Mental health support for vision loss


The coast of the gift

The Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center received a $30,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County to provide mental health counseling services to its clients. In conjunction with Samaritan Counseling Services of the Gulf Coast, this new program will provide support to people who have significant vision loss or who are blind. Services will include individual counseling as well as small group sessions. “Sight loss can have a devastating effect on anyone,” said Lisa Howard, CEO of Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center. “Navigating a new world that includes impaired vision can lead to further feelings of helplessness and isolation. We welcome this new partnership with Samaritan and look forward to helping our customers navigate the challenges that involves loss of vision.

“We are blessed to work with this population to help them find hope and peace in their lives,” said John Gregory, Director of Community Care for Samaritan Counseling. “Our advisor reports that clients are expressing positive feedback and results. Some move forward by starting new things in their lives, resuming relationships, and exploring work opportunities. Many expressed that they are able to have a life again as they learn to look at things from a different perspective. Funds for this initiative have been awarded through the Community Foundation’s Equity and Access program to support projects that promote equity and access to services among populations who face systemic barriers in our community. These grants are an opportunity for the Community Foundation to partner with organizations that focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in local direct service work.

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