The inspirational Joan Freeman of Pieta House explained on Friday night in Kilkenny that people who are at risk from self harm, suicide or who need professional help can access the services at Pieta House for free and without medical cards, health insurance or doctor’s appointment.
“You don’t need a GP’s letter or anything else, we see everyone at Pieta House,” she said at the launch of this year’s Darkness Into Light walk-run-jog which will be held in city on Saturday, May 10 at 4.15am.
She said if anyone out there was worried about a loved one, family member or friend they too should call Pieta House and seek help for that person. “After all if you fell and broke your leg, you wouldn’t be expected to call for an ambulance yourself,” she said.
She stressed the importance of bringing children to Darkness Into Light events throughout the country because they had no hang ups about the word suicide or mental illness. “And this positive mental attitude will remain with them,” she explained. She said that Darkness Into Light wasn’t about raising money but was a movement of people who wanted to send out message of hope and positivity to others and to show that people cared for each other.
Last year 40,000 people took part in events all over Ireland and this year it is expected that 80,000 people will participate on Saturday, May 10
Also present for the launch was Jim Dollard, executive director, Electric Ireland who sponsor the event nationally and who hails from Johnstown, Co Kilkenny where he once hurled with The Fenians. He said that Electric Ireland was delighted to be involved and said it was a perfect match for them.
Kathryn Hutchinson of the organising committee in Kilkenny thanked everybody for getting involved and said the reaction from last year had been fantastic and that she was looking forward to the excellent co-operation of the Defence Forces and others to ensure this year was even better.
Mayor of Kilkenny city, Cllr Martin Brett urged as many people as possible to take part in the event. “It will be a success if even one person is saved from taking their own life or from self-harm,” he said. “The work you are doing is so important and we need to get the message out there, walk, run or jog but get out there on May 10 at 4.15am and show you care,” he added.
To sign up for the walk just go to www.pieta.ie/dil/ People can sign up on the morning of the event at the barracks.