AWARE is the depression charity for Northern Ireland.

AWARE was established in Northern Ireland in 1996. We are the only charity in Northern Ireland dedicated exclusively to raising awareness of depression as a serious mental health illness and enabling people with depression or bipolar disorder to access support to help them with their condition.

A Derry-born charity, we now have two offices; one in Derry/ Londonderry and a second office in Belfast.  

AWARE was founded by people with personal experience of bipolar disorder and depression, the negative impact this has on people’s on their lives and the lack of understanding and support available in the community at that time.  They were driven by a passion to ensure that others should not suffer as they did.  This user‐led ethos remains a key driver of AWARE’s work and the majority of our volunteers and staff bring to the organisation the unique insight of personal experience.

We provide the following services to people with depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder:

  • Support groups for people with depression and bipolar disorder, their families and carers
  • Education and training programmes including Living Life to the Full, Mood Matters and Mental Health First Aid
  • Mindfulness
  • Information booklets and factsheets
  • An interactive website and email service

From the first support group set up in Derry just over 20 years ago, AWARE has grown in strength and diversity. We are now one of the leading mental health charities in Northern Ireland but we know there are still challenges to meet and exciting opportunities to develop.

Our vision is of a future where everyone can talk about their mental health openly, access services appropriate to their needs and develop the skills and knowledge to maintain positive mental health.  

Bernard McAnaney Chair

Karen Collins Chief Executive

Why Aware is supporting Boardroom Apprentice

“We believe that this is a great opportunity to help increase the diversity in Boards generally but we also believe is a good learning opportunity for both AWARE and the Apprentice.”

Location of Board and Committee Meetings

They rotate between our Belfast & Derry offices with 2 also being held annually at a mid way point.  (6 Board meetings each year). For the past year we have been holding our meetings via Zoom and may continue to provide some meetings via Zoom.

Frequency and timing of board/committee meetings

We hold 6 Board meetings each year.  They are currently held on a Monday evening 5 – 7pm.

Date of Board Meetings (September 2021 – August 2022)

Not yet confirmed

Committee of the Boards and meeting dates (September 2021 – August 2022)

Not yet confirmed