Five US cities will host the Pieta House Darkness into Light 5km walk/run on May 7 to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention.

The event was officially launched earlier this month in the American Irish Historical Society in New York, where the walk will be held in both the Bronx and in Queens.

Taking place on Saturday, May 7, Darkness Into Light is a unique, early morning experience which begins in darkness at 4.15am as thousands of people walk or run a 5km route while dawn is breaking.

The annual fundraising and awareness event has grown year on year to become one of the biggest events of its kind where participants gather simultaneously at multiple locations around the world. San Francisco, Chicago, San Diego and Philadelphia are among the American cities that will host the dawn walk this year.

The event will also take place across Ireland, the UK, Canada, Australia, the Middle East and Asia, with over 120,000 people expected to participate worldwide.

“We’re very grateful to the communities here in America and at home in Ireland for your support to Pieta House” said the organization’s founder Joan Freeman.

“Your courage, vision and generosity have helped to bring hope to people here in New York and has led to the phenomenal success that is Darkness into Light.”

The renowned self-harm and suicide prevention center, Pieta House, opened its first US branch—its tenth worldwide branch—in the New York Irish Center in Long Island City in Queens in Fall of last year, offering a service to anybody in need of support completely free of charge.

First opened in 2006 in Lucan, Co. Dublin, Pieta House is one of Ireland’s most popular charities with nine branches opened throughout Ireland before they branched out to Irish communities living abroad with their New York branch this year.

The success of Pieta House over the last decade in Ireland has been due to the pragmatic but empathetic approach taken to suicidal ideation. In New York this approach extends to the care provided to all clients, no matter what issue they face. Money raised from this year’s Darkness into Light in America will go towards the running of this center.

New York’s Darkness into Light event will set off from Gaelic Park, the Bronx and from Corona Park/Flushing Meadows, Queens. Online registration and further details are available now at For more information on Darkness Into Light in New York contact Rebecca Skedd at or call 718-482-0001.

Pieta House New York is free to all and located in the New York Irish Center, 10-40 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, New York, 11101.