Glaswegians embark on Walk of Hope

15 May 2019

The purpose of the walk was to raise awareness and remember those lost through suicide

Hundreds of Glaswegians took part in Saturday’s Walk of Hope event to raise funds for Chris’s House, a mental health support organisation.

The walk started at 04:15, with those participating meeting and later finishing the walk at Glasgow Science Centre.

Photograph: Qian Zhao

The reason for the event’s early start was to ensure that it was finished by dawn.

Chris’s House was founded by Annie Rowan, and is the first 24-hour, non-medical crisis centre in Scotland.

It aims to provide support not only to individuals affected by mental health issues, but also families who have lost loved ones to suicide.

This is the second year the walk has taken place in aid of the organisation.

Annie Rowan said: “I would like people to know that Chris’s House is here.

“There are no barriers to stop people from coming to see us. We’re very welcoming, very compassionate, and filled with energy.”

One Walk of Hope attendee, Christeen MacMurdie, who has also experienced the loss of a loved one due to suicide, said: “There is a lot of stigma around men opening up.

“Hopefully, with everybody sharing #letstalk and #itsokaytotalk, and just asking questions, we will be letting them know that it’s okay to speak up and share their feelings.”

Since 2017, 5,821 suicides have been reported in the UK, with Scotland holding the highest suicide rate among the home nations.

According to data produced by Samaritans, the majority of suicides and attempted suicides are carried out by individuals who have not made contact with healthcare services within the month leading up to their attempts.

Also, only half of those who take their own lives have been in contact with specialist services.

For news on future events in support of Chris’s House, as well as information on suicide prevention and mental health awareness, Chris’s House can be found via its official website as well as on Facebook.

Photograph: Qian Zhao

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