Conscious Edinburgh is a student-led mental health charity founded in 2019 by Anusan Wijayendran and Shanna Su.
"Our main aim is to train at least one person from every club and society at The University of Edinburgh in mental health first aid. In this way we hope that the majority of students will have at least one approachable and familiar face they can go to if they need any advice or help." - COnscious Edinburgh's Founders
Conscious Edinburgh has three main goals:
To advance the education amongst the student population via information sessions, smaller group sessions and flyers surrounding mental health and how to deal with stress.
To advance the health amongst the student population through the provision of safe spaces on campus for students to express their mental health in an encouraging environment enabling peer-support, along with the provision of mental health first aid training to spot the signs of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts as well as other mental health issues.
The provision of recreational facilities, or the organisation of recreational activities, with the object of improving the conditions of life for the person for whom the facilities or activities are primarily intended by encouraging students to take part in activities such as yoga and other team building activities.
Kam Sohi (second from left) and Dil Sritharan (third from left) - founding members of Conscious Oxbridge
The founding of Conscious:
Our passion for student mental health stems from an unfortunate event.
In 2016, a close friend of the founding members of Conscious, Rahoul Biswas-Hawkes, tragically took his own life during his first year at University, at the age of 19. Rahoul was extremely bright and well-liked and his death came as a shock to all he knew.
Rahoul had been suffering from an overwhelming depression in utter silence, even without the knowledge of any of his friends and family. Shocked by his loss, we are determined to make changes so that other people going through similar issues have sufficient support and counselling networks available to them and are willing to seek such support.
It's important to remember that, whatever problems you are going through, you shouldn't have to suffer in silence.
Conscious Edinburgh would like to thank everyone who has supported us in our journey in rising awareness of mental health issues around the campus of the university of Edinburgh!
Dame Kelly Holmes - 2x olympic gold medalist
Ben Lebus - Mob kitchen founder
Geoff Shreeves - Sky Sports reporter & Steve Bruce - Newcastle United manager
Conscious Edinburgh puts on many different events throughout the year ranging from fundraising events to awareness events.
Our largest event of the year is our Mental Health Charity Ball which is an awareness event which invites up to 1000 students to learn more about Conscious and what we do. (DISCLAIMER: unfortunately this event will not go ahead in 2022)
Conscious host free sessions that aim to educate the public about mental health. If you're interested in hosting a Conscious Conversations session for your team/group, get in touch!
Scottish Mental Health First Aid Course
We're trying to train The University of Edinburgh's sports club and societies about mental health first aid. Learn more here.
Peer Support Groups
We also host our own peer support groups. We offer a selection according to demand, including BAME & LGBTQI+ support groups. Click here to register interest!
Conscious Mental Health Resources
The University of Edinburgh offer access to university students free of charge to many mental health online resources. We have listed some of the ones we think people may be interested in.
Please click on the logos to be connected directly to their websites!
iThrive (Formerly EdSpace) is an amazing space where Health in Mind have collated self-help guides and resources for a vast array of mental health conditions. These guides provide more information about conditions and help you to manage your symptoms!
Big White Wall: online support network, available 24/7 for students. The network includes community, group and 1:1 support, with professionally trained Wall Guides ensuring the safety and anonymity of all members. You can also access clinical tests and a broad range of self-care resources.
SilverCloud offers mental health treatment programmes based around Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Students have free access to complete interactive courses focused on depression, anxiety, stress and a positive body image.
The Feeling Good App can reduce stress, depression and anxiety, and calm the body and mind. The app is free for all students, and provides positive mental training through a self-help programme.
Those of you who also have a Spotify Premium membership also have a free subscription to Headspace – an excellent Mindfulness and Meditation App. This is great for bringing yourself back to the current moment rather than obsessively thinking about the future.
The Joshua Nolan Foundation works with therapists that are trained to save children and adult lives. They support anyone, regardless of age/gender, in Scotland with their 1-1 therapy service. Due to COVID-19, many of their services are available online. The charity funds up to 80% of the costs for up to 10 sessions.
Conscious Edinburgh are excited to announce that we have received funding from the Wates foundation. With this money, we plan to deliver counselling sessions to the students within Edinburgh.
To be eligible for this you have to be a student and be referred by the GP. The University Health Centre are aware of the sessions Conscious offers therefore please speak to your GP regarding this.
Conscious in the News
We are so grateful for any publicity Conscious receives. Please click on the photos for the full articles.
For any media enquires please email: email@example.com
Thank you to the Conscious committee who work so hard all year round to raise money for the cause through events such as the Mental Health Charity ball to smaller scale bake sales.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of Conscious Edinburgh's supporters, who are raising money on behalf of us:
Lydia Fitzmaurice-James and Nik Anand are running the Edinburgh half marathon later this year and they have kindly chosen to run on behalf of Conscious! We can't be more thankful for this and we wish them the best of luck in their training!
Here’s what they had to say:
"Since beginning university the effect that mental health has on peers, loved ones and the general public has become so much more apparent to both of us and so knowing a charity like Conscious exists to support a wide variety of people has become extremely important. We hope that by raising money for Conscious we can help them to reach their goals of promoting mental health and providing support to as many people as possible." If you can donate any amount to help them hit their target, that would be greatly appreciated!
Best of Luck Nik and Lydia!!
Colm Kennedy has decided to do an Ironman this summer to raise money for Conscious Edinburgh!! The Ironman Triathlon is the HARDEST one-day endurance race in the WORLD, covering a staggering 140 miles with only 16 hours to complete the course!! 😱
Here's what Colm had to say:
"Mental health is something that means a great deal to myself and those closest to me. Having supported conscious since its formation I’m delighted to be doing something big to raise more money to continue their great work." We wish Colm the best of luck with his training and for the race in June! If you could help him reach his target we'd be forever grateful! 💙
Daniel Arbide has decided to run the Edinburgh Marathon this summer to raise money for Conscious Edinburgh! Here's what Dan had to say:
‘Hopefully at some point later on this year, (depending on Coronavirus etc) I’ll be running in the Edinburgh marathon and raising money for the mental health charity Conscious. Supporting their mission means a lot to me so I’d be delighted with any donations!’
If you can donate any amount to help him hit their target, that would be greatly appreciated!
Good luck Dan!!
Our very own Iain is running the Edinburgh Half Marathon later this year! Having been an integral part of the behind the scenes management of Conscious, we are so grateful for Iain's continued dedication to the charity! We wish you the best of luck in your training!
Here's what Iain had to say:
"This year I am raising money for Conscious Edinburgh as mental health is something that is important to me. Having been involved in the charity this year, I would like to continue to show my support to mental health and raise money so Conscious can continue to host mental health training for more university students." If you can donate any amount to help him meet his target, it would be greatly appreciated!
If anyone else is interested in doing fundraising for Conscious just pop us a message!
Best of luck Iain!! 💙