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Our Story2018-07-30T08:46:06+00:00

OUR STORY

Chris’s House was founded by Anne Rowan, a Wishaw mum with a passionate vision for a crisis centre established in memory of her son Chris, whom she lost to suicide in 2011 at the age of 36. In the years following Chris’s death, Anne experienced an overwhelming sense of guilt. Her hair fell out, she lost her balance and couldn’t go out unaided.

She turned her attention to taking action – through the creation of Chris’s House, a ‘Centre for Help, Response and Intervention Surrounding Suicide’. It is the first 24 hour, non-medical crisis centre in Scotland offering integrated support. The cosy rooms have each been carefully designed to offer guests an environment they can feel comfortable in. The generosity of families that have been touched by the work Chris’s House have accomplished have raised the funds or made donations to allow for the space offer calm and wellbeing.

While Anne remains an active and passionate member of Chris’s House she is adamant that the focus not remain solely on her efforts. She is joined in this mission to help bring awareness to Mental Health by more than 40 volunteers. Each have been touched in some way by suicide and understand the on-going ripple effects that it has on family, friends and the community.

WHAT IS CHRIS’S HOUSE?

Chris’s House stands for ‘Centre of Help, Response and Intervention Surrounding Sui-cide’ and has been set up to offer a safe environment where people in crisis may have a respite from their current unwellness, by finding refuge in Chris’s House and involve-ment in an individually tailored programme to offer support and respite through their journey.

We will work in partnership with other established agencies to offer the best possible care.
Our guests will be assigned to a volunteer who will develop a strong rapport with the guest to help them through the crisis and support them to counter depression, negative and despairing thoughts and exchange reasons for dying with reasons for living. We truly listen to our guests and offer them as much input into their journey as possible. Its your care you deserve to be listened to.

Our motto: “Lets talk”

Our Volunteers:
We have a large volume of trained volunteers who come from various professional and life experience backgrounds and who will provide one to one support, therapies and peer to peer groups, if and when our guests wish to engage with these non medical based approaches. Our volunteers are trained in suicide intervention and as individuals offer the warmest and most compassionate approach to caring for others.
They fully understand that confidentiality and the provision of a safe and welcoming environment is of the utmost importance. We believe that within our community we all need each other in many ways for our collective well being especially when we are at a low point in our life. Our community will, through our volunteer group, reach out to the wider community and make a difference not only to each others’ lives but for those who come into contact with Chris’s House at their time of need.

COMPLICATED GRIEF

“Christopher’s friend died by suicide on the fourth of April and his cousin died in a car crash just a day later,” Anne recalls. “It was shocking, a grenade into our family. Within 16 weeks, we had lost Christopher as well. We never noticed how bad Christopher was because we were all in deep grief and shock from his cousin’s death.”

Christopher sought help from the doctor as he struggled to come to terms with things but he was merely prescribed medication and told to return in three months’ time, an appointment he would never keep.

Anne admits she became a “complete wreck” for about two years after Christopher’s death before her life started to turn around when she made contact with the Irish charity Pieta, a crisis centre for self-harm and suicide. She learned about their Darkness Into Light events, 5k walks that take place during sunrise, and managed to bring the event to Scotland for the first time last year.

It’s hard to cling to any sliver of hope in the weeks and months after a suicide.

Grief takes a firm hold as darkness descends on the family and friends left behind as they struggle to come to terms with their loss. It’s a deeply personal process and you can often feel like the loneliest person in the world, as if there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

The Chris’s House Walk of Hope is a vital fundraiser for a Scottish charity set-up to prevent suicide and support those suffering from the loss of a loved one.

But perhaps even more importantly, it offers those who are still grieving a chance to meet the only people who truly understand the kind of pain they are going through.

Nobody knows this more than Anne Rowan, the founder of Chris’s House, who started to emerge from two years of deep grief following the death of her son Christopher when she helped to organise the first charity walk in Scotland few years ago.

Kevin McALLION, CHRIS’S HOUSE .
Full article available here.

OUR AIMS

EVERY MOMENT COUNTS

We have had a further 238 people physically use our service in last year (attending for more than one counselling/therapy visit.

We have dealt with an average of 70 guests in crisis telephone calls per month and an average of 14 crisis calls “out of hours” per month.

We have received and responded to an average of 58 social media contacts per month of which 60% relate to people in crisis and the remaining 40% with outreach/community contacts to us for training, joint work and general information.

We have connected with almost 350 individuals to challenge stigma through our schools, college and youth organisations awareness raising sessions.

We have expanded our social media outreach with weekly information-awareness raising posts reaching in excess of 30 000 shares and a page following of 6 000. We also collate service feedback from comments and messages.

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