Derry walk beginning at Sainsbury’s on the Quay; the Buncrana event at Scoil Mhuire, The Convent; Carndonagh at Spraoi agus Spórt Family Centre; and Strabane at Melvin Hall.
Speaking on this movement of hope, Marie Peelo, Deputy Director of Funding & Advocacy, Pieta House said: “From rural communities to major cities, suicide is an epidemic that affects all communities.
“In 2017, 305 people died by suicide in Northern Ireland – nobody is immune to suicide. We want to live in a world where suicide is replaced by hope, where self-care replaces self-harm and where stigma is replaced by acceptance.
“The only way we can tackle this crisis is together – in our communities, in our places of work, in the sports clubs we are part of. With the help of our community, we can help prevent suicide.”
Electric Ireland has sponsored Darkness into Light for the past seven years. Over that time the walk has grown to become a vast movement with the common goal of helping those in our communities affected by suicide to look forward with hope.
Electric Ireland said it recognises Pieta House’s flagship fundraising event has become a global movement of comfort, solidarity and hope for all those affected by suicide and self-harm.
In acknowledgement of this, Electric Ireland has launched The Power Hope campaign to encourage more people to walk and experience the positive impact that participation can have.
Clare McAllister, NI Residential Manager, Electric Ireland, said: “Already many thousands of people experience the power of hope that taking part in Darkness Into Light brings. We are extending the invitation to everyone to experience it also and to help further strengthen the amazing power of hope brought about by the event by signing up to walk on May 11.”
For more information on the events visit www.darknessintolight.ie/