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Can the optician help you with depression?

Written by Scott Taylor  |  15 September 2016

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If latest reports are to understand then more training is needed for optical support staff to ensure signs of depression are recognised and treated among people with visual impairment.

Based on research carried out by the Thomas Pocklington Trust, a clear association between visual impairment and depression has been discovered.

Dr Ian Petch, who works for the Department of Psychology, South West London and St George’s NHS Mental Health Trust said “People with visual impairment told us that support staff, family and carers needed to be better included in initiatives to improve recognition of depression and access to services”.

So, do support staff need be equipped with necessary knowledge and skills to identify the possibility of depression, and if so how do companies go about offering this kind of training?

Mark Goode, CEO of Inspired Selections the optical recruitment specialist explained that the work Dr Petch is doing could have an effect on the recruitment process of support staff.

Will candidates be expected to add these skills to their portfolio if they want to move into the optical world?

The research and policy director at Thomas Pocklington Trust Mr Phil Ambler, said: ‘It’s really important that blind and partially sighted individuals can access the support services that they need. We hope professionals recognise this and refer more people onto them.’

It will be interesting to see how this develops over the next few years.