How to Support Darkness Into Light
Like so many events this year, Pieta House’s annual Darkness Into Light sunrise walk has been tweaked in accordance with Covid guidelines. Though the usual group get-togethers can’t take place, the organisation invites you to still get involved, either by marking your 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. “Lots of individuals are taking part in the sunrise event, while many companies are getting involved in fundraising. The feedback is that because so many people are working remotely, it's 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.”
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Funds raised from this year’s Darkness Into Light will help keep Pieta’s vital services going, while posts and pictures showcasing the event will continue the important discussion around mental health and suicide prevention in Ireland. “The main message is to be safe, and not to go together in groups”, says Fionn. “Aside from that, it's completely up to everybody how they want to do it. The main point is that we're all looking at the same sunrise together.”
Find out more about this year’s Darkness Into Light here.