Simplyhealth supports counselling service for people devastated by sight loss

Simplyhealth has once again provided vital funding towards our counselling service for the next two years, to help people with macular disease access the emotional support which can help them come to terms with their diagnosis.

Simplyhealth has donated £60,000 to the Macular Society so we can continue to provide free telephone counselling service, which more than 300 people benefit from each year.

The service is run by accredited counsellors and helps people struggling to cope with the devastating effects of losing their sight.

In the UK over 300 people are diagnosed with macular disease every day. It is a profoundly isolating condition and those with this type of sight loss are seven times more likely to feel distressed or depressed.

The Society’s counsellors help people come to terms with their sight loss, regain their confidence, find ways of maintaining a positive outlook and take back control of their lives.

Lisa, aged 33, was diagnosed with diabetic macular oedema two years ago, after she started losing her sight when she was pregnant with her first child.

She said: “Losing my sight has been the biggest thing. Because I can go from being alright, I think I’m coping and dealing with everything, having a child, and dealing with my diabetes, and I feel like I’m constantly visiting hospital for something, but now I have this eye condition I can get so low. It impacts my work, it impacts everything I do, the way that I feel, how I am around other people. it’s massive, and to be honest with you, I hate it.”

After struggling to come to terms with the changes to her vision, she contacted the Macular Society’s counselling service last year.

She said: “The lady I spoke to was so helpful, when I was talking to her, she knew exactly what I was on about, and how I might feel and she really helped. I would recommend the service to anyone else in my position. Especially if you don’t know anybody else who’s got it, or nobody else fully understands, so you can’t really talk to anybody else.”

Simplyhealth started supporting the Society in 2004 and has helped the organisation grow and become the largest membership group in the sight loss sector.

Wendy Cummins, Community Manager at Simplyhealth, said: “We are delighted to be able to support the Macular Society with this funding. Supporting the telephone counselling service aligns with our purpose of improving access to healthcare making it easy, for the many, for the long term. For many who are dealing with sight loss, this service enables people to access the emotional support they need like Lisa. We hope our ongoing partnership will enable the charity to continue supporting many more suffering from this overwhelming health challenge.”

Emma Malcolm, director of fundraising and marketing at the Macular Society, said: “We are extremely grateful to Simplyhealth for its ongoing support. Macular disease is a devastating condition, which has a profound impact on the lives of those affected. After a diagnosis many people struggle to cope with their emotions and often feel shocked, upset or isolated. This is why emotional support services like our counselling service are vital. It is thanks to the dedicated support of organisations such as Simplyhealth we can continue to offer counselling to everyone who needs it.”

Find out more about the Macular Society’s counselling here or call the Society’s Advice and Information Service on 0300 3030 111.