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It is estimated that more than one in three people are affected by a mental health problem each year. In Scotland some patients are forced to wait for more than 18 weeks before they receive treatment with the NHS.

Crisis, which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary, was founded to provide a counselling service for people who found themselves in need of support. At Crisis, there is no typical client or issue that is focussed on. Rather they work with a people of all ages, from children to adults, who are in need of support for a range of issues. These can include recovery from trauma or violence, loss and bereavement, or relationship and family breakdowns.

Crisis sells a number of employee-counselling and training services to businesses, reinvesting the profits from these programmes back into their business. Counselling elsewhere can cost up to £50 for a one-hour session, whereas at Crisis those on a low income can access their services for just £5 an hour. Crisis also provides placements and mentorship for trainee counsellors, in turn benefiting greatly from the hard work and the expertise they bring to the organisation.

SIS and Crisis have a longstanding relationship, with the first SIS loan back in 2006 providing Crisis with finance to purchase their current headquarters in Erskine. Subsequent finance has provided working capital to support the organisation so that they can continue to deliver affordable and accessible counselling services, as it has done since 1996.

Jamie’s Story

“I self-referred to Crisis following a traumatic car incident. This was compounded by a bereavement that I had not been able to move from the first initial shock stage.

I was so exhausted by the stress of it, I approached my GP for help. They offered the phone numbers of the local Community Mental Health team and another voluntary organisation. The team offered a series of six group meetings that covered specific subjects and the voluntary organisation started with a six-week wait to even see a counsellor.

With Crisis, I met with a counsellor within a couple of days and had time to talk about a range of subjects, I was able to discuss other bereavements throughout my life which had never been fully grieved. My counsellor was brilliant at being able to reflect back to me the links that showed the recent events were not just something in isolation but part of a continuum, to which I react in the same way.

The counselling offered by Crisis provided this insight that neither a group setting nor limited number of sessions could. By having this time, I have worked through many underlying issues that have plagued me and now understand both their effect and how to manage future events better.

I cannot thank Crisis enough for their presence, commitment and enabling me access to professional counselling that I could not afford otherwise.”

N.B. Some names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals concerned.