Belfast Telegraph

Thousands walk to support suicide awareness in Northern Ireland

The Darkness Into Light event held in Ormeau Park in Belfast
The Darkness Into Light event held in Ormeau Park in Belfast
The Darkness Into Light event held in Ormeau Park in Belfast
The Darkness Into Light event held in Ormeau Park in Belfast

By David Reed

People in Northern Ireland joined thousands across the globe in pre-dawn walks in aid of suicide awareness.

Politicians and celebrities were among those taking part in the annual Darkness Into Light events.

Held across 202 locations in 19 countries, participants walked together, starting at about 4am on Saturday and walking around 5km as the sun rose. Since the Darkness Into Light initiative began, the walks have helped raise more than £17m.

The annual event is the flagship fundraiser for Pieta House, which supports people in suicidal distress or engaging in self-harm.

This year is the event's 10th anniversary.

Twelve of the venues were in Northern Ireland spanning all six counties, up from nine last year, forming a worldwide chain that stretched from Crossmaglen to Christchurch and from Ormeau Park to Ottawa.

Other local walks included at V36 in Newtownabbey and along the banks of the Foyle in Londonderry.

In Ballymena, those supporting the event included Ballymena United boss David Jeffrey.

Pieta House said staff have helped 40,000 people since their doors opened 13 years ago.

The event is sponsored by Electric Ireland.

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