Pieta House has launched a poster campaign across rail and bus stations for the Christmas period.
The 55 outdoor ads – launched in partnership with Exterion Media and CIE this morning at Pearse Station in Dublin - will be displayed in CIE stations across Ireland for the next two weeks.
TV and radio presenter Eoghan McDermott – a Pieta House ambassador – was at the launch, along with Pieta House Chief Clinical Officer Cindy O’Connor, Ellen Murphy from Iarnród Éireann Corporate Communications, Mel Kellegher, Manager Commuter Advertising Network at CIE and Lorna Carroll, Direct Sales Manager at Exterion Media.
The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the services and free counselling offered by Pieta House to those in suicidal crisis, those who self-harm and people bereaved by suicide. The posters also publicise Pieta House’s free suicide helpline 1800 247 247, a number that will be available 24 hours each day over Christmas – just as it is all year round - to anyone who needs it.
“I guess Pieta House pops up throughout the year with Darkness Into Light and other endeavours, where the Pieta name is on everybody’s mind,” said Eoghan McDermott.
“So I think it’s important, particularly at Christmas, that the visibility is maintained. People’s emotions aren’t seasonal. A lot of people will travel on the train more at Christmas than they might do the rest of the year, so it’s a great way of keeping Pieta to the forefront of people’s minds and reminding them what they do and who they’re for.
“People will maybe feel vulnerable in the evening when they’re alone with their thoughts or maybe in the middle of the night, so it’s a massive thing to have the 1800 247 247 number and to know that there’s someone there for them the whole time.”
Cindy O’Connor of Pieta House added, “Christmas can be a difficult time for so many people and the pressure on people can be huge, so we want everyone to know that we are there for them if they need to reach out to us.
“We have additional staff working over the Christmas period and our 1800 247 247 number is available to anyone in suicidal distress, anyone bereaved by suicide and also anyone who is worried about a loved one. We are incredibly thankful to be able to work with CIE and Exterion Media to help get our message out there.”
“As a public service provider CIÉ is very mindful of the challenges that this time of year brings to those that may be struggling. We hope that this awareness campaign will let those who travel with us know that there is help available,” said Ellen Murphy from Iarnród Éireann.
“We are delighted to work with our partners CIE to support such a worthwhile cause and important campaign,” said Lorna Carroll of Exterion Media.
The poster campaign features the line ‘You Are Not Alone’, which is a message Pieta House has for everyone who needs to get in touch – and also a reference to the charity Christmas single You Are Not Alone, a cover of the Michael Jackson hit by the Future Hope collective, which is in the running for the Christmas number one in Ireland this week.