This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and RNIB Scotland is highlighting the emotional reassurance and practical help it offers during the coronavirus lockdown and its aftermath.
The sight loss charity is concerned the coronavirus crisis might have impacted on people who are blind and partially sighted – many of whom are older – particularly hard.
“Coronavirus has eclipsed all other health news in the past year,” said RNIB Scotland Director, James Adams, “but 10 people still start to lose their sight in Scotland every week. Add to that stress over coronavirus and the lockdowns and there could be more people needing support and reassurance.
“Our Need to Talk telephone counselling service remains available in Argyll and Bute, Arran and Cumbrae, Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Lochaber, Skye and Lochalsh, and the Western Isles for anyone diagnosed with sight loss, as well as families, friends and carers.
"Losing your sight can be devastating news to take in. But our trained helpers can support you in coming to terms with your condition and finding the way forward.
"The uncertainty during the coronavirus lockdown over access to basic shopping and medication, a lack of information in accessible formats, the social isolation, the barriers to being guided because of social distancing – these have all added to and compounded the mental and emotional stress people are experiencing," said James.
"But we want people with sight loss to know they are not alone and that help is available."
To contact the Need to talk service, phone the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or email [email protected].