Close up of two people speaking during a counselling session. One person is taking notes on a notepad.

Counselling Service

There are times in life where we may need some extra support with our mental health. This can be due to high stress, academic challenges, isolation, changes in circumstances and bereavement. Sometimes what we need support with is finding out why we are not feeling well.

Counselling gives you the opportunity to talk about what is difficult for you in a confidential and therapeutic space. Together with your counsellor you can work on exploring difficult feelings and/or events, finding ways to process them and work on rebuilding resilience and healthy coping strategies.

The Counselling team can offer six weekly sessions with a qualified counsellor. Currently, due to COVID-19, the team only offers Counselling sessions over Microsoft Teams. If you require a different medium, please speak to a member of the Wellbeing team.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please refer to the Counselling FAQs below before contacting the Wellbeing team. You can contact the team by emailing wellbeing@edinburghcollege.ac.uk

Referral process

If you would like to be referred to the counselling service, there are a few ways of doing so. You can:

  • Speak to your Learning Development Tutor (LDT) or Learning Support Adviser (LSA) to get a referral form. You then fill out the form yourself and email it to the Wellbeing Team.
  • Log onto Moodle and schedule a one-to-one appointment with the Wellbeing Team. If counselling is appropriate, they will guide you through the referral process.
  • Email the Wellbeing team directly to ask for support in getting referred. You can contact the team by emailing wellbeing@edinburghcollege.ac.uk

Please read our Privacy notice before submitting your referral to the Wellbeing team.

Self help

Edinburgh College has partnered with SilverCloud to provide a range of mental health and emotional wellbeing online modules free for students and staff. It’s easy to get started and there are programmes on resilience, positive body image, anxiety and more. Sign up for SilverCloud Health.

What if I am in crisis?

Please note that the Wellbeing team is not a crisis service. In the event of a crisis, please contact one of the organisations listed below. If you need urgent assistance please dial 999.

Organisations that can help

Information about organisations that can help and how to contact them

Samaratins

A National Service for anything that is worrying you.

Open 24 hours.

Call: 116 123

Edinburgh Crisis Centre

Support for people experiencing a mental health crisis.

Open 24 hours.

Call: 080 8010414

NHS 24

Critical health support, including mental health.

Open outside GP opening hours.

Call: 111

Breathing Space

A confidential phoneline for anyone in Scotland feeling low, anxious or depressed.

Open evenings and weekends (Monday - Thursday 6pm - 2am and Friday 6pm - Monday 6am)

Call: 0800 838587

Mental Health Assessment Service


A nurse-led emergency mental health assessment service for people experiencing a mental health crisis.

Open 24 hours.

Call: 0131 537 6000

Counselling Service FAQs

Frequently asked questions about our Counselling Service.

What is Counselling?

There are times in life where we could really need some extra support with our mental health. This can be due to high stress, academic challenges, changes in circumstances and bereavement. Sometimes what we need support with is finding out why we are not feeling well.

Counselling gives you the opportunity to talk about what is difficult for you in a confidential and therapeutic space. Together with your counsellor, you can work on exploring difficult feelings or events, finding ways to process them and work on rebuilding resilience and healthy coping mechanisms. Counselling is the process of talking to a trained professional in confidence who will help you think through your situation. It’s also a space to discuss your problems, worries and any difficult feelings you are experiencing.

What happens after I’ve been referred to the Counselling service?

The Counselling team will be in contact with you to confirm that they have received your referral form and confirm that you are on the waiting list.

You will also receive fortnightly emails from the Wellbeing team of services that are available as you wait.

How will I be contacted?

The Counselling team will contact you via your Edinburgh College email or in case of no reply, your mobile in the form of a phone call and/or text.

Please remember to check your college email regularly and respond to any messages from the Counsellors as it’s your responsibility to take up your offer of a place.

How long will I be on the waiting list?

We can’t give students a specific timeframe with regards to how long they will be on the waiting list due to the high demand for the service.

However, we aim for students to be seen at the soonest possible appointment.

What will I be offered in terms of the counselling service?

You will be offered six counselling sessions lasting 50 minutes each. These sessions will take place face-to-face or online through Microsoft Teams.

Please note due to COVID-19 face to face are currently not available.

What do I do if I change my mind about counselling?

If you are still on the waiting list then please contact the Wellbeing team to make the team aware that you would like to be removed from the waiting list.

If you start Counselling and would like to stop then please contact your Counsellor and make them aware.

What happens if I miss an appointment?

If you don’t turn up twice to your appointments and do not let anyone know you cannot attend, this will result in you being withdrawn from the service. This will allow someone else to take up your place and engage with the service. We require 24 hours’ notice if you are not going to be able to attend.

We understand sometimes things happen last minute, but please do ensure to tell us you cannot attend.

What happens if I am withdrawn from college?

Unfortunately, your name will be removed from the Counselling waiting list as only enrolled students can access the Counselling Service.