We’ve launched our important new service which offers peer-to-peer support by phone for those experiencing a difficult situation, stress or anxiety.
Our Peer Support Line is a listening service for individuals at any stage of their career, designed specifically for the optical profession.
The service gives callers the opportunity to talk anonymously and in confidence to a fellow optical professional about an issue or stress they may be facing in their work or home life. Callers are not provided with advice but an empathetic peer, who understands the pressures of optical practice, will listen to their concerns and signpost sources of practical advice and information, where appropriate.
Chief Executive of the AOP, Henrietta Alderman, said: "Our Peer Support Line was borne out of findings from our 2016 research into the health and wellbeing of optometrists in the UK, and responds to the need for a different kind of support outside of our established legal, clinical or regulatory advice. In the research, more than half of the respondents reported that they frequently work to tight deadlines and 63% said they do not have enough time to balance work and family responsibilities. We developed this service to help alleviate the kinds of pressure felt by optical professionals and to strengthen the support network available in the sector.”
Calls to the free-phone helpline will be answered 24 hours a day by an external answering service, with volunteers on duty to return calls between 8am and 8pm.
For more details about the launch please read our press release.
More information about the service is available on the AOP Peer Support Line page.