Letters, January 21 2022

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Give sight-loss charity a call if you Need to Talk

For most of us, our sight is our most precious sense by far.

For anyone diagnosed with a condition that could affect their sight, or who has experienced sight loss, having someone who understands what you’re going through can make a huge difference.

This is where the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)’s free ‘Need to Talk’ counselling and confidence building service comes in.

‘Need to Talk’ gives anyone affected by sight loss, as well as their friends and family, the opportunity to have a free hour-long mental wellbeing check-in, further counselling, and to attend ‘Living Well with Sight Loss’ courses.

We’re here to help people talk through some of the issues that are affecting them. These might be concerns over independence, finances or the future.

We help access the emotional and practical support people need to adapt to life with sight loss.

If you contact us, you can currently expect to speak with a counsellor through one of our mental wellbeing check-ins within 72 hours.

If further counselling is deemed suitable, sessions should start within one month.

We are calling for health professionals, family and friends to refer people to this vital free support service.

Our counsellors, many of whom have sight loss themselves, are ready to take your call.

Find out more at rnib.org.uk/NeedToTalk or call the RNIB helpline on 0303 123 9999 today.

James Adams, director, RNIB Scotland.

Start the conversation on mental health

See Me, Scotland’s programme to end mental health stigma and discrimination, is encouraging people across Argyll and Bute to get talking as one of their new year’s resolutions.

Our research has revealed that a quarter of Scots don’t feel comfortable speaking about their own mental health.

To change that, we are calling for people to get involved in this year’s Time to Talk Day, the UK’s biggest mental health conversation.

Taking place on Thursday February 3, it is the day that friends, families, communities, and workplaces come together to talk, listen and change lives.

After a fully digital day in 2021, Time to Talk Day will this year run as a mix of online and in-person events and activities, in line with government guidance, to get as many people as possible talking about mental health.

Speaking up reduces stigma, helping to create supportive communities where we can talk openly about mental health and feel empowered to seek help when we need it.

By opening up or offering a listening ear, we’re making real progress towards breaking down the stigma that continues to exist around mental health.

However you do it, have a conversation about mental health.

You can access tools to plan your own Time to Talk Day event, download an activity pack, request resources or check out what’s happening nationwide on the See Me website.

Wendy Halliday, director, See Me.