New base in Dalkeith for suicide prevention charity

A charity which supports people feeling suicidal has opened a new base in Dalkeith town centre.

Chris's House founder Anne Rowan and Danderhall woman Liz Barr at the new Dalkeith premises.
Chris's House founder Anne Rowan and Danderhall woman Liz Barr at the new Dalkeith premises.

The second branch of Chris’s House, at 4a Newmills Road (above The Park), was officially opened last week by the charity’s founder Anne Rowan. The charity’s name is abbreviated from Centre for Help Response and Intervention Surrounding Suicide.

Anne, who started the charity in memory of her son Chris who took his own life, said: “Our head office is in Lanarkshire but we cover all over Scotland. And Covid has taught us you can work with Zoom. It’s the only good thing that has come out of the pandemic.

"I’m absolutely over the moon to open in Midlothian. We won’t change. It’s definitely Chris’s House, the ethos will continue from Chris’s House in Wishaw.

"We want to work with local organisations, and on the open day they were all very receptive, very welcoming. They showed they want to work with us, which is very pleasing.

"This new base is very important. We are very busy. We see people from 10am-10pm, although that’s not quite the case in Midlothian yet as it’s not fully staffed. We will hopefully get that up soon.

"We hope people from all over Midlothian will volunteer and help us. We need these people. I hope it gets bigger and stronger and gets to the level we have in Wishaw.”

Anne hopes the new base will help local people struggling to cope with life, particularly during the pandemic. She said: "You can call us anytime, 24 hours a day. We provide access to counselling and therapy. We will signpost people in the right direction.

"We are happy to take people into stability and let other people pick them up longer term. There is a need to work very closely with other services. There are no judgements here, it's very unjudgemental.

"You get the same care all the way through and very often a therapist as well to help people get into a better frame of mind, to show them there are still reasons to live.

"People are basically confused with all the conflicting things they are hearing during this pandemic and all sorts of things have triggered emotional anxiety.”

To get in touch with Chris’s House, either as a volunteer or service user, email [email protected]