This month I’m linking to two stories, both concerned with mental health.
The first is about both an organisation and an event. Pieta House is an Irish charity dedicated to the understanding and prevention of suicidal thoughts. It provides counseling services for those experiencing suicidal thoughts and for people bereaved by suicide. It’s services are backed up by an extensive research programme aimed at establishing which services are most effective and how they might be improved.
In 2009 it began a series of annual walks that take place at dawn on the second Saturday in May. That first walk, over a 5km course, took place in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. The idea was that participants would raise funds for the oganisation whilst the progress from pre-dawn darkness into the light of day symbolises the journey from the darkness of suicidal thoughts to the light of understanding that the organisation hopes that both it and its clients undertake.
Dubbed Darkness Into Light (#DIL)*, walks will take place at 4:15am on May 12th this year at 180 venues across Ireland and in 10 other countries around the world. Last year 180,000 individuals took part. It is not too late to register and participate in the experience of walking from darkness into light at a venue near you if you live in Canada, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia or, of course, Ireland.
Meanwhile, earlier this week an artwork was unveiled in Dublin. The work of Irish street artist Joe Caslin, it was intended to provide publicity for the national broadcaster’s series of programmes about youth mental health.
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*You might be struck, as I was, by the similarity between the walk title and the strap line of #WATWB.