Sometimes You Just Need a Great Title.


The Stafford Centre has been supporting people in and around Edinburgh with their mental health for over 30 years.  We have supported and worked with over 100,000 people.  We have over 1100 visits per month.  



Some comments from people who attend the groups:

​“The karaoke is colourful, and inspiring !”

The VCC is a drop-in café in the Stafford Centre, Broughton Street, Edinburgh run by veterans for veterans
OM Music Sanctuary at the Stafford Centre 5 Days a week. Opportunities to learn to play instruments, record and perform music.
Walking Group
This group focuses on gentle and scenic walks within and around the Edinburgh area. Walks take place on Mondays from 10.30 am - 1 pm - group members meet at the Centre.
Music Group
A chance to jam along, sing or play a musical instrument. The Music group meets every Friday 1.00 pm - 3.00 pm.
Creative Space
Come along to our studio space where you can explore ways of expressing your creativity - from painting to craft work and more. Our friendly group leaders are there to offer support and help along the way. You might just find that inspiration can be anywhere!
Tai Chi
The Tai Chi group runs on a Monday afternoon 2pm - 3pm Everyone is welcome to come along and try this gentle exercise and martial art.
A chance to have fun singing along with others. Karoke takes place every Friday 1.30 pm - 3.30 pm
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“I enjoy the walking group, the fresh air and chats I can have whilst on the walking group..”


“I can express the way I feel through my art - this helps me cope.”


“I am enjoying participating in the music group, you feel good about yourself when you leave.”


All groups are open to anyone attending the Centre.  We run a variety of recreational and support groups which have been created to meet the needs and interests of people who come to the Centre.  We also provide the space for other agencies to run groups within the Centre.



Emergency Contact Numbers - 24hr services

Telephone nos:    Police 999, Ambulance 999,  Fire 999,  NHS 24  08454 24 24 24
Emergency Social Work Service:  0800 731 6969

National Crisis Helplines:

Breathing Space Helpline (6 pm - 2 am)  0800 83 85 87  

Rape Crisis Scotland (6 pm - midnight)  0808 801 0302 

Saneline (6 pm - 11 pm)  0845 767 8000  

National Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline  0800 027 1234

Samaritans  116 123   Childline  0800 11 11  

Edinburgh Crisis Centre Freephone  0808 801 0414

Psychiatric Emergency Team  0131 537 6000 




The Next Step  Service
Hours : Tuesday - Wednesday
9.30 am - 4.00 pm
Tel: 0131 557 0718

 Next Step is a Stafford Centre request service where people can build resilience through one to one support. 

We can provide information and guidance about education, training, volunteering, leisure activities.  Our aim is to help you to explore any opportunity that interests you.

We can also help you to create or update a c.v., complete an application form or improve your interview skills.

We work in a person-centred way, and usually offer up to 5 one-to-one appointments with our Next Step worker at the Stafford Centre.

Some feedback from people who have used the service:-

"Good to be able to talk over my wider situation." "I received information that eased my worries."  "It has a positive feel. You get encouragement, but it is also realistic."   "I can't imagine working in the future without this support."

Some follow-up support is available if this helps you to stay in volunteering or maintain a course of study.

We can also provide access to other services within the Centre e.g. counselling, group activities and specialist guidance on state benefits.

We have links to information about student finance, and disability discrimination and disclosure. If required, we can make referrals to other specialist agencies and organisations.

We welcome self-referrals, and are happy for you to be accompanied on your initial visit to the service by a friend, relative or support worker.


The Stafford Centre staff team are always available to offer support and encouragement, information and advice (including benefits advice). 


Service users’ personal details are held in strict confidence within the staff team. 





Hello my name is Denise,
The Welfare Rights Service is aimed at advising and supporting people experiencing mental health difficulties living in Edinburgh with their benefits.  We can offer benefit checks to look at your entitlement and help you apply for benefits, including filling in forms, we can help you with issues you may be having with your benefits and help you to resolve these.  We are engaging and working with peer agencies to identify and support people at source and have now established outreach clinics in:
Pennywell foodbank – Mon 1-3pm
Grassmarket foodbank – Tues 2-4pm
Link-up Women’s Support Group –
Tues 9:30 – 12:30pm
In addition, we can offer appointments at The Stafford Centre for people who are registered members and non-registered members. This can be the individual experiencing the mental health difficulties and /or their Carers.
f you or someone you know would like to access the Outreach Service please call us on 0131 557 0718  email
us using the contact page.

My name is Hanna and I am the Outreach Worker for the Stafford Centre. Our members say that the Stafford Centre is a friendly and comfortable place to be, but we are aware that there can be barriers which get in the way of accessing our service. For some people, visiting a new place or meeting new people is just too big a step to consider without the right support.

Sometimes it helps to meet up with me for an informal chat about the centre, what it is like and the range of activities available. We can arrange this in a place that you are already comfortable or with someone else that you trust. We can then talk about how to manage coming to the centre for a visit if you decide that you would like to join. Taking these steps may make coming to the centre more manageable. I can also visit other services who have workers that would like to know more about the Stafford Centre.

If you or someone you know would like to access the Outreach Service please call us on 0131 557 0718  email

us using the form below.


Contact Us


Counselling Service

Most people, at some point in their lives, experience mental health difficulties or problems, and feel they are on their own or unable to move forward.  It is often hard to speak to family and friends about these worries, and there is a need at these times to speak with someone who will listen and understand, and accept us as we are.

The Counselling Service Is Closed At The Moment 06/2019

please call 0131 557 0718
If you are interested in counselling

The Stafford Centre offers professional 1-1 counselling support to anyone over 18 years of age who has experience of mental health issues.

We provide a safe and confidential place where you can talk about your own personal experience of mental health difficulties.

The aim is to enhance your quality of life, and help find ways for you to move forward - helping you towards helping yourself.

Initially, we can offer you a maximum of 8 sessions. These take place weekly, and each meeting lasts up to 1 hour. The first session is a chance to discuss how counselling may work for you, and address any questions you may have.

Counselling can be free at the Stafford Centre, although we do welcome financial donations to support the service. How much you are able to contribute will be discussed and agreed with your counsellor.

"I now feel hopeful and positive."  


"I really felt heard and seen."  


"More in touch with feelings."


" Now I'm stronger, more grounded and able to move forward in my life."


Stafford Centre Carers Service provides support to all carers, of people with a serious mental illness. Practical advice, emotional support, information and contact with other carers can be provided.

Maxwell's story

Maxwell shares his story of supporting his partner through the ups and downs of depression, and how this has affected his own life.

The Carers' Information Pack

gives information to carers about mental illness, and where to find support.

It aims to meet some of the basic information needs of carers, family members and friends of people who have been diagnosed as having a mental illness or serious mental health problem


Carers & Relatives



Support and friendship for all of those affected by mental illness


Caring Connections

Support in Mind Scotland provides support to people whose lives are affected by mental illness.  Caring Connections is our new national service for carers (family/friends) of people being treated within forensic mental health services throughout Scotland.

Who are Forensic Mental Health Carers?

Forensic Mental Health Carers are people of any age who provide unpaid support for a relative or friend who is within forensic mental health services, including people in low, medium and high security hospitals throughout Scotland as well as in community settings with the support of Forensic Community Mental Health Teams.


The 3 medium secure units are in Edinburgh, Perth and Glasgow, and the high secure unit is the State Hospital at Carstairs.  There are other low secure units throughout Scotland.


We will provide support and appropriate information to carers throughout the key stages of their journey through the Forensic Mental Health Services.  By doing this the carer may feel better supported and informed of their own rights and more able to support their relative/friend who is receiving care and treatment.  Supporting families and friends in this way may go some way to maintaining or rebuilding relationships.

Our recent research, ‘Exploring Family Carer Involvement in Forensic Mental Health Services’ (available on found that forensic carers need support right from the first admission of their relative/friend to forensic services through to eventual discharge in some cases. Forensic carers are often not seen as carers by others – even statutory providers – therefore increasing their sense of isolation and emotional distress not to mention the stigma that is often associated with forensic services

Our National Forensic Carer Co-ordinator, Lorraine Keith is keen to hear from anyone who may be interested in this service, whether a carer or service provider.


Please contact Lorraine Keith on 07951066234 or for more information or to let me have your thoughts on this service.

Download Leaflets and Docs

Please note: if you would like to access the service you can come along at the following times, Monday _ Thursday between 12:30 & 14:30


© 2016 by The Stafford Centre. 


The VCC is a drop-in café in the Stafford Centre, Broughton Street, Edinburgh run by veterans for veterans

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