Try a six month print or digital Life and Work subscription


Sign up to our monthly newsletter

Please confirm that you are happy to hear from The Church of Scotland:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit the Privacy Policy on our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Home  >  Features  >  'CrossReach Rescued Me'


'CrossReach Rescued Me'

'CrossReach Rescued Me'

Wednesday October 23 2019

Continuing our celebration of 150 years of social care in the Church of Scotland, Jackie Macadam hears from people helped by CrossReach's counselling services

“I never imagined I would see Christmas 2015, I was in a dark and overwhelming place, how could I overcome my emptiness.”

These are the words of ‘Laura’, a young mother whose battle with post-natal depression could have cost her her life after she gave birth to her son, Hamish, in August 2015.

“As a good friend said, ‘you were here in person but your spirit was lost, your eyes were sad and you were lost’.

“By November 2015,” she says, “Life was slowly crumbling around me. I was on a downward spiral. I spoke with my health visitor and was referred to a Community Psychiatric Nurse. Though every experience is individual, for me, I felt let down by my healthcare providers and had nowhere else to go. So, feeling defeated and desperate, I found CrossReach’s Bluebell Service.

“CrossReach rescued me and I mean this sincerely. I was suicidal.

“At CrossReach, I found myself in a non-judgemental, calming, warm and welcoming atmosphere. An atmosphere far more conducive to the care I knew I needed. My counsellor at Bluebell was truly amazing: they listened and tried to understand how I was feeling and the root of my emotions.

“CrossReach Bluebell have helped me, through counselling and support, f nd my inner strength. My counsellor told me ‘being good enough is okay’. For me these words are potent and remain with me forever.”

Jackie Walker is the Head of Service, Children and Families for counselling and community.

“CrossReach has been leading the way in Perinatal Mental Health for over 30 years,” she says. “We support over 200 families every week and provide transformative therapies that improve – often significantly – the emotional and social development of infants and parental wellbeing.

“CrossReach has been key in helping hundreds of parents through a difficult time in their lives and that of their children.

We help to reduce stigma, offer cost effective parent-infant interventions and now are looking towards offering a cutting edge, digital online therapy.

“With initial help from the Digital Health Institute we have enlisted parents and counsellors to help us design a blueprint that will allow us to use innovative software to create online access for parents and families in all areas of Scotland who are affected by Perinatal Mental Health issues.

“The civic benefit of this project is that it would provide easily accessible care to those in need of it regardless of geographical distance, time restrictions, inability to leave the house, and socioeconomic background and through time could be used to provide counselling for anyone who uses our services.”

But CrossReach’s counselling services are not just working with new parents.

Jackie explains: “We have a wide variety of counselling services across the country that help people of all ages and with a variety of issues.

CrossReach Counselling Services deliver high quality and effective counselling and support to those struggling with mental health, depression, perinatal depression, anxiety and addiction problems. We operate from three main locations in Edinburgh, Glasgow and the West and Inverness and Moray. There are also services available in community hubs throughout Scotland.

“We create trusting relationships that enable people to overcome life difficulties and adapt to change whilst recognising the uniqueness of each individual’s life and experience. We have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of people across the country.

Another client, ‘Andrew’, talks about the help he received from CrossReach when he approached them about his issues with addiction.

“My experience of being a client at Simpson House has changed my life completely. I was at a stage in my life when I thought no-one cared or would listen to me,” he says.

“My counsellor, through great grit and determination managed to somehow give me hope that there was light at the end of the tunnel. She stuck by me and started to understand me and gave me the courage to move forward. She has somehow managed to get me to believe in myself again, encouraged and helped reduce my alcohol intake, stuck by and saved my life through some traumatic experiences. Without my counsellor’s amazing support, understanding and encouragement, I wouldn’t be here today.

“Even although my journey isn’t finished I’m very grateful they have given me the strength to move forwards.”

A longer version of this feature appeared in October's Life and Work. Subscribe or download

Moderator's tribute to CrossReach work with the elderly

Baking Bread: the Rev Doug Gay visits a CrossReach facility in Edinburgh

Humility and Compassion: an award-winning home for people with complex needs in Stonehaven

Thanksgiving Service for landmark anniversary