Lámh Dhearg in association with Hannahstown Community Association are hosting its third Darkness into Light walk on Saturday 11th May.The 5km walk that sets off at 4:15am in the morning helps raise awareness around suicide and mental health as well as providing vital funds to local organisations tackling the situation.
In May 2017 we held our first walk with over 1,100 people, embracing a cross representation of men women and children actively participated in our brisk and physically demanding walk in the early hours of the morning from darkness into light on the local roads around our clubrooms. Our walk raised a fantastic total of £29,000. The money was divided and donated between Pieta House and Suicide Awareness and Support Group.
In 2018 we expanded this programme and presented this initiative to local secondary schools, local GAA, sporting and cross community clubs. We held weekly promotional events in the local shopping centre (Kennedy Centre) and maintain an effective Facebook page with regular updates on the initiative. In May 2018 we had over 1600 members of the public walking the roads again through the night from the darkness and into the light raising a further £38,500 towards Pieta House and Suicide Awareness & Support Group.
It was very poignant to see our club fence decorated with yellow ribbons with the names of those from our local community that we have lost by suicide.
More significantly, the event helped raised the profile of mental health and suicide awareness within our membership and local community as it attracted coverage in the press, radio and television as well as social media as we had our own Darkness into Light social media pages. Through the monies raised last year Suicide Awareness have managed to hold an additional 1200 therapeutic sessions for those people bereaved or impacted by suicide.
The event provided much comfort and help to families who have experienced suicide of loved ones and they appreciated it as an unique opportunity to remember their loved ones and at the same time to significantly raise awareness of mental health issues and we have built up strong links with Suicide Awareness Charity.
Over the last number of years our club and the GAA & local community has been deeply affected by suicide and the stigma attached around mental health awareness.
Therefore we would appeal to all local Gaels and clubs to participate in the walk and you can enrol online by clicking on https://www.darknessintolight.ie/event/hannahstown or at specially arranged enrolment sessions in the Kennedy Centre 27th April 10.00-4.00pm or a Coffee Morning in Lámh Dhearg clubrooms on Saturday 4th May between 10.00am – 12.00 noon