A NEW drive is under way to help men who may be struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide.
"Women have great coping mechanisms, but men don't," Pieta House founder Joan Freeman told the Irish Independent at the launch of the charity's annual Darkness Into Light event.
"Ten people die from suicide each week in Ireland. Eight of those are men. If we want to reduce the cases of suicide, we need to look out for our men. We need to let them know it's OK to talk."
Now in its sixth year, the event will tie in with the 'Mind Our Men' campaign, which aims to reduce male suicide in Ireland. RTE presenters Sinead Kennedy and Eoghan McDermott are getting behind the event.
'Voice of Ireland' host McDermott will take part in the overnight walk around Dublin in the small hours of March 10.
"My mum used to work as the home school liaison at a community school and there was a relentless flow of suicides – both students and their parents," he said. "When they asked me to be part of the launch, it really hit home. I remember seeing my mum going to all those funerals."
"I have wanted to do it for many years, but with work was never able to," 'Winning Streak' presenter Sinead Kennedy said.
Darkness Into Light sees participants walk, jog or sprint around a 5km route while dawn breaks. The 2013 event attracted 40,000 participants. It goes international for the first time this year, taking place at 39 locations, including London and Sydney.
Learn more and register at dil.pieta.ie.