Back in May, Niall’s brother, Greg, tweeted to his million+ followers on Twitter how glad the Horan family were to be involved with supporting The Pieta House’s ‘Darkness To Light’ Event.
The Pieta House, opened in Dublin in 2003 by psychologist Joan Freeman, is a center for the prevention of self-harm and suicide offering support to people in suicidal distress or engaging in episodes of self-harm. From the moment it opened through its first decade the Pieta House has seen over 20,000 people seeking help. With such a demand, the center opened additional 2 centers in Dublin and 5 more centers to support the rest of Ireland.
Having counselled many people in the past who were self-harming, Joan realized how much this area of mental health was lacking in solid support, being a topic rarely discussed and riff with misunderstanding. The Pieta House was her answer in addressing this serious area of need. In the following link, Ms. Freeman discusses in-depth, the mission of The Pieta House and how it evolved from concept to reality.
From the the Pieta House website, Ms Freeman shared this about the fundraiser:
“We’re passionate about our life-saving work. As 90% of our income comes from fundraising events, we rely heavily on the support and encouragement of our volunteers and friends of Pieta….The Darkness Into Light is all about hope and hope is something we endevour to give each person who comes to us in their time of need.”
The main fundraising event for the Pieta House is the “Darkness Into Light”. This annual event is almost entirely organised by volunteers and now on its 8th year has over a quarter of a million people supporting it. The supporters (like Niall Horan’s family: Bobby and Greg Horan, and Maura Gallagher) gather in the dark, early in the morning, fill banners with messages of encouragement and hope, then walk carrying this message of hope by candlight through the streets turning Darkness Into Light.
What started as a means to open communication about mental health and offering to the citizens in Ireland, has now grown internationally, reaching people in other parts of the world. Information about The Pieta House and how you can support ‘Darkness Into Light’ can be found here (all photography credit to Pieta House gallery photographer, Tom Doherty).