Aug 212015

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Senior Account Executive, Citrus Mix.

MHApicA counselling service is throwing open its doors next month to encourage volunteers to come forward.

The Aberdeen Counselling and Information Service (ACIS), a branch of Mental Health Aberdeen (MHA), is hosting an open evening to give people the chance to find out more about how to get involved.

Staff, volunteers and trainers will be on hand at the drop-in event, which will run from 5.30pm to 7.30pm on Friday, September 11 at their offices at 1 Alford Place, to chat to potential volunteer counsellors and answer any questions.

ACIS will be holding free volunteer counselling training sessions in January and is looking for people from all walks of life who have the ability to listen to another person and communicate clearly without judgement.

Christine Maclean, ACIS manager, said:

“We hope people take up the opportunity to come along to our open evening and learn more about the training and what ACIS offers. Volunteers are the life blood of our services and we would struggle to keep going without them. It is a great way to give something back to the community and also to bring something new into your life.

“We currently have lengthy waiting lists for ACIS which is not ideal, but we are working hard to combat this. Volunteers will go a long way to helping us achieve this and we hope that this event will encourage people to consider putting themselves forward for our training programme.

“All sessions will take place in the city centre but there will also be some places available for potential trainees living in the Deeside and Banff and Buchan areas. We will be on hand to answer any queries at the open evening and look forward to welcoming everyone along.”

ACIS has been established since 1983 and is one of the few counselling agencies in the city, Deeside and Banff and Buchan which still offers free counselling. Trainees will need to give a time commitment of 10 weekends between January and June 2016 to complete the city centre based training.

New counsellors are expected to give ACIS a minimum of two years as a volunteer worker once training is successfully completed.

MHA was founded in 1950 and provides support services, counselling and advice to people affected by challenges related to mental health and wellbeing. Services are available for children from the age of 12 and adults. The organisation was among the first to provide community care – with its first residential project, a group home for discharged psychiatric patients, opened more than 35 years ago. MHA has also been providing day services continuously for over 60 years.

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.

  9 Responses to “Counselling Service Opens Doors To New Volunteers”

  1. Hi, I am interested in doing the volunteer training with yourselves. Please can you tell me whether it is every weekend, for 10 weeks? Is it all day on a Saturday and Sunday please? If not, how many hours each day please? Also, I live just outside Ellon, so would I be able to give people help in my area at the end of it please? How many hours a week would I be expected to volunteer for after the training? Could it be an evening? Please advise. Thanks.

    • Dear Penny, Best you contact the counselling service directly; the details are in the article. best of luck

      • Hi Penny
        Please feel free to send me an e mail at
        I think you would find the Open Evening very helpful to attend as many of these questions would be answered there.
        Kind Regards

  2. hi this is something i would be really interested in, i am already a volunteer for the companions scheme and would like to learn more, but i work offshore on a 2 on 2 off rota is this impossible?

    • Hi Vikki
      If you are able to attend the Open Evening at ACIS I think you would find it very useful.
      A shift pattern does make things more difficult in terms of attendance but it depends if your time off fits in with our training weekends.
      Please e mail me at if you need further advice. Thanks for your interest.
      Kind Regards

  3. Please can you advise if you have any more open evenings coming up? I am currently taking part in counseling skills training at Aberdeen University and am very keen to volunteer to help counsel with an organization such as yours.

    Moira Ross

  4. Hi,
    Is this information still valid? Are you still in need of volunteers? I am interested

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>