Options Wellbeing Trust, a local Hampshire based charity has teamed up with GamCare as part of the National Treatment service to offer free gambling Support and Counselling to anyone aged 16 and over who is concerned about their own or someone else’s Gambling as part of supporting the annual ‘Safer Gambling Week ‘.
Safer Gambling week aims to raise awareness of how to gamble responsibly, creating a conversation with the widest possible audience and providing details about where further information and support is available and how to access it.
According to Options Wellbeing Trust “Compulsive gambling is the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on your life. If you’re prone to compulsive gambling, you may continually chase bets, may lie or hide your behaviour, and may resort to theft or fraud to support your addiction. Compulsive gambling is a serious condition that can destroy lives.“
Most people who have a gambling problem are using gambling as an opportunity to escape from other problems or pressures in their lives. Understanding what role gambling is playing in your life can be an important first step in beating the problem.“
Research from the Gambling Commission, has shown that although the overall gambling participation has dropped nationally, during lockdown for those aged18-34 and the most ‘engaged gamblers’ (i.e. those participating in three or more gambling activities per month). They have also shown an increase in time or money spent on gambling, furthermore using online gambling products they had not tried before. A subsequent YouGov study commissioned by GambleAware showed that approximately half (52%) of those saying they gambled more has said it was due to ‘relieving boredom or for something to do’
Anna Hemmings, Chief Executive of GamCare, says: “There is no doubt that the pandemic has impacted people’s help seeking, particularly in the initial phase of the pandemic when our daily lives were immeasurably changed. Our service users are speaking to us about increasing anxiety, isolation and money worries.
“As we now look at further lockdowns across various areas, we need to be aware of the impact and risks for gamblers experiencing harm. We need to be more vocal about encouraging people to seek help despite the external pressures, and to remind people that we’re here to help as we did in the summer with our #ReadyToTalk campaign.
“There is no doubt that gamblers and their loved ones will continue to need support, perhaps increasingly so. GamCare is doing all it can to be flexible and tailor its services to meet those complex and changing needs during the pandemic and beyond. From the very first contact you have with us, we can make a difference – if you’re worried about your gambling or anyone else’s, talk to us now.”
A representative from Options wellbeing Trust told Andover Radio 95.9fm “We provide a supportive non – judgemental environment in which anyone can discuss the impacts of the gambling on their wellbeing. Following an assessment we provide a range of interventions tailored to the individual’s needs. This could be one to one counselling, group work, psychoeducational courses, relapse prevention or maybe a combination of all three depending on client’s needs. We offer personal one to one counselling help and support with a professional skilled counsellor.”
Signs of compulsive gambling
- Uncontrolled spending
- Increasing the frequency of gambling
- Concealing or lying about gambling behaviour
- Withdrawal from family activities
- Borrowing money or stealing to gamble
- Frequent mood swings
- Absence from work
- Taking increasingly bigger gambling risks
It’s not known exactly what drives people to engage in compulsive gambling, but like many problems, it may result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
When gambling or trying to give up gambling, feelings of shame, guilt, anger, anxiety and depression can occur. These emotions should be explored and discussed with a professional counsellor.
Help and Support
For more information or to access the FREE gambling service for you or someone you know who is struggling with gambling please:-
Telephone Head Office: – 023 8063 0219
Email: – Info@optionscounselling.co.uk
Visit website: – www.optionscounselling.co.uk where you will also find a contact us form.