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29 Jun 2022

More than 750 avail of suicide prevention therapy at Pieta office

Letterkenny office provides valuable service

More than 750 avail of suicide prevention therapy at Pieta office

The recent Darkness Into Light fundraising walks were a big help in funding Pieta services

More than 750 people have availed of suicide prevention therapy at the Letterkenny office of Pieta over the last two years, the Democrat can reveal.

The service is also hiring a psychotherapist and experienced child and adolescent psychotherapist for the centre as the demand for its services continues to grow.

Part of this is due to the ongoing success of the Darkness Into Light fundraising walks and the money raised as a result. No figure is available as to how much was raised in Donegal.

All of the services provided by Pieta are free of charge, and no medical referral is required. Their staff are fully qualified and provide a professional, one-to-one therapeutic service for people who are self-harming, are experiencing suicidal ideation, or have been bereaved by suicide.

The majority of its income comes from fundraising and donations, and Pieta could not do its life-saving work without the help of its volunteers, supporters, and friends.

The marketing director with Pieta, Padraig O'Neill said this year almost €4 million has been raised to date from the generous support of the public for Darkness Into Light.

"It is not possible to provide accurate figures on a county-by-county basis as many people choose to donate online and provide email addresses only. In compliance with GDPR, we do not request postal addresses unless they are needed,” he explained.

"The funds raised are distributed across our centres in Ireland based on need and used to ensure that our 24/7 phone and text lines are staffed by trained, professional therapists and available for all those who need it."

He added their annual report has more information on the funds raised from previous Darkness Into Light walks and how these funds have been invested.

"In regards to our Donegal service, we currently employ seven people in the Letterkenny centre and are hiring a psychotherapist and experienced child and adolescent psychotherapist for the centre as the demand for our services continues to grow.

"In the last two years, Pieta Letterkenny has delivered therapy to 752 people, reflecting the significant demand for our suicide prevention services. These numbers, incidentally, do not include the many people from Donegal who call our national helpline looking for support.

"Furthermore, in response to the pandemic we launched our video therapy service aimed at people who are unable to travel to an appointment and/or who are uncomfortable attending face-to-face counselling," said Mr O'Neill.

He added if people are experiencing suicidal ideation, have been bereaved by suicide or are engaging in self-harm they can contact Pieta's therapy enquiry line on 0818 111 126 to make an appointment at their Letterkenny centre.

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