Northern Ireland news

Public urged to sign up to sunrise event to shine light on suicide and self-harm in NI

CAMPAIGN: Darkness Into Light ambassadors Ian Young and Aoife Lennon are encouraging people to sign up Picture: Brian Morrison

THE public is being urged to sign up to a special sunrise event to shine a light on suicide and self-harm in Northern Ireland.

People can take part in One Sunrise Together by walking, running, hiking, biking or simply sharing their sunrise on May 8.

It is part of the charity's Pieta's annual Darkness Into Light event, which has become a global movement of comfort, solidarity and hope for all those affected by suicide and self-harm.

It helps to raise awareness while raising funds for the prevention and bereavement services provided by 17 partner charities.

Darkness Into Light ambassadors, including GAA Allstar Oisin McConville and Northern Ireland ladies international Marissa Callaghan, will help drive people's preparation and talk about the reasons they became involved.

Last year the charity delivered more than 52,000 hours of therapy and received mote than 70,000 calls and texts for help through its helpline.

Elaine Austin from Pieta said that Darkness Into Light is "crucial in delivering the funds needed to support this level of service".

"It is important for all of us to hold on to hope and Darkness Into Light gives us the opportunity to come together under this one common purpose, to remember our loved ones and to help those struggling at this time," she said.

Clare McAllister from Electric Ireland, which sponsors the event, said: "Although this year we can't come together in the way we usually do, we are confident that ‘together-apart' we can play a role in raising funds for the essential services provided by charities right across Northern Ireland.

"While we can't be together physically as in previous years, whether walking, running, biking or hiking, we will all be watching the same sunrise together and that is hugely important."

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