Senator Frances Black is an independent Senator and founder of the RISE Foundation
Frances, a much loved singer in Ireland and internationally has spoken openly about her own recovery from addiction and the overwhelming response she received from the public:
“I was inundated with calls from family members, who wanted to know how to cope with someone they love who could possibly be in addiction. People would come up to me at signings and tell me their stories. I was very moved by it.”
After finding recovery Frances went back to college, despite having left school at 15, and graduated as an addiction counsellor. She then did her training in the Rutland Centre with the renowned addiction specialist and Clinical Director at the time, Stephen Rowen (who now co-facilitates the The RISE Foundation’s Family Programmemes with Frances).
Through this experience Frances realised that more support was needed for family members who were often extremely anxious and worried about their loved ones in addiction. It was here that she saw the stress and heartache that addictive behaviour has on families:
“Every day, family members feel like they are watching someone they love slowly killing themselves. No matter how many times they may ask them to stop, unfortunely their loved in addiction just can’t hear them. Family members feel like they are grieving for the person they are losing to addiction.”
Frances felt inspired her to set-up a primary care organisation that would support family members in their feeling of powerlessness, heartache, stress and anxiety. So she founded The RISE Foundation in 2009.
“The reality of addiction is that it doesn’t just destroy the person, it destroys relationships, self-worth, and the family unit.”
“My philosophy is that it is important for the whole family to step into recovery, addiction is a family disease”
Frances has a clear vision for The RISE Foundation over the next 5 years which includes the roll-out of our Family Programmemes nationwide.Rise has family programmemes running in Dublin City, Swords, Dundalk, Drogheda, Carlow Portlaoise, Kilkenny and Newry. Their one to one services are provided in Aungier St. Dublin and Kilkenny.
Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) awarded Frances with a prestigious Social Entrepreneur of the Year award 2010 and 2011. The RISE Foundation also won a Vodafone World of Difference award 2010.
Senator Frances Black is the chairperson for the Oireachtas Cross Party Group on Alcohol Harm. The impact of harmful parental drinking on children was highlighted in the Seanad by the Oireachtas Cross Party Group on Alcohol Harm. She along with some of her colleagues in the Senate sponsored the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill that came into law in October 2018.