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1000 Miles for Crossreach

Thursday June 13 2013

the long walk to recovery

 

Chris McLearyA Dunbar man who was helped by a CrossReach counselling service tells Jackie Macadam why he is 'giving something back'.

 

“I don’t know how many times I walked past that centre. I didn’t know it was there. Yet if it hadn’t been for CrossReach and their small team of counsellors, I don’t know where I would be now.”

Chris McLeary (pictured), from Dunbar, in East Lothian, is talking about his lifelong battle with depression, and the incredible impact that finally getting the support he felt he needed from CrossReach has had on his life.

“I’ve had all kinds of help from the doctor but last time I was there he pulled a leaflet of the drawer and suggested I might like to go and talk to someone while I was waiting for the local psychiatric nurse get involved.

“It was a CrossReach leaflet, advertising their counselling services, and I couldn’t believe that the address was only five minutes from my house.

“I met a counsellor there called Janice and she has helped me more than anyone else.

“I realised I could either break down or do something else entirely. Since I’d seen the film ‘The Way” starring Martin Sheen I’d wanted to do a long distance walk.

“I didn’t have a passport so I decided to do a Scottish one instead.

“I’ll be using as many the long distance Scottish walks to connect as many CrossReach counselling centres as I can.

“I’m leaving Dunbar on July 2, carrying my own tent and hoping to make at least ten miles a day.

“Anyone who sees me is welcome to walk part of the way with me if they’d like, but most of all I’d like people to donate through JustGiving to CrossReach. They do an amazing job for people like me and never ask for a penny if you can’t pay.

“This is the best way I can think of to give them back a little something for everything they have given me.”

You can donate to Chris at www.justgiving.com/thelongwalktorecovery

CrossReach is the social care arm of the Church of Scotland.

 

A fuller version of this article will appear in the August issue of Life and Work. Subscribe here.