The issue of mobility is a crucial one for anyone dealing with sight loss. Getting to work, school or to the shops can often become a logistical challenge and sometimes an emotionally distressing one as well. This is not helped by the fact that public transport systems outside major areas of population tend to be limited in terms of routes and frequencies. In recognition of such difficulties we launched our nationwide telephone counselling service last September to enable people access our service with ease, irrespective of where they live.
The concept of a telephone counselling service for people who are blind or partially sighted was pioneered in these islands by our colleagues in the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) in the UK who established their Emotional Support Service (ESS) some years ago. Recently they undertook an evaluation of the service, the review clearly established that it was a valued and useful one for people whose lives were affected by sight loss. A majority of the clients who participated in the review process reported experiencing a positive change in their emotional state after engaging in counselling over the telephone. The review concluded that the use of telephone counselling, as a way of delivering support, clearly made the service accessible to those people who felt isolated and struggled to come to terms with their sight loss. The confidential nature of the service, coupled with the access and sight condition expertise, seemed a vital combination for support.
The Insight Telephone Counselling Service is available on a nationwide basis to anyone who is directly or indirectly affected by sight loss. If you are trying to come to terms with a diagnosis of sight loss, or are supporting a family member or friend who is endeavouring to do so, and you would like to avail of this service please call us on 01 674 6496. We will be happy to explain how this free and confidential service works, including the provision of appointment times outside of normal office hours.
I would like to acknowledge the help of our colleagues in the RNIB Belfast and London whose encouragement and practical know-how, offered so freely, was an invaluable resource in the establishment of our service.
Insight Counselling continues to provide individual psychotherapy and support group services in Dublin and Cork.