Sight loss counselling service launched

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 March 2015

(c) Digital Vision.

PEOPLE affected by potentially ‘devastating’ sight loss can now seek help from a new confidential counselling service launched in North Somerset.

Action for Blind People hopes its new service will offer help to people ‘at the most vulnerable time in their lives’.

Counselling sessions will be offered at home and at the charity’s regional office, and will be available to adults who are blind or partially sighted, their friends, family and carers.

The service - entitled the Action Talking Therapies Network and funded by the Government - will also be available to parents of visually-impaired children.

Giles Spear, senior counsellor from Action for Blind People’s South West team, said: “For anyone affected by sight loss, the impact can be devastating.

“In the North Somerset area alone, 1,145 people are registered as blind or partially sighted and that is why I am delighted that the Action Talking Therapies Network counselling service is starting thanks to funding from the Department of Health.

“Sight loss can destroy confidence and it’s important that timely intervention is available to help people rebuild their self-belief and adapt to their visual impairment. This counselling service will help people at the most vulnerable time in their lives.”

As part of the service, people will be able to access six to 12 free face-to-face counselling sessions with a 
specially-trained counsellor who is likely to have personal or family experience of sight loss or have managed their own visual impairment.

Action for Blind People also plans to work with other counselling agencies in North Somerset to improve their understanding of the emotional and mental health needs of someone facing sight loss. This will be done by providing specialist training to staff.

Mr Spear added: “Action for Blind People’s counselling service provides a safe and confidential space for emotional support and self exploration.

“We act as a bridge to help people overcome their initial challenges, allowing them to be more receptive to other types of help.”

For more details about Action for Blind People’s Services in North Somerset or to set up an appointment with a counsellor contact Mr Spear on 01179 341720 or email

Appointments will take place at home or at the charity’s Bedminster base.

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