This is the time of year where thousands of people would normally rise with the crack of dawn to walk from Darkness Into Light in support of Pieta House.
But the same Covid-19 crisis which has put a greater demand on the services of Pieta House than ever before has made it impossible for it to go ahead this year, which is why Pieta are launching a Sunrise appeal instead.
Taking place on Saturday, May 9, people are asked to rise at home at 5:30am, donate what they can, and share inspiring messages using the hashtag #DIL2020.
Elaine Austin, CEO of Pieta said: “As a result of Covid-19, our helpline has seen an increase in calls from people all over the country who are in crisis right now with many others presenting with high anxiety.
“Our bereavement counsellors are supporting people who have lost loved ones and who are struggling to come to terms with their loss in a world where friends and family cannot grieve together as a result of the lockdown.”
The mental health charity depends on public donations for 80% of its funds supporting those in crisis.
One group of people showing their support for the Sunrise appeal, and asking others to the same, are the cast and crew of the Irish language soap opera Ros na Rún, shot right here in Spiddal.
Ros na Rún’s actors are asking their loyal audiences to please donate if possible and help Pieta support people who are suffering in this way.
“Our cast and crew participate in their local Darkness into Light Walks across Connemara, Donegal, Kerry and many other locations around the country annually,” says Marion Ní Loingsigh Series Producer with Ros na Rún.
“While we’re social distancing and self isolating at this time, now more than ever, the services of Pieta are required to support people who’re experiencing mental health issues throughout rural Ireland.
Ros na Rún deals with these challenges in our story lines throughout our season and we’re keen to support this now during the COVID19 crisis”.
While it’s hoped the Darkness Into Light walk will take place later this year, Pieta House are asking people to donate what they can now to help keep their vital services open at this time.
Donate at www.darknessintolight.ie.