As we approach the end of the year, a year like no other, we reflect on the challenges that were placed before HDS and acknowledge the tremendous support we’ve had throughout the year. 

Refelcting on 2020

Like many organisations, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in our academic teaching and our counselling services moving from face-to-face to online (and telephone in the case of counselling).  We are incredibly thankful to our students, tutors, counsellors, counselling clients, staff and volunteers for their patience and flexibility.  HDS is continuing to adapt our training and counselling services in response to the Scottish Government COVID-19 guidance to ensure that the health of students, tutors, counsellors, counselling clients, staff and volunteers is our priority.

Highlights of 2020

In addition to responding to challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, we were delighted to be able to continue developing the work of HDS as a charity that exists to improve mental health and emotional wellbeing through professional training, CPD and the provision of counselling and psychotherapy in Scotland. Here are some of the highlights from the year: 

  • Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen (RGU) accredited our Human Relations and Counselling programme which has how been extended to MSc in Human Relations and Counselling.
  • HDS received grant funding from the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Fund set up by the Scottish Government and allocated through Inspiring Scotland. The grant funding will be used to develop a new Infant Mental Health training course which is aimed specifically at meeting the training needs of volunteers and workers from third sector organisations. The course will then be made available without charge to these organisations who, in addition to being able to access the training, can also benefit from expert consultancy.
  • Increase in take-up of our Employee Assistance Programme counselling services in response to the changing needs of employees and employers as they cope with mental health challenges in the workplace.

Looking ahead to 2021

In 2021, we look forward to maintaining and building upon all our activities, which will include:

  • Welcoming new students in January who are being funded by NHS Education for Scotland to study our MSc Psychoanalytic Observation and Reflective Practice: Therapeutic Work With Children and Young People course.
  • Starting our new Post Graduate Certificate in Counselling Children, Young People and Families course in January.
  • Launching our new Infant Mental Health training course with our third sector partner organisations.
  • Working with newly recruited counsellors to keep up with the demand on our counselling services.

"Whilst we have been faced with unforeseen challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s pleasing to see the work of HDS continue throughout this difficult period.  I’m grateful for the support, patience and flexibility of our students, staff, counsellors, counselling clients, staff and volunteers who have adapted to the circumstances.  Along with our Board of Trustees, we want to say thank you and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year." – Becky Smith, Director of HDS

HDS office will be closed during the festive period

Please note that over the festive period, the HDS will be closed from Wednesday 23 December to Monday 4 January 2021 inclusive.