AOP reminds practitioners 'ear for optics' service open to all

Callers use AOP listening service for a range of issues including stress, financial worries and problems in the workplace

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) Peer Support Line (PSL) marks its three-year anniversary this week, and the Association wants to remind the profession that the service is open to anyone working in optics, member or non-member. 

The Peer Support Line is designed to help health and wellbeing in the sector and has seen an increase in calls since the coronavirus outbreak, with many practitioners now facing unprecedented challenges. Callers can use the listening service for a range of issues including stress and mental health, financial worries and problems in the workplace.        

A PSL volunteer explained: “The free service is open to anyone who is finding it hard to cope, or simply having a bad day, and would like to talk to someone confidentially. Simply talking through an issue can be an enormous help. In these uncertain times, individuals are understandably feeling anxious and worried and we’re encouraging people affected by the coronavirus pandemic, or any other issue, to get in touch. We’re here to listen, empathise and, where needed, point to other services where you can get advice.”     

Henrietta Alderman, Chief Executive of the AOP, took the opportunity to explain the importance of the service and thank the volunteers who make it possible: “The Peer Support Line has been an extremely valued service since its launch but now more than ever, we all need to be making sure we’re taking good care of our health and wellbeing. Our volunteers are keen to help and it’s their dedication that ensures we can provide a listening ear 365 days a year.” 

To celebrate the PSL’s anniversary, and encourage all practitioners to access support when they need it, the AOP is launching new social media graphics to share using the hashtag #AnEarForAnOptic.

The AOP’s PSL can be reached by calling, 0800 870 8401. Calls 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 information, please contact Serena Box, PR and Media Manager, at the Association of Optometrists, [email protected] or telephone 020 7549 2040.

Hi-res images are available in this DropBox folder.

Notes to Editors

Association of Optometrists

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is the leading representative membership organisation for optometrists in the UK. We support over 82% of practising optometrists, to fulfil their professional roles to protect the nation’s eye health. For more information, visit

Peer Support Line - 0800 870 8401

The AOP Peer Support Line is a confidential, free-phone helpline for individuals (members and non-members) at any stage of their optical career to call and discuss their problems with a trained, empathetic peer who recognises the pressures of optical practice.

No advice is given to callers, but they will be offered other possible sources of support, where relevant, to help them reach a resolution or take action.