Two great events have happened that promote the whole area of our emotional life and our mental health. The Cycle Against Suicide and Darkness into Light are incredible positive events bringing communities together in common cause.
Darkness into Light is a unique, early morning experience which began in darkness at 4.15am as thousands of people walk or run a 5km route while dawn is breaking. The early dawn represents hope and is symbolic of the work of Pieta House; bringing people from darkness back into the light.
Joan Freeman, founder of Pieta House said:“Darkness into Light is an incredible experience and one that people remember for a long time”.
This year’s event was matched with the ‘Mind Our Men’ campaign to reduce male suicide. DIL took place last Saturday, with 75,000 participants in 39 locations, including Mountmellick.
It is the most vital component of Pieta House’s fundraising calendar. As demand for the service continues to grow and with more than 80% of Pieta House’s income depending on public donations, funds raised are essential for Pieta to continue to provide a free service.
The Cycle against Suicide is the brainchild of Irish entrepreneur, Jim Breen. Jim visited a Suicide Awareness group in Dublin 15 as part of RTÉ’S documentary, The Secret Millionaire, which aired in July 2012.
Noticing the huge impact the programme had on people, Jim decided to use his skills and influences to help raise awareness for supports available for suicide prevention in Ireland.
The Cycle against Suicide has two core objectives:
To raise awareness of the supports available for anyone battling depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts or those bereaved.
To unite and increase awareness of the many groups working to prevent suicide and give support.
Everyone has some connection with suicide, self harm or depression. The best way to help fight the battle against it, is to do it together. Our Mental Health is just like our physical health – it is something we have to be mindful of – and from time to time we need to ask for help – and that is OK.
Suicide is claiming the lives of at least 800 people a year on the island of Ireland.
A Europe-wide report from the European Child Safety Alliance earlier this year found that Ireland has the highest rate of suicide in young females in Europe with the second highest rate in young males. These are fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, friends and colleagues.
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. It’s important to know that there is help out there. Suicidal thoughts are incredible common. Often they present as part of depression. People are advised to go to their GP for appropriate assessment and treatment.
Both events recognise the beneficial impact that exercise plays in tackling low mood. I recommend three walks per week 30mins for people who have low mood / depression who come to see me.
I appreciate that energy levels are low and we work on identifying the best time, on who can provide support and all the factors that make the walk happen. Shifting low mood and depression is hard work but it’s worth it.
Together, shoulder to shoulder, we can Break the Cycle of Suicide on the island of Ireland!
Samaritans 116 123 or email email@example.com
Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634. Console 1800 201 890. Aware 1890 303 302. Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Childline 1800 66 66 66
If you are organising a speaker or training for school, community, voluntary, sporting and work groups. Call Dr Eddie on 087 1302899 or visit www.dreddiemurphy.ie