Where do you turn …?


Where do you turn when you’re losing your sight?

You are told "There is no cure ... you can no longer drive ..." and it seems like your whole world is turned upside-down. It is normal to experience a range of emotions from shock, grief, confusion, helplessness, anger, denial, sadness to depression and isolation, believing no one understands what is involved. Retina NZ does not currently offer professional counselling services, however we do offer peer support from others living with some form of sight loss, who can empathise with your situation, having likely had similar experiences themselves.

Counselling Services

Talking to a qualified Counsellor may be useful for you. There are many service
providers within your community. Our support team can put you in touch with someone in your area. For a 24hr counselling service, contact Lifeline Aotearoa. If you would like to speak with a Lifeline Counsellor, please call 09 5222 999 in the Auckland free calling area, or 0800 54 33 54 from outside Auckland.

Blind Low Vision NZ offers a counselling service to registered clients. Their professional counsellors are experienced in working with issues around vision loss.  Doubts and anxieties can be explored freely without fear of judgement or embarrassment.  For more information please call 0800 24 33 33 or email: GeneralEnquiries@blindfoundation.org.nz

Accessing these supports means that many solutions can be just one phone call away.

Telephone-based Peer Support

In recognition of the unique circumstances encountered by people coming to terms with their visual impairment, there is support available. Retina NZ has a team of peer support volunteers, with lived experience of low vision, who are available to talk to you. Our team members have a range of eye conditions and are based throughout the country. They are able to speak from first hand experience about the day-to-day reality of living with a visual impairment, and offer ideas for making daily tasks easier to cope with and where to find further information on a range of topics.

Phone 0800 233 833 to speak to one of our Peer Support Team or email: peersupport@retina.org.nz

NZ Genetic Hotlines

Phone any of the following free-phone numbers if you want to speak to a genetic counsellor or geneticist about your own diagnosis of RP, macular degeneration or other retinal degenerative disorders.

  • Auckland Genetic Hotline
    0800 476 123 or
    09 3074949 [ext 25870]
    [Northern Regional Genetic Service]

  • Wellington Genetic Hotline
    0508 364 436 or
    04 385 5310

  • Christchurch Genetic Hotline
    0508 364 436 or
    03 379 1898