Our Mission

To free Ireland through cultural change from its unhealthy relationship with alcohol and other drugs. To support families impacted by a loved ones addictive behaviour through awareness, education and therapy, and to combat the associated shame and stigma.


The RISE Foundation is a registered charity founded by Senator Frances Black in 2009, focused on family members of those with addictive behaviour (alcohol, drugs, gambling, food or sex addiction). At RISE (Recovery In a Safe Environment), we are dedicated to working towards helping family members to free themselves from the stress, anxiety and worry of having a loved one with addictive behaviour and to understand the nature of addiction and the profound effects it has on relationships.


  • Educate families about addiction and addictive behaviour

  • Support families in their own recovery

  • Break the cycle of addiction by helping the family member to care for themself

  • Help the family member to emerge from their powerlessness with strength and courage

  • Raise awareness about the impact of addiction on families

Board of Directors

The RISE Foundation's board of directors comprises passionate and professional members who have a wide variety of skills and experience and are drawn from the business and not for profit sectors. The board members are voluntary and receive no remuneration other than out of pocket and documented expenses.Their role is to govern, guide and support the RISE Foundation.

Lasairiona Mulligan - Chairperson
Dermot Tynan - Secretary
Tim Duggan - Treasurer
Kathy Maher
Pat Flanagan

Frances Black The Rise Foundation

Our Founder

In 2004 I went back to college, despite having left school at 15, and graduated as an addiction counsellor. I then did my 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 Programmes with me).

Through this experience I realised that more support was needed for family members who were often extremely anxious, worried and sometimes depressed about their loved ones in addiction. It was here that I saw the stress and heartache that addictive behaviour has on families.

My experience taught me that every day, family members feel like they are watching someone they love slowly going down that route of self destruction. No matter how many times they may ask them to stop, unfortunately their loved one in addiction just can’t hear them. It's very traumatic for family members and they feel like they are grieving for the person that has the problem.       

This experience inspired me to set-up a primary care organisation that would support family members in their feeling of powerlessness, heartache, stress and anxiety. So I 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. 

“The RISE philosophy is that it is important for the whole family to step into recovery, addictive behaviour from one person impacts the whole family in a destructive way"

The Rise foundation offers both one to one counselling and group educational and therapeutic sessions to family members of those with addictive behaviour. The stress, anxiety and worry of having a loved one who has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, drugs, or addictive behaviour can have physical, emotional, social, and spiritual consequences. Family members who are affected by the impact of someone else’s addictive behaviour often feel confused, frustrated, angry, helpless and completely exhausted.

At RISE, Family members learn that they can't control a loved one’s addictive behaviour, they didn't cause it, and they can't cure it. By becoming aware of the beliefs and experiences that shape their own behaviours, participants identify new, healthy ways of coping with addiction and relationships. We have developed a documented 10 week educational and therapeutic program for family members, which offers a unique recovery experience. Family members  are referred to our services by doctors, treatment centres, probation services, HSE and other support services. Others contact us by email or phone after an internet search or word of mouth for support for families with loved ones in addiction.

All our programmes are run by our specially trained team of counsellors who bring a breadth of experience and compassion to their work. We have a team of 4 experienced counsellors providing both the one to one counselling sessions and also facilitating the family and after care programmes. I believe we are uniquely qualified as a centre of excellence in this field in Ireland.

It was my work with RISE and my collaboration with other community and charitable organisations that inspired me to run for the Seanad, as I believe that there is a need to represent these services and be the voice of those who are vulnerable in society. I was delighted to be elected to the 25th Seanad Éireann in April 2016. My commitment to Rise remains constant as does my advocacy for social justice and equality.

To date the Rise Foundation has relied exclusively on the generous support from both individuals and businesses. We have several annual fund raising events such as our golf classic, the Rathlin Ramble and the Camino. The support we receive at these and in direct donations is enormously appreciated and has allowed us to provide the services we believe are essential.

Moving forward it is our vision to significantly expand the number of Family Programmes and roll them out throughout the island of Ireland. The Board of the Rise Foundation is currently in the process of developing a 3 year strategy and business plan to move the organisation forward to the next stage.

I thank you for your support to date and look forward with enthusiasm for this next stage of our journey. The need and relevancy of our services is being recognised more and more and we hope this will allow us to fulfil our ambitions to expand and extend our reach.

Frances Black signature