Rutgers’ Eye2Eye Program provides mental and emotional health support for the blind amid coronavirus crisis



We’re fighting a bully we can’t see.

The invisible adversary, coronavirus, limits our ability to interact, to touch, to go. It intensifies anxieties and amplifies the silence of solitude.For the millions of blind and visually-impaired Americans the pandemic raises new issues around safety, transportation, and access to mental health support.

Luckily, for New Jersey residents living with varying degrees of vision loss, help is but a phone call away.

Rutgers University’s Eye2Eye Program, the nation’s first phone-based peer-to-peer operation dedicated to empowering people with low to no vision, provides specialized emotional support to the hundreds of thousands visually-impaired in the tri-state area.

Eye2Eye’s Tracey Simon said the top priority for her and Eye2Eye’s entire staff of visually-impaired peer support partners is to “make sure our callers are in a mentally and emotionally well state-of-being.” She said, “Most callers just want to connect with someone who understands how they feel. It’s the emotional connection that’s most important. If you weren’t born visually-impaired or blind, dealing with vision loss can be scary. The world, as you know it, is different.”

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