Need to Talk

Gentleman chatting on the phoneMany people find it helpful to talk through their feelings with someone outside their usual circle of family and friends. If you need to talk, we're here to listen.

Our Need to Talk team can offer free support to adults and young people (over the age of eleven) who are blind or partially sighted, and anyone who supports a person with sight loss. 

Who is Need to Talk for?

If you live in Northern Ireland, the border counties of the Republic of Ireland or Western Scotland, our Need to Talk service can offer you free counselling and confidence-building sessions.

The Need to Talk team is made up of skilled counsellors and confidence-building professionals who have extensive experience in supporting people impacted by sight loss. 

So if you have experienced sight loss and feel worried about the future or changes you are facing, feel sad, angry or anxious about things that affect your day-to-day life, contact the Need to Talk team today.


“I have been struggling with sight loss for 30 years, trying to live in a sighted world where no one really understood. Now, since receiving counselling, I’ve a whole new lease of life. I am now filled with hopes and dreams and my world is a much brighter place filled with endless possibilities.” – Helen

How Need to Talk works

Firstly, you'll need to tell us a bit about yourself by completing an online form. Within five days, we’ll contact you over the phone to carry out an assessment.

We'll discuss what you would like our help with and together, we’ll explore what support might work best for you.
Need to Talk is delivered in a number of ways:
  • Telephone counselling - available in Northern Ireland, the border regions of the Republic of Ireland and Western Scotland
  • Online counselling - available via email, video conferencing or instant messaging
  • Face-to-face counselling - available in the border regions of the Republic of Ireland and is delivered by Fighting Blindness
  • Face-to-face confidence-building sessions - available across Northern Ireland and the border regions of the Republic of Ireland

Read the latest edition of our newsletter 

Download either a Word or PDF version of our Need to Talk project newsletter. Produced every six months, it’s a handy way to stay up to date with recent project milestones and developments. It’s also a great way to hear how the Need to Talk project team are making a real difference in the lives of people affected by sight loss.

About the project 

Need to Talk is a five-year project (2017 - 2021) delivered through a partnership between RNIB in Northern Ireland and Scotland, and Fighting Blindness in the Republic of Ireland.
Our service is completely confidential. We will not pass on any personal information without your consent. The only exception would be if we had very serious concerns about your safety or that of others. In this case, we would discuss this with you and encourage you to seek emergency support.
Download our Need to Talk booklet


Contact us 

Find out more about the support available in your area.
Northern Ireland and Scotland
Phone: 0303 123 9999 
The Republic of Ireland 
Phone: +353 1 674 6496 

Out of hours

Need to Talk does not have a crisis service.  If you need to speak to someone urgently, the Samaritans are available via free phone on 116 123 (UK and Ireland) or you can email [email protected].
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Project sponsor 

The €1.8million cross-border project is funded by the European Union's INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

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