Irish celebrities have joined forces for depressed and suicidal people, letting them know that they are not alone. Ryan O’Shaughnessy, Mary Byrne, the Dublin Gospel Choir and many more have launched their version of Michael Jackson’s global hit song ‘You Are Not Alone’ in an effort to raise awareness for Pieta House. The release of the single is also aimed at raising funds for the charity.
Pieta House would like to highlight “the fact that help is available for people suffering from depression, particularly at this time of year which can be very difficult for a lot of people”. One in four people will experience a mental health problem each year and last year, sadly 451 people died by suicide in Ireland. The organisation said 8,791 people presented a total of 11,189 times at hospital emergency departments across the country due to self-harm in 2015.
Also featuring on the single are bands Taken and Heroes In Hiding. The hashtag #notalonepieta is being used on social media. Ryan O’Shaughnessy said; “I got involved because I feel it’s important for Irish people to discuss mental health. It’s important to give what you can to help those who need it. That’s what this single is all about.”
The track is available to download now across all major digital platforms including iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and Spotify.
Pieta House has helped almost 28,000 people rebuild their lives since 2006 and has treated approximately 5,000 people in each of the last three years. More information is available at Pieta House’s Facebook page.
CEO Brian Higgins said; “We are so honoured that Future Hope is donating the proceeds of this single to Pieta House. ‘You Are Not Alone’ and ‘Future Hope’ are both sentiments that we at Pieta try to espouse to the people who come through our doors. We would encourage everyone to download or buy the single so that it can be a real contender for this year’s Christmas number one in Ireland and more importantly, in doing so, raise funds to support our services into the future.”
Gavin Coll of Future Hope said; “If the ‘You Are Not Alone’ single can raise awareness of the services of Pieta House and in doing so, prevent one person from dying by suicide, then all our efforts will have been worthwhile. Many of those involved in the project have experienced first-hand the pain and suffering of losing a loved one and, unfortunately, the reality is that mental health issues are intensifying. We all need to play our part in doing what we can to help each other. We are delighted to have released the single and would encourage everyone to download it.”
Approximately 15% of Pieta House’s annual income comes from statutory grants, but 85% of its funding needs to be raised through events such as Darkness into Light, initiatives such as the ‘You Are Not Alone’ charity single and donations and fundraisers by the members of the public. With 18 centres across the country, Pieta House offers counselling to people experiencing suicidal ideation and people who engage in self-harm and, as of this year, it also offers suicide bereavement counselling and operates the free 24-hour 1800 247 247 suicide helpline.
Listen here to Future Hopes cover of Michael’s ‘You Are Not Alone.’