Pieta House opened its doors a decade ago with Lucan in County Dublin the centre of operations. In the intervening years we have seen and helped over 20,000 people in suicidal distress or engaging in self-harm, and established eight subsequent centres, three in the greater Dublin area - Ballyfermot, Tallaght and Finglas and five further centres to cater for the rest of the country in Limerick, Cork, Tipperary, Galway and Kerry.
In 2003, our founder and former CEO, Joan Freeman, a practising psychologist, closed down her own counselling business and dedicated her time to finding out how she could help people who were suicidal - what would be beneficial to them and help them get through their dark time. After three years of research, she opened up Pieta House, which quickly became a respected and recognised service for those who were suicidal.
Having counselled many people in the past who were self-harming, Joan realised that this was a topic never discussed and rarely understood, and she decided to also help people with this debilitating issue.
From humble beginnings, Pieta House has grown to almost 180 therapists and administration staff, and the demand for our service hasn’t let up. To that end, in 2015 alone, in excess of 5,000 people came through our doors suffering from suicidal ideation or engaging in self-harm.
As it has been from day one, everything is free of charge and our staff are fully qualified and provide a professional one-to-one therapeutic service for people who are experiencing suicidal ideation, people who have attempted suicide and people who are engaging in self-harm. A doctor’s referral or a psychiatric report is not required.
One of our goals is to have a centre within 100km of every person in Ireland and we're well on our way to achieving this. To help bring us closer to this important goal we have identified three areas most in need of our service -namely, the north west, the south east and the midlands.
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.
Our flagship fundraiser, the phenomenon that is Darkness Into Light, an event that is almost entirely organised by our amazing volunteers continues to go from strength to strength. On Saturday May 6th, it will celebrate its ninth birthday. It’s no coincidence that this unique event takes place just as we’re coming into summer and our spirits are being lifted. Well over a quarter of a million have woken in the small hours of the morning and taken part in Darkness Into Light to date, and this year it will touch the lives of thousands upon thousands in 100 plus venues across Ireland and internationally.
Darkness Into Light is very much about hope and hope is something we endeavour to give each person who comes to us in their time of need. We help them feel more hopeful about the future as we continue to tackle the grave issue of suicide and self-harm in Ireland.
Pieta House also operates the Suicide Bereavement Counselling centres that had previously been operated by Console. We provide free counselling, therapy and support to individuals, couples, families and children who have been bereaved by suicide. We also offer a Suicide Bereavement Liaison Service and the Freecall 24/7 suicide helpline 1800 247 247. For more information, click here.
6 Main Street Lower
Tel: 1800 247 247