NI wide: Counselling and confidence building for people affected by sight loss, and their families

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB NI)
Help offered

Many blind and partially sighted people have faced anxiety, sadness and even fear about the unique challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic. We are offering emotional and practical support for anyone affected by sight loss and their families:

Mental Wellbeing Check-ins

Our Mental Wellbeing Check-ins are an hour-long call with a counsellor, where you will have space to share feelings, explore coping strategies and any further support needs you may have at this time. 

You can register for a one-off check-in by completing our referral form: Mental Wellbeing Check-in booking form - RNIB - See differently 

Counselling Service

If you, a friend or family member, are experiencing sight loss, you are probably worried about the future and any changes you may be facing. You may have feelings of sadness, anger or anxiety and this could affect you daily. During these times, many people find it useful to talk through their feelings with someone outside their usual circle of family and friends. So, if you need to talk – we’re here to listen. 

Need to Talk (funded by the European Unions's INTERREG VA programme) offers free telephone or online counselling, and Living with Sight Loss courses for people with sight loss living in Northern Ireland.

After a simple referral to our team and within five working days, we’ll arrange a telephone assessment with one of our counsellors. Your initial assessment gives you an opportunity to talk about your situation and explore what further support you might find useful.

If you then go on to have a series of counselling sessions from us, your Need to Talk counsellor will discuss and agree with you the number of sessions – usually between eight and 10. These will be arranged at times that are convenient for you and will always be with the same counsellor. The calls are free as your counsellor will call you.

In a crisis, we can give you information about other services and help in contacting them. If you need to speak to someone urgently, Samaritans are available 24 hours by free phone on 116 123 (UK and Ireland) or you can email [email protected].

Living Well With Sight Loss Courses - Focus on Coronavirus

Losing your sight shouldn’t mean losing your independence. Through our Need to Talk service we offer online and face-to-face Living Well with Sight Loss courses to help rebuild your confidence and/or adapt to life with sight loss.

We’ll explore a range of topics covering mobility and daily living, emotional support and wellbeing, eye health and peer support.

You will be able to get the support you need using your laptop, tablet or smartphone at a time that suits you, in the comfort of your own home. 

We are now running one-off sessions on living with sight loss through the coronavirus pandemic. Find out about upcoming courses through our course calendar or email [email protected]Course Calendar - RNIB - See differently

How to access this support

Call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 and ask to speak to one of our Need To Talk team about emotional support or Living Well With Sight Loss courses.

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