Resources – Gambling addiction

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Harm from gambling is an increasingly important health issue. In Greater Manchester it is estimated that up to 36,000 adults are experiencing harm from their gambling, with many more friends and family impacted. Gambling can escalate very quickly, leading to people losing life savings, their home, and even relationships very quickly. If you are experiencing problems with your gambling, you are advised to seek support as soon as possible. There are a range of confidential support services available in Greater Manchester, which are detailed below:

GamCare

The National Gambling Helpline is open 24 hours every day on Freephone 0808 80 20 133, or you can live chat with them.  Their services are responding to the current coronavirus outbreak. GamCare’s Forum is available throughout the day and overnight to connect you to others in similar situations so that you can seek and share support.  They’re also providing chatroom sessions twice a day and are planning to increase these to provide additional support.

GamCare local gambling counselling clinics are provided by Beacon Counselling Trust in Salford, Bolton, Tameside and Wigan, and appointments are available at short notice and virtually. They are available for family and friends effected by gamblers as well as the gambler themselves, and can be arranged by contacting the national gambling helpline or emailing  gamcare@beaconcounsellingtrust.co.uk.

Gamblers Anonymous

You can find a local Gamblers Anonymous meeting on their website Due to the impact nationally, of the coronavirus outbreak the majority of meetings have closed under the gvernment guidelines. To find out about online meetings please go to the “Meetings” link on their website – “Find a meeting”. By using the “Meeting Type” drop down – “Online” on this website you can obtain a list of online meetings. Select the “view more” for join details.

NHS website

Find details for other forms of help and advice on the national NHS website at www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/gambling-addiction.

National Gambling Helpline

Their helpline is open 24 hours every day on Freephone 0808 80 20 133, or you can live chat with them.  Their services are responding to the current coronavirus outbreak.

Self exclusion schemes

Self-exclusion schemes allow individuals to exclude themselves from being allowed to gamble online or in person and can be an effective way of controlling gambling spend. Online exclusion can be accessed at https://www.gamstop.co.uk/, or gambling outlets are able to set up exclusion from places you can gamble in person.

Outreach work

If you or your team work with people who might be experiencing gambling harm, there are a range of organisations who can offer support for staff on how to discuss the issue and where appropriate screen and refer:

  • Citizen’s Advice – run free awareness raising courses for front line staff on how to identify harm from gambling and how to refer. Contact: callaway@citizensadvicewirral.org.uk.
  • Beacon Counselling – run free awareness raising sessions for groups of professionals or outreach sessions for young people on the potential risks of gambling. Contact: gamcare@beaconcounsellingtrust.co.uk.
  • Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust run free workshops for staff who work with young people on how to talk about and support them with harmful social gaming and gambling. Visit YGAM.org.

Where to get help if you or a loved one are feeling distressed 

NHS Northern Gambling Service