New York based Suicide-Prevention Charity Pieta House to Host May 6 Darkness into Light 5K

Registration is open: Event will raise funds to increase suicide-prevention services in the U.S.

NEW YORK – April 14, 2017 – Pieta House, Inc., a New York-based non-profit organization, is hosting its third annual Darkness into Light 5K walk/run on May 6 to raise funds for suicide-prevention services.

Registration is open:

“We are calling upon people around America to join us in our crusade to save lives,” said psychologist and Irish Senator Joan Freeman, who opened Pieta House in Dublin in 2006. “People who join Darkness into Light will help us heighten awareness about mental health issues while providing the financial support needed to expand our services for people in severe emotional distress.”

Since its founding, the charity has provided therapeutic services in Ireland, at no charge, to more than 25,000 people who have threatened self-harm or suicide. Freeman worked with Irish organizations in America to found Pieta’s first U.S. operation, which opened in September 2015 at the New York Irish Center in Queens. Of the 100 people who have received free therapy in the last six months, 50% are Irish immigrants and 50% represent New York’s diverse population.

Freeman named the organization after Pietà (Mercy), Michelangelo’s marble sculpture of Mary holding the body of Jesus after the crucifixion. “It is the only sculpture that Michelangelo signed,” said Freeman, who draws no salary from the charity. “As such, we are asking people to add their names to our list of supporters – a community holding and healing the broken, bringing people in emotional distress out of darkness into light.”


The Darkness into Light 5K will take place in eight U.S. cities. The event begins at dawn and ends once the sun has risen. Check each venue for exact times.

  • Visit to sign up for the event in New York (Queens and The Bronx), Austin, Boston, Chicago (Oak Forest), Pittsburg, Philadelphia, San Diego or San Francisco. Registration is $35 (adult), $20 (youth), and free (under 12). Donations may be made at


Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, according to the World Health Organization, which estimates that for every person who dies by suicide 20 other people have attempted it. Hence, many millions of people are affected or experience suicide bereavement every year. Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds globally.

In the United States, suicide has climbed to the highest levels in 30 years, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The nation’s suicide rate is 13 per 100,000 people, the highest since 1986.


Pieta House is a suicide and self-harm crisis center founded in Dublin in 2006 by psychologist and Irish Senator Joan Freeman. The non-profit organization provides professional one-to-one therapeutic services for people experiencing suicidal ideation or engaging in self-harm. The service is completely free of charge. Ms. Freeman opened Pieta House, Inc., in New York in September 2015. Operating independently from the Dublin organization, PHNY is a U.S. tax-exempt charity with 501©(3) status. It, too, provides therapeutic services to people in severe emotional distress at no charge.
For more information on Pieta House New York or Darkness into Light in U.S. cities, contact Beth Flaherty or Rebecca Skedd at (718) 482 0001 or / 


Sally O’Dowd

New York

+ 1 917 477 9566

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