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06th May 2023

Tens of thousands show support for mental health with Darkness Into Light campaign

Rory Fleming

Darkness Into Light 2023

Over 100,000 people came together this morning to show their support for mental health charity Pieta House.

The annual Darkness Into Light fundraiser took place early on Saturday morning, with the aim of fundraising for the suicide and self-harm prevention charity Pieta House.

Beginning back in 2009, the Darkness Into light campaign has gone from strength to strength. On that maiden walk, 400 people set off around Dublin’s Phoenix Park to raise funds for the charity.

A participant spells out ‘Hope’ with candles at one of the country’s 200 events. (Credit: Rolling News)

The campaign has now grown to such an extent that over 100,000 people took part in this morning’s proceedings at over 200 locations across Ireland. A further 14 other countries also joined in on the fundraising event too.

People who participate in the event take part in walks, runs and even swims as dawn breaks, with many rising as early as 4am to show their support for mental health sufferers.

The Phoenix Park was the staging place for one of the campaign’s biggest events, as over 10,000 people turned out to take part.

Leading the Bray iteration of the early-morning fundraiser was veteran broadcaster Charlie Bird along with Pieta House CEO Stephanie Manahan.

Last year a staggering sum of €4.5 million was raised through the campaign’s various fundraising events, which the charity said allowed them to fund an additional 156 helpline hours, 10,956 crisis counselling sessions and 6,123 therapy sessions.

Other notable attendees at this year’s events included the likes of Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, who took part in the Sandymount event, along with various other political figures and celebrities who turned out across the country to show their support.

You can find out more about the Darkness Into Light campaign here.

If you need to talk, contact:

Pieta House 1800 247 247 or email [email protected]

Samaritans 116 123 or email [email protected]

Aware 1800 80 48 48

Teen-line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13-19)

Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

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