Pictured at the Pieta Tree of Hope planting ceremony at St. Dominick’s Park for Drogheda Darkness into Light in conjunction with Louth Council are (from ledft): Aishling Pentony, Mayor Kevin Callan, Cormac Craig, Ged Nash TD and Councillor James Byrne. Photo Jimmy Weldon.
Saturday was World Mental Health Day and to mark the occasion Drogheda Darkness into Light, in conjunction with Louth County Council, planted a tree in St. Dominic’s Park in memory of all those affected by suicide in the area.
The charity behind Darkness into Light, Pieta, is supporting the planting of ‘Trees of Hope’ in over 100 locations across the country.
The charity is asking its supporters to get involved by planting a tree, as a symbol of hope and solidarity with those who are struggling with suicidal ideation or who have been bereaved by suicide.
Pieta’s Darkness into Light walk, proudly supported by Electric Ireland, normally takes place in May but, sadly this is no normal year and the Darkness into Light had to be cancelled.
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Darkness into Light serves as a much needed fundraiser for the charity, and is a commemorative event in remembrance of those who have lost their lives to suicide.
Just days before World Mental Health Day Pieta launched a new free video counselling service which will be provided in addition to Pieta’s phone therapy and ‘in-person’ counselling service which the charity provides across 19 locations nationwide.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Pieta crisis helpline has answered over 10,000 calls directly relating to suicide, self-harm, and suicide bereavement. The new, free video counselling service, which consists of a session with a specialist therapist, aims to bridge the gap for those who may be restricted through lock-down or for whom their local Pieta centre is not yet open due to Covid.
There are currently three Pieta centres available for ‘in-person’ counselling with more to re-open in the coming weeks.
Pieta Clinical Manager, Nora Conway said: ‘’we are delighted to extend our services beyond the crisis help-line and the face-to-face appointments with these new online video sessions.
“One of the key learnings from Covid is the need to expand our services and to offer a blended approach to our counselling. While the pandemic accelerated the need for virtual appointments, we also see this very much as a response to a growing demand in a world that is increasingly digital. These appointments will be available for those in need of someone to talk to and who may be reluctant to visit a centre at this difficult time.”
Free video counselling will be offered depending on the needs of the client and following discussions between the client and the Pieta clinical support team.
Pieta provides 24/7 support – if you are suicidal, self-harming or bereaved you can contact Pieta 24/7 via the Freephone crisis helpline on 1800 247 247, you can also text HELP to 51444 (standard message rates apply).
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