A Special Darkness Into Light
Like so many events this year, Pieta House’s annual Darkness Into Light sunrise walk was tweaked in accordance with Covid guidelines. Though the usual group get-togethers couldn’t take place, the organisation invited participants to still get involved, either by marking their own sunrise ‘moment’ on May 8th or taking on a fundraising challenge.
"We’ve had a great mixture of people registering”, says Fionn Faherty from Pieta House. “Lots of individuals took part in the sunrise event, while many companies got involved in fundraising. The feedback was that because so many people are working remotely, it was a great opportunity for employees to do something positive together.”
Adapting to Lockdown
Pieta’s services are more important now than ever, as people all over Ireland have struggled this past year with lockdown anxiety and sleep issues. When the pandemic began, Fionn and her team had to quickly adapt their way of working, in order to keep services available to those who needed them most. “When Covid started”, she recalls, “we had to move very quickly from face-to-face to online therapy. Some of our clients were halfway through their sessions, so we couldn't simply stop them. The online model is working really well for us though.”
Impact on Young People
Incredibly, Pieta staff answered over 50,000 calls on their helpline last year, 30% of which were from people under 18. “It goes to show how much that cohort has been impacted”, notes Fionn. “There’s a lot of pressure on teenagers today, and any little change to their lifestyle can affect them deeply. Something small may be bothering them at home, but because their parents are facing their own pressures, they may not feel they can talk to them. That's when the problem can escalate.”
Darkness Into Light 2021
So far, an incredible €7,318,181 has been raised from this year’s Darkness Into Light. These important funds will help keep Pieta’s vital services going, while posts and pictures showcasing the event continued the important discussion around mental health and suicide prevention in Ireland. Though the weather was stormy, thousands of participants headed out in the wee hours to mark the day. “The main point”, Fionn reflects, “is that we were all looking at the same sunrise together.”
You can still donate to Darkness Into Light. Click here for more info.