'If only people who are feeling down could realise they're not alone'

One photographer is raising money for Pieta House to coincide with Darkness Into Light

Darkness Into Light, mental health, Pieta House, Dublin, Phoenix Park, London, New York, Sydney,Mark English

An estimated 100,000 people turned out for dawn walks for Pieta House's annual Darkness Into Light event in 2015 | Image: Photocall Ireland

The annual Darkness Into Light (DIL) event takes place this weekend, with roughly 150 venues signed up to host walks in both Ireland and worldwide.

DIL is Pieta House’s flagship annual fundraising and awareness event, starting with approximately 400 people walking the 5km course in Dublin’s Phoenix Park in 2009.

Last year 130,000 people took part, helping to promote suicide prevention and to tackle the stigma surrounding suicide and self harm.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, photographer Andy Sheridan decided to raise the money for Pieta House by exhibiting and selling his Dublin nightscapes after he lost his brother to suicide in 2015.

"When something comes to your own house, I guess your interest is piqued," he said.

Sheridan said the event brings a sense of solidarity to families that have been "destroyed" by suicide.

"Painful and all as it is, you're not the only person going through this," he said. "There are so many others out there. It goes back to the whole point of people who are feeling down themselves, if only they could realise themselves that they're not alone.

"There's hope, there has to be hope. That's the overriding feeling that I got from last year's event [...] Dawn always comes."

Andy's exhibition 'Darkness Into Light' takes place today from 4pm-7pm at The Chq Building, North Wall Quay, North Wall, Ireland. Admission is free.

Anyone affected by issues raised in this article can get more information here - or call The Samaritans on 116 123

Darkness into Light takes place around the country at dawn tomorrow morning. For more log onto dil.pieta.ie