About the Sunrise Walk
It all started ten years ago when our Founder, Joan Freeman, started a walk in Ireland known as Darkness into Light. Gathering
at 4:00 am, 400 individuals met in the early hours of the morning to raise awareness about suicide and
self-harm prevention. 10 years later, over 150,000 people have walked in solidarity to fight the fight
against suicide, self-harm and stigma, turning this walk into a global movement.
In 2015, Joan and the New York Irish Center brought this walk to the U.S. starting with just three venues, New York, Chicago,
and Washington D.C. Now there are 11 participating venues across the U.S. and a fully thriving center
in New York.
After operating as a pilot program for 2.5 years under the name of Pieta House, this past November our organization rebranded
to Solace House and our walk is now known as the Solace Sunrise Walk.
On May 19 2018, we will walk from the darkness of the early morning into the bright sun filled morning, symbolizing the journey
many in suicidal distress take when visiting our center in New York. Our service is completely free of
charge, all of our therapists are licensed clinical social workers with vast experience, and our staff
warmly welcomes all, while maintaining the highest respect for our clients.
The Solace Sunrise Walk not only raises much needed funds to maintain our free service but also the expansion of our services
through the provision of awareness workshops and prevention training in each of our participating venues.
These specialized programs train members of the public to learn and identify the signs and symptoms of
suicide ideation. They provide individuals with the tools to approach someone in distress and assist
them with retrieving the help they need, thus, helping us save lives and preventing suicide.
“I’m taking part so that other families have the support we had from Solace House when our daughter was in crisis.”
- Susan R, age 58