Pieta House founder says Limerick has embraced suicide prevention services

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

THE NUMBER of people seeking suicide prevention services in Limerick continues to climb, the founder of Pieta House has said.

THE NUMBER of people seeking suicide prevention services in Limerick continues to climb, the founder of Pieta House has said.

Joan Freeman, chief executive of Pieta House, which opened in Limerick a year and a half ago, said due to demand they are seeking to extend their opening hours in the Mungret centre to Saturdays and several nights a week.

Ms Freeman was speaking at the launch of their dawn walk, ‘Darkness into Light’, which takes place on Saturday, May 12, leaving from Arthur’s Quay in the city at 4am.

“The demand for Limerick has increased so much that we are now opening on a Saturday and two nights a week. But that’s good news because we are so happy with the response from Limerick. I think Limerick, more than any other place where we’ve opened, is not afraid of looking at suicide in the eye and they’re not afraid to seek help.,” she told the Limerick Leader.

Since their foundation in Dublin six years, the charitable organisation has seen and helped some 6,000 people at risk of suicide, including the families of those who have died by suicide.

Ms Freeman said the people who seek their confidential support, free of charge, range in ages from six to 83 years.

“Without a doubt we have saved lives, but we have only done it with the support of people in Limerick and Dublin,” she said.

This is the third year the ‘Darkness into Light’ 5km walk will be held, taking in 14 venues this year.

Some 400 people in Limerick took part in this symbolic walk last year, and it’s hoped that closer to 1,000 will walk in solidarity this year. “I have never seen a community embrace our service like Limerick has, or have so many fundraising events,” she added.

To register for Darkness into Light 2012, or to seek help, visit www.pieta.ie.

The centre in Limerick, where sponsorship cards can be obtained, can be contacted on 061 484444.