However you're handling things, we're here for you.
During this challenging time, it's vital that we look after our mental health. Whether you’re struggling with feelings of isolation and need to speak to someone, or if you just want some tips on how to stay active and maintain your mental health, we can support you.
Many blind and partially sighted people have faced anxiety, sadness and, even, fear about the unique challenges they have experienced since the pandemic reached the UK in March.
In light of this, our Sight Loss Advice Service has worked with Mind, the mental health charity, to offer free emergency mental health sessions over the phone by British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)-registered counsellors with sight loss experience, to give you emotional support during these difficult times. In Wales, these are funded by Welsh Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA).
In an hour-long session with a counsellor, you will have space to share feelings, explore coping strategies and any further support needs you may have. The session will address some of the feelings created by the current situation including anxiety and distress, and help you recognise that accepting you have these feelings is a positive step. The sessions are on offer until June 2021.
If you are struggling with your mental wellbeing and would benefit from support, you can register for a one-off session by completing our referral form:
Amanda Hawkins, RNIB's Specialist Lead for Counselling and Wellbeing, spoke with Dr Mhairi Thurston, who has a vision impairment, about how the pandemic is affecting people with sight loss emotionally.
We’ve seen a significant rise in the number of calls we've been receiving about mental health. We know that coronavirus has brought significant emotional strain and anxiety to many of our lives and that it has caused specific challenges for people with sight loss. We are working hard to remove barriers wherever we can, but most importantly, we are making sure that we are here for everyone affected by sight loss during this time.
If you're unsure about where to start with seeking help, please call our Sight Loss Advice Service on 0303 123 9999.
We have included free and informal courses within our Living Well with Sight Loss course series that are dedicated to living well and feeling great.
The sessions will look at what health and wellbeing means to you and how sight loss might affect your ability to carry out day-to-day activities.
Join one of our sessions and discover tips to help you independently manage your health and wellbeing, overcome challenges and manage the emotional impact of sight loss.
We have a series of good mental health guides, which covers breathing exercises, tips for sleeping well, recognising the signs of loneliness, building your resilience and more, that can help you improve your mental wellbeing.
We also have a list of top tips and a film with ideas on how to keep occupied and connected to maintain your mental health. They include starting a hobby, keeping active, creating routines, reaching out and asking for help.