by Shauna Moore
As the sun rose in Melbourne on Saturday 8 May 2021, nearly 1000 people came together at various locations across the city to show their support for people who have been impacted by mental health illness and suicide by supporting Darkness Into Light.
The Darkness Into Light (DIL) Walk started in 2009 to raise funds for Irish-based Pieta House, an organisation founded in 2006 to provide free, accessible one-to-one counselling to those suffering from suicidal ideation, engaging in self harm or to those bereaved by suicide. Since 2009 DIL has spread around the world, and now has a presence in over 30 countries.
In Melbourne, funds raised support both Pieta house in Dublin and our charity partner, Batyr in Australia, a for-purpose preventative mental health organisation created and driven by young people for young people.
After the challenging year across the world, due to the global pandemic, the importance of looking after our own mental health and looking out for each other is especially prevalent in our world today.
Due to the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, the usual annual event could not take place, however that did not stop the amazing Melbourne committee and Irish Community coming together and making Saturday 8 May 2021 a day to remember.
Rather than one central event we had several smaller community events across Melbourne as well as numerous individuals and family groups taking part in their own activities including walks, runs, yoga, Pilates, cycling and reflective moments, there was something for everyone. Some of these included:
- 5k run & sea swim with Snamh Squad, Middlepark
- Mediation & sea dunk with Ais Quiqley, Elwood
- 5km walk around Albert Park hosted by various groups – Melbourne Social Sunrise, Run Home Melbourne and Meet Me in Melbourne.
- Sea Dip with Sunset Swimmers, St Kilda
- Family Sunrise walks at Cherry Lake, Altona and Mornington
- Family walk with Moving through Motherhood, Albert Park
- Outdoor Pilates with Tooronga Physio, Malvern
- 5k construction walk with Southern Program Alliance, Bonbeach
DIL Melbourne Chairperson Ruth Campion congratulated participants for their efforts:
“You cannot put into words everything that has happened and all the amazing events across Melbourne today in aid of Darkness Into Light. Community is what it is all about and we are so grateful to everyone who rocked up and showed their support today, it is quiet a humbling experience for all our committee to see such support and we will be forever grateful.”
DIL Melbourne committee member Shauna shared what the DIL community means to her:
“I am privileged to be part of such an amazing organisation and community of such wonderful, selfless people who constantly care for each other and always give so generously to others. It’s so nice to have a home away from home.”
In total Melbourne have raised over $50,000 which will go to two amazing charities – Pieta House and Batyr.
The Darkness Into Light Melbourne committee would like to say a very special thank you to everyone who hosted an event, registered, donated and celebrated with us. Please follow us through Instagram and Facebook for our events throughout the year and join us in 2022.
Please remember to check in with yourself and those around you, remember how important your mental health is and remember you are never alone, you will always have the Darkness Into Light community.
Shauna Moore is a member of the Darkness Into Light Melbourne Committee.
Readers in Australia – if you or anyone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636. If life is in danger call 000.
Get involved with Darkness Into Light Melbourne by checking out their Instagram and Facebook.