Montrealers are invited to join the city’s first Dark into Light event on May 11 to raise money and awareness about suicide prevention.
The walk will begin before sunrise at 5 a.m. at the Clock Tower Pier in Old Montreal. Participants will walk, jog or run from before sunup until after the sun has risen, representing the therapeutic journey from darkness into light. Afterwards, there will be coffee, tea, snacks and music.
The inspiration for this event is from Darkness into Light, a walk that began 10 years ago in Ireland and raised money for Pieta House, a charity that helps those who harm themselves or are suicidal.
This walk has spread internationally and now takes place in 19 countries around the world. The date of the Montreal walk will coincide with Darkness into Light (organizers in Montreal were too late to officially register with the international walk but plan on joining in 2020).
All proceeds will go to Suicide Action Montreal, an organization with more than 200 volunteers that offers support to people with thoughts of suicide, those who are concerned about a friend or family member, or are grieving the loss of a loved one.
Niamh Devaney, one of the coordinators from Montreal Shamrocks, says that the goal of the walk is not only to raise money, but to raise awareness of an important issue. “The main goal is to join the conversation that’s happening around the world,” she says. “We’re trying to break the stigma and to remind people that it’s okay not to be okay.”
Devaney says the walk will allow people to share their experiences with suicide and mental health, and the event will be an opportunity to bring the community together. “We’re all doing the walk for a similar reason, whether we’ve lost someone or not.”
People of all ages are encouraged to participate. Registration is $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and students, and $8 for kids over 6. Those who want to participate can enquire by email or simply pay by sending an e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org.