Pieta House encourages more empathy

People asked to be more compassionate
  • Deborah Condon

Following on from the huge success of the Darkness Into Light fundraising and awareness event earlier this month, Pieta House has created a set of guidelines aimed at encouraging people to treat others with more compassion.

Pieta House offers advice and support to people in suicidal distress and those engaging in self-harm. Earlier this month, over 150,000 people took part in Darkness Into Light walks in more than 150 locations worldwide.

Now Pieta House, with support from Electric Ireland, has developed ‘The Essentials of Empathy' - five guidelines that aim to show people that how we treat each other has a direct impact on wellbeing.

"The Essentials of Empathy are guidelines for people to bring into their daily lives. If everyone takes one thing from this and brings it into their daily life, we'll be able to live in a happier and healthier Ireland, where people are looking out for each other and show they care.

"Darkness Into Light shouldn't be the end of the journey for those taking part, but rather the beginning for so many who suffer in silence on a daily basis," explained Pieta House's clinical director, Marguerite Kiely.

The five guidelines are:

-Slow down and check in: In this fast-paced world, we need to regularly slow down, take a breath and check in with ourselves and those around us

-Listen and connect: Put down your phone and connect in real life through daily activities. Go for a walk with someone or have a cup of tea with them

-Ask questions, even hard ones: It can be tough to ask someone how they really feel, but it is the best way to start a conversation

-Empathise and be understanding: Passing remarks can have a big impact on others. Try to be more understanding and try to see things from other people's point of view - this can help to make everyone feel more accepted

-Be generous with your kindness: Even small acts of kindness can make someone's day. Kindness is a gift we can all give and something we should give when ever and where ever we can.

"We should consider Darkness Into Light as more than just one day. The Essentials of Empathy need to live with us as part of every day and can be seen as a driver for a focus on collective responsibility, to ensure everyone supports and treats each other in the best possible way," Pieta House said.

For more information on Pieta House, click here



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