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Dublin: 1°C Sunday 28 November 2021

Come together for Pieta: Share a #HopeOverSilence message in your front window tonight

Pieta is encouraging people to light a candle – and to take a moment to chat to a loved one.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

“CHRISTMAS CAN BE one of the most difficult times of the year for people struggling with their mental health.”

GAA star Shane Carthy has always been open about his struggles with depression. He’s now a Pieta ambassador, and speaking at the launch of the suicide prevention charity’s #HopeOverSilence appeal he highlighted how vital it is to talk about how we’re feeling – especially at this time of year:

There are many things that can trigger anxiety and a feeling of loneliness at Christmas, so it’s important that we stay connected and speak up.

Carthy and his fellow Pieta ambassador Louise Cooney are just two of thousands of Pieta supporters around the country taking part in Pieta’s #HopeOverSilence appeal. You can join in too, by placing a candle in your window at 7pm tonight, Thursday November 25, as a sign of hope.

JWE17062 Pieta ambassador Louise Cooney. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Instead of a moment’s silence, take the opportunity to call a friend or chat to a family member, sharing how you’re feeling and checking in on their mental health too. You can also join the #HopeOverSilence conversation on social media.

Pieta’s 24-hour helpline sees a spike in calls at this time of year: in 2020, over 20% of the charity’s overall clients for the year made contact in December. Over one-third of clients who require Pieta’s service cite loneliness as the reason they are feeling hopeless.

Christmas can also be particularly difficult for those who have lost a loved one due to suicide, meaning demand for the charity’s bereavement therapy services goes up at this time of year too.

This year, Pieta’s therapists have already provided almost 4,700 hours of bereavement therapy through the charity’s Suicide Bereavement Liason Services.

“The intensity of Christmas and the expectation to be continuously cheerful can amplify feelings of hopelessness and loneliness,” says Leigh Kenny, regional manager and therapist with Pieta.

Our team of trained counsellors on our helpline are there 24/7 to listen and support people in finding their way through this time.

By lighting a candle, starting a conversation or making a donation to Pieta, you’ll be supporting and raising awareness for the vital work the charity does year-round. And if you, or anyone you know, is suffering this year, you can contact Pieta’s 24-hour helpline on 1800 247 247 or text HELP to 51444. 

Join Pieta in choosing #HopeOverSilence by placing a candle in your window tonight, Thursday November 25, at 7pm. And instead of a moment’s silence, take some time to call a friend, talk to a loved one or join in the #HopeOverSilence conversation on social media. To support this initiative by donating, visit pieta.ie.

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