Pieta encourages Longford people to choose #HopeOverSilence this Christmas

Place a candle in your window at 7pm on Thursday, November 26 to support Pieta’s #HopeOverSilence appeal

Longford Leader reporter

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Pieta, the national suicide prevention charity, is encouraging the nation to choose #HopeOverSilence this Christmas in an appeal to break the stigma of lonely, silent nights and speak up about mental health or use your voice to remember a loved one.

At 7pm on Thursday, November 26, you can support this action by placing a candle in your window to represent hope. Instead of a moment’s silence, call a friend, talk to a family member or housemate or join in the social #HopeOverSilence conversation to help us all feel connected this Christmas.

With dark nights can come dark thoughts and particularly at this time of year, it can pose a real challenge to our mental health so supporting friends, family members and colleagues is important. People are naturally social. They like conversation and they like to feel supported and to be part of a community, but if you are feeling low, it can be harder to seek out that support and connection.

Speaking at the launch of the #HopeOverSilence appeal, singer and Pieta ambassador, Mary Black, said; “This festive period is particularly fraught with anxiety for many people with health and financial worries. Trying to navigate the new normal can be very difficult in these challenging times. We know that Christmas will be different this year, but we can still ensure we stay connected and speak up, to ensure hope – over silence.”

Sinead Price, Pieta Co-Director of Fundraising and Marketing also added that; “For many people, Christmas is a happy time to connect and celebrate with others. But it can also be a particularly difficult time for many people who may be suffering due to bereavement, financial issues, loneliness or the current Covid pandemic that can in turn lead to an increase in stress or anxiety. The demand for Pieta’s free 24-hour helpline is particularly high during December because the reality is that Christmas can be a lonely and isolating time of year. The intensity of the Christmas season can amplify feelings of hopelessness and despair. Our team of trained counsellors on our Helpline are there 24/7 to listen and support you in finding your way through this time.  As calls and texts to our helpline increase this Christmas, Pieta needs your support more than ever, so please donate via our website at pieta.ie.”

Join in Pieta’s #HopeOverSilence Christmas appeal by shining a light on mental health this November 26th and open up a conversation with a loved one.

Since the beginning of 2020, Pieta’s qualified counsellors supported almost 18,000 calls to the 24hr crisis line and received almost 50,000 texts to the crisis Textline. As 80% of Pieta’s funding comes from the public, support is vital to help continue this lifesaving work. Pieta runs a range of services nationwide to support people and communities in crisis, including free counselling services and support for those who are at the risk of suicide, engaging in self-harm and those bereaved by suicide. All services are provided free of charge and no referral is needed.

To donate directly to Pieta or for more support information, please visit www.pieta.ie