Darkness Into Light 2021 raises €7.3 million for Pieta

Darkness Into Light 2021 has raised €7.3 million for suicide prevention charity Pieta with 143,000 people taking part in the event. 
Darkness Into Light 2021 raises €7.3 million for Pieta

James Cox

Darkness Into Light 2021 has raised €7.3 million for suicide prevention charity Pieta with 143,000 people taking part in the event.

The Late Late Show kicked off the special weekend with a dedicated Darkness Into Light programme with viewers showing incredible generosity, raising more than €1 million for Pieta.

Friday evening’s show was a sign of the support to come. Despite the windy and wet conditions thousands of people across the country joined for Darkness into Light on Saturday to share ‘One Sunrise Together’.

The support continued right across the weekend with many more participants in the iconic yellow t-shirts rising at dawn on Sunday also, showing solidarity for those impacted by suicide.

The generosity and support of everyone who signed up or donated means that Pieta's free crisis helpline can continue to support people struggling with self-harm or suicidal thoughts.

More than 80 per cent of Pieta’s funding comes from public donations. Pieta employs more than 200 qualified therapists and support staff across 20 centres nationally, and their services are free to anyone who needs them.

With over 22,500 calls and texts placed to Pieta’s crisis line so far this year, Darkness Into Light is vital to ensure this service remains freely available to everyone 24/7.

Kate Rushe, Shane Byrne, Deepak Lal and Rebecca Reddington from Tullamore on top of Croghan Hill, Co Offaly taking part in Pieta’s Darkness Into Light. ©INPHO/James Crombie

With the pandemic continuing to put stress on the nation’s mental health and the demand for Pieta’s services continuing to rise, below is a breakdown of the costs to keep Pieta’s services freely available.

In 2020:

  • Pieta required €5.6 million to continue its free intervention counselling, both face–to-face and via video to people experiencing suicidal ideation and engaging in self-harm.
  • It cost almost €1.5 million to provide suicide bereavement counselling and liaison services.
  • Over €800,000 was needed to provide a 24-hour phone line and text service for people in crisis.
  • Almost €300,000 was invested in resilience in teenagers through the Pieta Resilience academy.
  • The funds raised from this year’s Darkness Into Light will make a direct impact on communities around the country, with the funding going direct to Pieta’s life-saving services.

Pieta CEO Elaine Austin said: “We are truly humbled by the response to this year’s event and very grateful to Darkness into Light committees, volunteers and our partners, Electric Ireland. Despite the inclement weather, tens of thousands of people turned out at sunrise on Saturday to support Pieta and to fund expansion of our free counselling services. For many of us, of course, this is more than just a fundraising event – it is an opportunity to commemorate loved ones lost to suicide and to do so in solidarity with others similarly affected.”

The kindness and support continued online where many people shared images of their sunrise moment and offered words of hope and solidarity to those impacted by suicide.

Several well-known personalities supported Pieta, including Louise Cooney, Caroline Foran, Maurice Shanahan, Jack McGrath, Mary Black, Lawson Mpame, Laura Whitmore and Donie O’Sullivan.

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