About Pieta House

Pieta House opened its doors a decade ago with Lucan in County Dublin the centre of operations. In the intervening years we have seen and helped over 30,000 people in suicidal distress or engaging in self-harm, and established thirteen subsequent centres across Ireland.

In 2003, our founder and former CEO, Joan Freeman, a practising psychologist, closed down her own counselling business and dedicated her time to finding out how she could help people who were suicidal - what would be beneficial to them and help them get through their dark time. After three years of research, she opened up Pieta House, which quickly became a respected and recognised service for those who were suicidal.

Having counselled many people in the past who were self-harming, Joan realised that this was a topic never discussed and rarely understood, and she decided to also help people with this debilitating issue.

From humble beginnings, Pieta House has grown to almost 270 therapists and administration staff, and the demand for our service hasn’t let up. To that end, in 2016 alone, almost 6,000 people came through our doors suffering from suicidal ideation or engaging in self-harm, or to avail of suicide bereavement counselling.

As it has been from day one, everything is free of charge and our staff are fully qualified and provide a professional one-to-one therapeutic service for people who are experiencing suicidal ideation, people who have attempted suicide and people who are engaging in self-harm. A doctor’s referral or a psychiatric report is not required.

We’re passionate about our life-saving work. As 90% of our income comes from fundraising events, we rely heavily on the support and encouragement of our volunteers and friends of Pieta.

Our flagship fundraiser, the phenomenon that is Darkness Into Light, an event that is almost entirely organised by our amazing volunteers continues to go from strength to strength. This unique event takes place just as we’re coming into summer and our spirits are being lifted. Hundreds of thousands of people have woken in the small hours of the morning and taken part in Darkness Into Light to date, and each year it touches the lives of many more in venues across the world.

Darkness Into Light is very much about hope and hope is something we endeavour to give each person who comes to us in their time of need. We help them feel more hopeful about the future as we continue to tackle the grave issue of suicide and self-harm in Ireland.

Pieta House also operates the Suicide Bereavement Counselling centres that had previously been operated by Console. We provide free counselling, therapy and support to individuals, couples, families and children who have been bereaved by suicide. We also offer a Suicide Bereavement Liaison Service and the Freecall 24/7 suicide helpline 1800 247 247. For more information, click here