Coming to terms with a child’s sight loss can be difficult for the whole family. On the one hand, it is a huge physical adjustment as everyone is learning to do things in a different way.

But as well as that, sight loss can cause emotional turmoil within the household.

Your child may be dealing with feelings of isolation, frustration, and grief. If their eye condition is degenerative, both them and you as a parent may be experiencing anxiety and uncertainty about their future. Meanwhile, if it is a sudden loss of sight, the shock could leave you all feeling totally helpless and overwhelmed.

Of course, it’s not just the initial impact. As your child grows older, they will inevitably face more challenges in life which could affect their mental health. So how can you help them, yourself, and other members of the family to build long term coping mechanisms?

One way is through tailored counselling. If you and your child need emotional support, you may find it useful to speak to a therapist who understands sight loss. Below is a list of counselling services out there, specifically for VI people and their families.

1. The RNIB’s Sight Loss Counselling Team

No doubt you have come across the RNIB when sourcing VI products and advice. But did you know they also have a team of mental health therapists? Their free and confidential service is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and there are a number of ways they can support you. For example, they do:

  • One-to-one telephone counselling
  • Online counselling over video calls, instant messaging, or email
  • Telephone support groups (these are to discuss your feelings and experiences in small groups facilitated by the counsellor)

The RNIB also have a range of guides about improving your mental health.
To get in touch with the counselling team, leave a message on 020 7391 2186 or email


2. Counselling through the Macular Society

Getting a diagnosis of Macular Disease can be very upsetting, and the Macular Society know that better than anyone. Their counselling services are completely free and confidential. To make a referral, you can fill in their online form. Alternatively, you can call their helpline on 0300 3030 111 or email A member of the counselling team will aim to respond within ten working days to offer you a telephone assessment. As well as one-to-one therapy, they offer telephone support groups for those living with Charles Bonnet Syndrome and a separate one for people adapting to low vision. These give individuals a chance to share coping tips and strategies, and to talk to others in a similar situation.

3. DisabilityPlus

Established in 2022, DisabilityPlus provides a comprehensive range of counselling for disabled teenagers and adults. Each service is tailored to a particular disability/condition and the mental health impacts that come with it. For example, they have therapists who specialise in Cerebral Palsy, hearing loss, Spina Bifida, limb loss, brain injury, and cancer. They also have a sight loss service run by blind counsellors. Being VI themselves, they have a unique understanding of the challenges you are facing and can therefore offer authentic and effective guidance. Sessions take place over the phone or a video call. In terms of pricing, you may be eligible for NHS funding. But bear in mind there will be waiting lists. If you wish to start as soon as possible and can afford to do so, it costs £50 for an introductory session; £180 for three sessions; and £70 for pay-as-you-go.
To get in touch, you can fill in their referral form. You can also email them at or phone 01932 881849

4. Family Service at the Royal Society for Blind Children

As well as your child, it is so important that you and other family receive the help you need. At the RSBC, they have a dedicated support service called Families First where their team of friendly family practitioners can meet with you either at your home, at your child’s school/college, online or over the phone. The practitioner will then help you to navigate the situation with strength and positivity, whilst providing you with techniques to help you feel more confident and empowered in your role as a parent.

Other mainstream services worth checking out include:



VICTA is pleased to introduce writer Charlotte Bateman who will be creating articles for both the Parent Portal and Student Portal.

Charlotte is smiling to the camera.

Hi I’m Charlotte and I am a blind 22-year-old journalist from Hertfordshire. As well as writing, I enjoy eating out at restaurants, going to gigs, making bread, listening to audio books and binge watching my favourite shows. I am also a huge dog lover and have two miniature schnauzers called Margot and Suki. After finishing 6th form, I completed a two year apprenticeship in journalism at Sky News. I then moved to the website MyLondon where I worked as a junior reporter covering health, lifestyle and entertainment. In May 2023, I left and officially became freelance.

If you are interested in reading more of Charlotte’s work then please follow the links below:

One Comment

  1. Kate Palmer-Harris April 5, 2024 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much for this very helpful article Charlotte. I had no idea about the level of support available for families and teenagers themselves with a VI. Your own vocational auto biography is also inspirational- thank you.

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