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People of Clare urged to share ‘One Sunrise Together’ for Darkness Into Light

DESPITE the impact of Covid-19, Pieta provided 1,712 hours of counselling in 2019 and 2020 in the Clare area and supported 109 local people in 2020.
Pieta and Electric Ireland are now urging the people of Clare to share ‘One Sunrise Together’ on May 8 for Darkness into Light. One year on from when the country went into lockdown, Pieta’s services are in demand more than ever and they need the public’s support. Clare people are being encouraged to register at www.darknessintolight.ie to take part in a special Darkness into Light that can unite us all whilst still staying physically apart.
This year, participants can walk, run, swim, hike, bike or simply share One Sunrise Together for Darkness Into Light, as organised walks are not possible due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Last year when it wasn’t possible to all walk together for Darkness into Light, Pieta faced a funding crisis, but the people of Clare came together as one community and got behind the event, rising at dawn and sharing sunrise moments with others from across the country. Over €4 million was raised nationally to ensure Pieta could continue to deliver their services through 2020.
According to a spokesperson, “In 2021, Covid-19 continues to impact not only the nations physical health but its mental health too; it has impacted everything from people’s financial stability to their social habits. People are struggling with loneliness; a fact that is worsened with physical distance measures in place. Pieta relies on the generous support of those who participate in Darkness Into Light each year to provide this important national mental health service free of charge, 24/7.  While Covid-19 has been difficult Darkness Into Light is a chance for communities to look towards brighter days to come while sharing One Sunrise Together on May 8.”
Calls and texts to Pieta’s helpline directly relating to suicide, self-harm and suicide bereavement rose by 25% in December 2020 versus December 2019, and Pieta is expecting the pandemic burden to have far reaching implications throughout 2021.
Pieta’s counselling services have remained available throughout lockdown with phone, video and face-to-face appointments, in 2020, Pieta delivered over 52,000 hours of therapy and answered over 70,000 calls and texts for help through their 24/7 crisis helpline.
Pieta worked with well-known ambassadors, including Miriam O Callaghan, Donal Ryan and Oliver Dingley who shared Sunrise Notes, detailing how they have found light in the dark, especially over the last 12 months. Sunrise Notes from the ambassadors are available to read at https://www.electricireland.ie/sunrise-notes. Pieta is also encouraging the nation to take pen to paper to write their own Sunrise Note and share their stories of finding hope in the darkness online using the hashtag, #DIL2021. The concept of writing and sharing a heartfelt note will help normalise the challenges people have been facing this year, bringing people together through shared experiences of finding light in the darkness.

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