Emotional Support for Sight Loss

The mental health problems that arise from sight loss are too often sidelined, leaving people to cope with depression and anxiety on their own according to a major new study published today. Sight loss can have a significant emotional and psychological impact on people’s lives, with fear, isolation, loss of self-esteem and depression having an impact. 

Yet according to a new study by Royal Blind, Scottish War Blinded and the Mental Health Foundation Scotland, emotional support is rarely offered on diagnosis by statutory health services, leaving many people with sight loss to cope on their own. 

Nearly 400 people with sight loss took part in the research which found that 85 per cent of those who took part had experienced challenges to their mental health as a result of their visual impairment. However, two thirds (63 per cent) indicated they had not been offered mental health support such as social prescribing, counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help them manage their long-term condition. 

Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded, who are sister charities, have joined forces with the Mental Health Foundation Scotland to publish the report “Emotional Support for Sight Loss.”  The charities have made a number of recommendations, including increasing the awareness of the mental health needs of people with sight loss in health and social care services and better signposting to support.

Download a full copy of the report or listen to the audio version below.