On 6th December, Pieta, the national suicide prevention charity, is encouraging the nation to choose #HopeOverSilence as more than 1500 people, including over 600 under 18s, are expected to engage with the charity through one to one counselling services in December.
Hope Over Silence is an initiative asking communities across the nation to place a candle in their window. Instead of a minute’s silence, Pieta is asking everyone to choose to talk about mental health and help open up the conversation further this festive period. As well as driving conversation about mental health at Christmas, Pieta is calling on the public to support its services by donating on 6th of December or over the Christmas period by logging on to www.pieta.ie.
Pieta is 85% supported by public fundraising. All donations received this Christmas period will help Pieta to continue providing suicide prevention, intervention and bereavement support free of charge to people of all ages across Ireland.
To put into context the scale of services provided by Pieta and the ongoing need for donations, last year the charity received 100,000 calls and texts to its crisis helpline, provided nearly 52,000 hours of therapy and saw close to 7,000 clients across the country. The charity also supported over 600 families and households bereaved by suicide.
Pieta’s 300 qualified therapists, Suicide Bereavement Liaison Officers and support staff across the country work tirelessly to ensure that help is available to those in crisis throughout the Christmas period and beyond.
Speaking at the launch of the Christmas Appeal, Stephanie Manahan, Pieta CEO said: "For many people, Christmas is a happy time to connect and celebrate with others. But it can also be a particularly difficult time for people of all ages who may be struggling – the reality is that Christmas can be a lonely and isolating time of year. Unfortunately, younger people are increasingly likely to experience this loneliness too. More than half of all clients using Pietas services are now under the age of 25. In 2022, almost 1,500 people, including over 600 children under 18, engaged with Pieta’s counselling services throughout the month of December. Our Crisis Helpline received 230 calls and texts on Christmas day alone."
"The intensity of Christmas and the expectation to be continuously cheerful can amplify feelings of hopelessness and loneliness. However, our team of qualified therapists on our Crisis Helpline will be there 24/7 to listen and support anyone experiencing suicidal ideation or self-harm throughout this time. But they can only be there with your support. Please donate whatever you can this Christmas at pieta.ie.”
(L-R) Stephanie Manahan (Pieta CEO), David Van den Bergh (Managing Director of Max Benjamin)
To kick start festive fundraising for the charity, Max Benjamin, an Irish, family-owned Irish fragrance studio, is offering 10% of sales from its exclusive Cloves & Cinnamon candle throughout December as a donation to Pieta.
Speaking about the collaboration, David Van den Bergh, Managing Director of Max Benjamin said, “We are proud to partner with Pieta this December for this meaningful collaboration as they ask people to choose Hope over Silence with a candle in the window. We have had the pleasure of producing products that bring customers moments of joy, peace and hope for many years. Mental health is a cause close to our hearts and we believe that everyone deserves to be hopeful during the festive season. By purchasing the limited-edition Cloves & Cinnamon candle from www.maxbenjamin.com , customers are a supporting a really special charity that will be undertaking lifesaving work this Christmas.”
Ways to get involved and support Pieta this Christmas:
• Donate directly to www.pieta.ie
• Support #HopeOverSilence on Wednesday 6th December by lighting a candle, placing it in your window and joining in the social conversation.
• Sign up for Christmas Jumper Day on 8th December in aid of Pieta at iDonate
• Purchase a limited-edition Cloves & Cinnamon candle from www.maxbenjamin.com
• Send a Pieta Christmas Card or Christmas gift from www.pieta-house.myshopify.com
For more support information, please visit www.pieta.ie
Slán go fóill.