MORE than €34,000 was handed over to Pieta House after 1,600 people took part in the annual Darkness Into Light walk. The fifth annual fundraiser and awareness campaign about mental health issues and suicide took place back in May, when participants got up early and walked across Carlow town as the dawn broke.
Chairperson Dolores O’Neill and other members of local Darkness Into Light committee met Ger Tiernan from Pieta House to hand over the proceeds last week. The venue for the presentation was Carlow Town Park because it’s where a memorial tree is planted. People who took part in the dawn walk were encouraged to write down mementos or messages and hang them on the memorial tree. After the walk, the messages were taken away and burnt by the committee members. Last week, the ashes from the messages were scattered in front of the tree.
The walk has proven to be hugely popular and successful, borne out by the fact that, in the last five years, more than €200,000 has been raised in Carlow town alone.
“It’s just brilliant! The cause is so popular because so many people are affected by mental health issues and suicide,” said Dolores.
“People are talking about it now; it’s not like years ago. We get great support from businesses around the town. We don’t have to spend a penny on organising the event because everything is donated to us. That means all of the money we raise is donated directly to Pieta House.”
Pieta House is an organisation that runs counselling services for people who are depressed, suffer from anxiety, are suicidal or do harm to themselves. It’s self-referred, meaning that a person doesn’t need a doctor to send them there, and the service is also free. The branch that deals with people from Co Carlow is based in Waterford city. Contact them on 1800 247247 to talk to a counsellor or make an appointment.